Southern California’s Metrolink launched an online tool called “How Full Is My Train?” The tool allows riders to check recent ridership levels of a train they plan to ride and confirm they will have the ability to maintain safe distances on board trains.
Metrolink’s goal is to keep ridership at or below 30% of the available seats per railcar to allow for up to six feet of social distance between riders. Ridership is closely monitored on all trains so when one has consistently reached 30% ridership, Metrolink can add a passenger car or additional train service, as possible, to allow for social distancing.
“How Full is My Train?” users will be able to view average train ridership before boarding. If their travel plans are flexible, they may choose to take a train that usually has fewer people on it. In many cases, riders will be able to simply move to other cars if one car appears crowded.
Metrolink’s recent Customer Survey, found that social distancing and cleanliness are among the top concerns of riders. Close to 81% of survey respondents indicated they would ride with Metrolink again, with 29% planning to return as soon as the stay-at-home measures are lifted. The survey also revealed that popular amenities like electrical outlets and Wi-Fi are now taking backseat to riders’ desire for hand sanitizers on every railcar.
Since March, Metrolink has significantly enhanced cleaning and other safety protocols to keep riders safe. These include:
- Enhancing cleaning protocols, which include wiping down regularly touched surfaces such as doors, restrooms, head rests, armrests, handrails, tables, and trash areas using disinfecting products, as well as the daily use of electrostatic sprayers that mist hospital-grade disinfectant on all areas of train cars – especially helpful for hidden and hard-to-reach locations.
- Introducing a new Clean Care Crew dedicated to cleaning and disinfecting trains throughout the day.
- Installing hand sanitizer stations on each train car, and ensuring they are filled more often.
- Requiring face masks and coverings for anyone on board Metrolink trains and on Metrolink platforms and providing conductors with a limited supply of face masks for riders who have forgotten their face covering.