June 2018

28 29 whole railroad grinds to a halt. So, we have long- term plans to double-track and triple-track down in Orange County.We also have some tracks which are pretty old and need to be upgraded. We just made a grant application for what we call SCORE, (the Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion program), which is for money to upgrade our track, to enhance our bridges, and things of that nature.” In fact, just this past April, Metrolink did re- ceive an $876 million grant from California’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP). Nearly half of the money will be used to extend run-through tracks at Los Angeles Union Station south across the US 101 Freeway, so trains don’t have to enter and exit from the north. This proj- ect could save up to 20 minutes in travel time for riders. The balance of the TIRCP funds will be used for significant investments in infrastruc- ture called for in the SCORE plan, such as adding track, signals, and additional station platforms, so Metrolink can provide more reliable, frequent service throughout the key Metrolink corridors that serve Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura Counties. Additionally, improvements at crossings will be funded to help ensure cities can implement Quiet Zones to reduce noise associated with the routine blowing of train horns. In terms of providing all-around, better service to its customers, Leahy says that a fare reduc- tion program, which was implemented on an experimental basis on the Antelope Valley Line, and which resulted in ridership growth, may be extended to the San Bernardino Line sometime in the future. Metrolink also coordinates some services with Amtrak, with whom it shares some riders. “We have a program called Rail To Rail, which allows some people who have our month- ly passes to ride on certain Amtrak trains,” Leahy www.balfourbeattyus.com Improving transportation assets across the country Balfour Beatty is a rail and heavy civil contractor that builds and maintains the nation’s railway assets. Working with clients like Metrolink, Balfour Beatty improves the safety and efficiency of rail systems across the country to support community growth. METROLINK PREFERRED VENDOR n Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc. www.balfourbeattyus.com notes. “By making the service more coordinated and more convenient, our hope would be that both Amtrak and Metrolink experience strong rid- ership and revenue development.” “There’s also a great deal of interest in running some more late night trips,” he continues. “Our ser- vices cut off about nine or ten o’clock on some of our lines, and I’d like to run to a later time. Also, on some of our lines, we don’t have much midday ser- vice, so the service is fine for somebody working business hours, but if you have to get home early or stay late, it can be inconvenient.We think we’ve got to get it to a point where a person can just use it for any purpose – to get downtown or wherever they want to go. “In addition, we now have a mobile application for buying tickets; we have optic readers being installed at our stations, so you don’t need a paper ticket, anymore. And we’ve just recently been able to unveil a software package, where a person can identify the exact location of his or her approach- ing train, so they know how long they’re going to have to wait.We’re trying to make the service easi- er to use and more convenient for the customer.” If all goes according to plan, all of Metrolink’s improvements and upgrades should be complete in time for the games of the XXXIV Olympiad, which are scheduled to come to Los Angeles in 2028, while, at the same time, fulfilling SCRRA’s vision: To be Southern California’s preferred trans- portation system built upon safety, reliability, customer service, leading-edge technology, and seamless connectivity.