The California Transportation Commission (CTC) awarded $6.5 million dollars to Metrolink to begin design, rail operations modeling, and environmental assessment on the first projects in the Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion (SCORE) Program. SCORE is a $10 billion plan to improve regional rail by making service more reliable, consistent, and quieter in time for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
The award is the first down payment on an $856 million grant from the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) to provide grants from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and Senate Bill 1 to fund transformative capital improvements that will modernize the state’s transportation infrastructure. The TIRCP grant is the largest award ever allocated to Metrolink.
“The Southern California region is home to 21.5 million people and the population is projected to grow by one million more within 15 years,” said California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) Secretary Brian C. Annis. “Improving Metrolink will ease worsening traffic here on the nation’s busiest freeways, reduce emissions and ensure that freight can move freely on local freeways and rail corridors to support our powerhouse economy.”
By funding more frequent, reliable and faster Metrolink and Amtrak service throughout the region, SCORE will provide an alternative to crowded freeways and help ease congestion and reduce air pollution.
Among SCORE benefits are safety enhancements that allow more Quiet Zones, where horns are not routinely blown at rail crossings. SCORE also funds a rail electrification study to reduce diesel emissions.
Of the $10 billion cost of SCORE, Metrolink has secured $1.5 billion and the agency will continue to work with partners to seek additional federal, state, and local grants.