LOS ANGELES – Today, Metrolink urged Southern California commuters to leave their cars at home on Earth Day and pledge to take public transportation. To make that easier, Metrolink will provide free rides on its regional rail system on Monday, April 22.
Earth Day is an international recognition observed in 193 countries to demonstrate support for environmental protection.
“Earth Day is the perfect time for people to sample Metrolink service for free,” said Metrolink Board Chair Brian Humphrey. “Metrolink riders travel an average of 36 miles each way and choose safe, clean and reliable rail service instead of driving. Every year, people who ride Metrolink reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by at least 120,000 metric tons.”
The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has partnered with Metrolink in encouraging commuters to park their cars and use public transportation on Earth Day. The SCAQMD’s mission is to clean the air and protect the health of all residents in the region through practical and innovative strategies.
“Partnering with Metrolink is a clear win for public health and air quality,” said SCAQMD’s Executive Officer Wayne Nastri. “We have provided Metrolink $110 million to purchase some of the cleanest and efficient locomotives in the region. These new locomotives reduce nearly 13.75 tons of air pollution per year, an equivalent of removing 783 cars off the road annually. We encourage commuters to ride Metrolink on Earth Day and every day.”
Metrolink is preparing for higher ridership on Earth Day by increasing customer service and call center support, adding ambassadors at high traffic stations and platforms, while providing increased social media support for rider engagement.
“Offering free rides on Earth Day is a great way to help savvy commuters sample Metrolink service and, once they try it, we think a lot of them will stay with us,” said Metrolink CEO Stephanie Wiggins.
If just 1,000 people leave their cars at home and use public transit instead, the region receives the environmental benefits of planting a 12-acre forest, roughly the size of 10 football fields, according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Also, in celebration of Earth Day, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will offer free rides on Metro Bus, Rail and Bike Share Systems on Earth Day. Omnitrans, a public transit agency serving the San Bernardino Valley, is offering a free mobile day pass via Token Transit for use during Earth Week (April 22–26). The pass link will become active on April 21 or people can download the free Token Transit app that week.
To learn more about the Metrolink Earth Day service, visit www.metrolinktrains.com/freerides.