Metrolink and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) were honored with the National Association of Railroad Passengers' (NARP) Tracks to the Future award, in recognition of their outstanding work creating an efficient, attractive public transportation system in a city many call the "car capital of the world."
"The work done in tandem between Metro and Metrolink has created a vital alternative to driving in the Los Angeles County region," said Ross Capon, NARP's president/CEO. "Workers and families in the region are getting a sense of what it means to be able to travel and live in a city that caters to them, not their cars."
Metrolink worked to enhance safety following a 2008 collision between a Metrolink train and a freight train. CEO John Fenton, who took over in April of 2010 and personally attended NARP's event to receive the Tracks to the Future award, has overseen the introduction of a new fleet of passenger railcars that rank among the safest in the nation.
Metrolink has accelerated its implementation strategy for Positive Train Control, a technology capable of detecting and preventing collisions before they occur, and is on schedule to put the system into operation ahead of the 2015 federal deadline. Additionally, the agency has launched a rail-specific safety leadership program with the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
Metro, which has more than 318,861 rail boardings on an average weekday, offers a variety of service, with five separate lines including heavy and light rail crisscrossing the city on underground, surface and elevated rights-of-way. The Metro Rail Red and Purple subway lines alone carry enough people to make it the ninth busiest rapid transit system in the U.S.
Previous "Tracks to the Future" recipients include the City of Portland, Ore.