Metrolink Express: Fast, But Watch Out

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Metrolink was getting the word out Tuesday about the advantages... and dangers... of express trains. (Published Wednesday, Apr 27, 2011)

    Something unheard of is happening over at Metrolink Headquarters. People are inquiring about riding the train. And now there are even express trains.

    "We had a million hits on our web site, talking about this," marvels Metrolink Chairman Richard Katz. "We haven't had a million hits for anything. So, I believe there's a lot of pent up demand for making the commute. And it's the same cost as taking the regular train."

    The agency's initial foray into the express train lines will be on the busy Antelope Valley and San Bernardino lines. 

    The reason for the uptick in interest is no secret. Gas is hitting $4.25 per gallon for regular in Southern California. And anybody who can ride the train is thinking about doing it.

    But, as public transportation evolves in Southern California, there are unusual growing pains. There have never been express trains before. So a lot of people are unfamiliar with the concept of a train speeding past them as they stand along the route.

    "They should stay behind the line until the train comes to a complete stop," says Metrolink Spokeswoman Sherita Coffelt. "They should not assume a train is going to stop."

    Safety is always a concern for Metrolink, which has seen awful accidents in Glendale and Chatsworth in recent years.

    And nobody at the agency wants to see a good thing, like increased ridership, go bad.