Boogie Boarders: 1, Metrolink: 0

Boogies OK on trains, but not in the aisles

Stick this in the "only in California" file: Metrolink officials have relented to unhappy passengers and will now allow boogie boards on commuter trains, it was reported Saturday.

A ban was instituted after some passengers on weekend commuter trains between the Inland Empire and Orange County beaches were forced to abandon their boogie boards at train stations last weekend.

Weekend trains between stops in the Riverside area and three stops in the San Clemente area have proved so popular that some trains were overcrowded, and boogie boards were blocking aisles, Metrolink officials told the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

Thirteen-year-old Jacob De Los Santos of Riverside was among several passengers affected. "I had to put my boogie board on the back of our truck, I hope it doesn't get stolen," the youth told a reporter.

To add insult to the boy's injury, kids who got on board at the next stop were allowed to bring their boards with them.

"That adds salt to the wound," said Aaron Nering, a Menifee father, to the Press-Enterprise reporter.

Metrolink officials say the ban was a miscommunication, and that passengers toting the plastic boards will be welcomed and instructed merely to keep the boogies out of the aisles.

Trains that are full of commuting workers on weekdays have been pressed into service on weekend beach runs from the sweltering inland area to southern Orange County for several years. Passengers pay about $20 each for the privilege of sitting in air-conditioned coaches as they zip past heavy traffic on overburdened freeways, and Metrolink officials say some trains are filled to capacity.

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