Metrolink was approved for a $91.2 million allocation from the state Thursday to advance projects aimed at improving rail safety and service in time for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
The grant from the California Transportation Commission is for the Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion Program, which is a $10 billion plan to improve rail service frequency to at least 30 minutes systemwide and increase connections with other transit providers.
The Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program grant funding comes from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and the Senate Bill 1 gas tax.
"Important infrastructure projects are the targets of these funds with major improvement projects scheduled for the six-county region," California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian C. Annis said. "Not only will these cap and trade and SB 1 investments bring thousands of new jobs, but they will make Metrolink more reliable and provide an alternative to driving in Southern California."
SCORE's goals include the addition of 35.5 million net new riders after 2028, and the elimination of on average 62.5 million vehicle miles traveled annually from 2028 and beyond. The program also plans to bring improvements at Los Angeles Union Station and on tracks between Los Angeles and Fullerton, one of the busiest freight corridors in the region.
The program also plans safety, signal and track upgrades that enable more "Quiet Zones" where trains do not routinely sound their horns when approaching at-grade crossings.
"California has a dynamic economy that relies on our ability to move people and goods efficiently," CTC Chair Fran Inman said. "Continual investments in the state's transportation infrastructure is essential to providing jobs, improving our environment and maintaining our quality of life."
The program will also fund projects in El Monte, Simi Valley, Burbank, Rancho Cucamonga, Chatsworth and other areas throughout the region.
"SCORE investments provide infrastructure improvements that enable Metrolink to run more trains to improve service," Metrolink Board Chair Andrew Kotyuk said. "SCORE is essential to the long-range vision of transforming Southern California's regional rail system."
In all, through a CTC approved multi-year grant agreement, Metrolink will receive a total of $875.7 million over six years for SCORE, and in August, the CTC awarded an initial $6.5 million to begin design, rail operations modeling and environmental assessment on the first of the SCORE projects.