Study seeks to bet­ter lo­cal Metrolink line

The Signal - - NEWS - By Gina En­der Sig­nal Staff Writer

For those com­mut­ing by train any­where be­tween Lan­caster and Bur­bank, Los An­ge­les County wants to im­prove res­i­dents’ Metrolink ex­pe­ri­ence.

The Board of Su­per­vi­sors passed Su­per­vi­sor Kathryn Barger’s mo­tion to con­duct a study of the An­te­lope Val­ley Line – which serves Santa Clarita - to bet­ter serve those who use it, in­clud­ing those who work and live in the Santa Clarita Val­ley.

“The An­te­lope Val­ley Line plays a crit­i­cal role in North Los An­ge­les County and car­ries the third high­est rid­er­ship in Metrolink’s com­muter rail sys­tem,” Barger said in a state­ment. “The re­sults of this study can be used to help guide Metro, Metrolink and our north county sub re­gion to best achieve our goals and max­i­mize ser­vice on this line.”

Metrolink’s An­te­lope Val­ley Line re­moves about one mil­lion week­day trips by car a year, ac­cord­ing to Metrolink. Ad­di­tion­ally, the line is the equiv­a­lent of one lane of traf­fic from ma­jor free­ways dur­ing com­mute hours.

Trav­el­ing on the Metrolink train from the An­te­lope Val­ley to Union Sta­tion can take more than

two hours and an av­er­age speed of 35 miles per hour, Barger’s of­fice cited.

Gaps in ser­vice dur­ing the day also dis­cour­age peo­ple from rid­ing, Barger’s of­fice said.

Brit­tany Kel­ley rides the Metrolink into Santa Clarita from Lan­caster and she said it usu­ally takes about an hour. But, she said, rid­ing the Metrolink is her fastest op­tion.

Her only prob­lem with rid­ing the tran­sit sys­tem is that it some­times leaves ahead of sched­ule, she said.

“I don’t like that it leaves early,” Kel­ley said. “I’ve wit­nessed sev­eral peo­ple get left be­hind.”

Sau­gus res­i­dent Ver­nita Scott-Flan­ton was one of the first to ride the An­te­lope Val­ley Line af­ter the Northridge Earth­quake.

Among her re­quests for changes to the Metrolink line, she said she would like there to be com­muter rep­re­sen­ta­tives al­lowed on ad­vi­sory board to help make de­ci­sions.

There ought to be more fre­quent trips go­ing in both direc­tions, she said. Also, she would like the op­por­tu­nity to have in­cen­tives from em­ploy­ers to use Metrolink, such as the abil­ity to buy dis­counted passes.

Tu­junga res­i­dent Ch­eryl Dil­ger said will be us­ing the An­te­lope Val­ley Line of­ten be­cause she has a new­born grand­daugh­ter she is ex­cited to visit in Cas­taic.

She said her com­mute on the Metrolink is usu­ally only about 11 min­utes on the train be­tween the San Fernando Val­ley and the Santa Clarita Val­ley.

The study will eval­u­ate this Metrolink line to en­sure ser­vice is fre­quent enough and tracks, cul­verts, tun­nels and cross­ings are al­low­ing for the best ser­vice.

Also, the study will in­clude rec­om­men­da­tions for cap­i­tal im­prove­ments and needed in­fra­struc­ture.

The county can im­ple­ment more projects for Metrolink since Mea­sure M was passed, Barger said.

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