Metrolink: Understaffed and Underfunded

The Sept. 12 crash of a Metrolink commuter train with a U.P. freight train resulting in 25 deaths has brought attention to Southern California's regional rail system, revealing that it is a weak 'stepchild' to the larger, better funded LA MTA.

"The commuter rail service known as Metrolink -- Southern California's only true regional mass transit carrier -- gets little money and even less political respect.

It is guided by a board weighted with officials from small cities across five counties, which chip in to cover Metrolink's expenses and connect their local transit networks.

Unlike the larger Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which has billions of dollars to run light rail lines, subways and buses across Los Angeles County, Metrolink operates on a relative shoestring."

From "Metrolink woes: Let us count the ways" (LA Times, Opinion, 9/20):

"More people have died on its trains in the last 10 years than on any other line of similar size in the U.S. Over the last nine years, 74 people have been killed in incidents involving Metrolink.

Only New Jersey Transit, which carries five times as many people over six times the distance, has suffered more fatalities over that period – 79."

Full Story: Metrolink runs on a shoestring budget in a complex environment

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