RailPAC Letter from President Paul Dyson
December 4, 2008
Supervisor Mike Antonovich
The Hon. Ara Najarian
Mayor of the City of Glendale, California
Hon Art Brown
Council member, Buena Park
METROLINK WEEKEND SCHEDULES – TRIPLE TRAVEL OPTIONS AT NO COST
Dear Mayor Metrolink Board members:
What do we mean when we say that we can triple weekend travel options for no cost? By rescheduling the trains on the three routes that operate on weekends, Antelope Valley, San Bernardino and Orange County, (“AV”, “SB” and “OC “) so that they connect with each other at Union Station, passengers have the opportunity to travel to and from more than three times as many stations as they do at present. Now while most stations will not be as popular a destination as Los Angeles Union Station the ability to travel say from Santa Clarita to Anaheim for Disneyland, or Glendale to the Orange County beaches, or to Glendale from the San Bernardino line to the shopping centers will surely attract new passengers.
It is RailPAC’s belief that weekend train services should be self-sustaining on a cash basis. The equipment and overhead is already paid for, and it should be possible to sell enough tickets to cover crew, fuel and incremental maintenance. But this will likely only be achieved by making the service available to the maximum number of people. If the folks on the AV line had 37 Metrolink stations they could travel to with at worst a cross platform connection at LAUS to the OC and SB routes, instead of just the present 10 stations on the AV line itself then revenue would grow without running any additional trains.
Given the difficult economic circumstances, at federal and state level, we are unlikely to be able to increase Metrolink’s subsidy any time soon. We must therefore do more with the assets and operations that we have. RailPAC believes that weekend revenue can be substantially improved given more travel opportunities. Make LAUS the true connecting hub of Metrolink operations and watch the revenue grow.
Paul J. Dyson