Friday, June 13, 2014

Transportation Tips: Dump the Pump and Check out Metrolink Weekends!

By: Nicholas Ventrone, Community Engagement Director
riversidetransit@gmail.com


It's very easy and tempting to incorrectly think that Riverside's major newspaper, The Press Enterprise, is anti-transit simply because it is against both the California High Speed Rail project and the Riverside Reconnects streetcar proposal. The Transit Coalition well knows that there are problems for both the streetcar and statewide high speed rail project master plans that have to be solved. The paper certainly does not want our public money to be squandered and I certainly understand its points even though we may disagree with its position. We all pay a lot of money to the taxman during a soft Inland market economy; we should all not want that revenue wasted. But it would be wrong to label the newspaper as anti-transit. In fact, on Wednesday, it ran a very pro-Metrolink article on page 1 of the PE Local with a preview on the front page of the printed paper.

I've looked around for an online reference to the article and found it in the P-Edition area which is accessible to subscribers, but I'll analyze what was reported.

PE Staff Writer Kyle Lundberg has invited the general public to "leave the car at home" as Metrolink provides for "cheaper, less hectic travel alternative to long, stop-and-go drives through heavy traffic." The article featured reportage on the Angels Express, Dodger Stadium Express, the Beach Train, getting to Hollywood and using the San Diego Coaster. I praise the reportage as we need to continue to educate the public of the transit options that are available for both commuters and leisure travelers headed to the ballgame, LA, or the beach.

This week's tip calls for all us to take advantage of our regional rail system for leisure and family travel and dump the pump.

Here are some of the larger leisure destinations along Metrolink:
  • Friday Night Angels Express - Take the special baseball game runs of the 91 Line from Riverside into Anaheim via a transfer in Orange to the Angels game! The Anaheim train station is at the edge of the stadium parking lot.
  • Southern California Beaches - Check out the beach trains, the destination and service that first brought leisure travelers aboard Metrolink!
  • Dodgers Express - Take the Metrolink San Bernardino Line into Los Angeles Union Station and board the Dodger Stadium Express at Bus Bay 3 of the Patsaouras Transit Plaza free with your valid Dodgers admission ticket.
  • Other Weekend Destinations - More Trains. More Destinations. More Fun. Ride anywhere, Saturday or Sunday for only $10.
  • RTA Route 202 Beach Bus Runs - From the Southwest area, be sure to check out the special Beach Bus runs of Route 202 between June 16 and September 1, 2014.
For the record, a few points of correction from the PE article: The newspaper reported that Metrolink is a light rail system. It is actually heavy suburban regional rail and officially labeled commuter rail. Also, the paper reported that it costs $5 for a Metro Day Pass from LA Union Station. You can actually transfer and board any LA Metro train or bus at any station or stop with your valid Metrolink ticket for free and not have to buy a separate LA Metro ticket or pass.

All aboard the Metrolink this weekend!

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