The Metrolink Board of Directors voted to offer free train rides in support of Earth Day on Monday, April 22, 2019 to encourage more people to leave their cars at home and minimize their environmental footprint by producing cleaner air and less traffic through public transportation.
“As the largest commuter rail operator in the state and the second largest public transportation operator in the region based on passenger miles, Metrolink is a critical component to a sustainable Southern California,” said Metrolink Board Chairman Brian Humphrey. “Approximately 85 percent of our riders have an automobile, but choose to take the train. Therefore, Metrolink riders are reducing congestion and associated emissions by taking the train every day.”
If 1,000 people gave up their cars and rode Metrolink on Earth Day, they would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 23,472 lbs, which is the equivalent of the carbon sequestered by a 12-acre forest, the size of 10 football fields.
For decades, the region has struggled with the effect of a growing number of vehicles driven on a fixed-capacity freeway system resulting in choking smog and slower commutes. The Los Angeles, Orange County and Inland Empire regions are consistently recognized as having the country’s worst air quality. Metrolink is committed to creating a sustainable future for our riders and the communities we serve. Metrolink removes approximately 8.5 million automobile trips annually.
“Offering free rides is a way for Metrolink to attract new riders wanting to minimize their environmental impact and make a difference on Earth Day,” said Metrolink CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “We are asking drivers to pledge to park their cars on Earth Day and enjoy the stress-free commute so much they become repeat Metrolink riders.”
Earth Day is an international recognition to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Earth Day is observed in 193 countries and has been celebrated since 1970.
On Earth Day, Metrolink is preparing for higher ridership by increasing customer service and call center support, adding brand ambassadors at high traffic stations and platforms and providing increased social media support for rider engagement.