Metrolink announced experienced an uptick in daily boardings on Oct. 4 of more than 33% from the week prior en route to its highest single-day ridership since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 changed how Southern Californians use public transportation.
In honor of California Clean Air Day, more than 26,000 riders capitalized on free fares all day long across Metrolink’s entire, 545-mile system, which connects Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura counties.
“We couldn’t let California Clean Air Day pass without doing our part to improve air quality in the communities we serve,” said Metrolink CEO Darren Kettle. “In coordination with our member agencies who also waived fares on Wednesday, we were able to provide a record number of riders safe and sustainable transportation options that kept tens of thousands of cars off the road.”
Metrolink's Efforts to Reduce Vehicles in Operation
Reducing the number of vehicles in operation is just one way that Metrolink is championing environmental sustainability across the region. Other ways include:
- In 2022, Metrolink became the first U.S. passenger train service to power its full locomotive fleet with renewable, non-petroleum fuel made of recycled natural fats and vegetable oils. Since transitioning to this fossil fuel-free alternative, Metrolink has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 60%.
- Metrolink operates a fleet of 40 F-125 Tier 4 locomotives – the cleanest diesel locomotives in the nation. Tier 4 locomotives comply with the latest Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions standards and reduce particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 85% compared to previous generations of locomotives.
- Beginning in late 2024, Metrolink’s Arrow service, which connects San Bernardino and Redlands, will become the first passenger train line in North America to adopt Zero-Emission Multiple Unit (ZEMU) rail vehicles, which will use a hybrid hydrogen fuel cell and battery technology to provide an even cleaner transit option for the community.
- Metrolink’s Dispatch and Operations Center in Pomona is LEED Silver certified, and Metrolink is headquartered in the LEED Gold-certified Wilshire Grand building.
- In 2021, the Metrolink Board of Directors adopted a climate action plan charting a course toward a zero-emission future for the agency, and last year, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) recognized Metrolink with Gold certification for its sustainability commitment and progress.
- In addition to California Clean Air Day, Metrolink provided free rides on Feb. 4 for Transit Equity Day and on April 22 for Earth Day in 2023.