Hoping to decrease the number of drivers to Cal State Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will open a Metrolink station at the university, possibly as soon as next fall.
The station will connect with those in San Bernardino, Rialto, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Montclair, Claremont, Pomona, Covina, Baldwin Park, El Monte and Union Station.
Currently, 16 employees ride the train daily to Union Station Downtown and take a shuttle to Cal State L.A., said Carmen Gachupin, the school's employee transportation coordinator. She said she is confident that many more will start using the commuter train when it stops at the campus.
"You see the train passing by and some people have said, 'Why can't we just jump off when it passes?' It's so close," Gachupin said.
The station, which began construction in February, was made possible by a $750,000 grant from the MTA and $500,000 in funds from Cal State L.A., the cities of Los Angeles, Monterey Park and Alhambra, and Los Angeles County.
The new station is at the southern end of campus, adjacent to the MTA bus station on the San Bernardino Freeway, near the Long Beach Freeway interchange.
Metrolink will offer a 25% discount off the regular adult fare for Cal State L.A. students. For example, a two-zone fare will be $84 per month for a student, when the regular fare is $112. Gachupin said that the school hopes to offer two- and three-day-a-week students discounts on 10-day train tickets.
One future student, who was waiting to catch a bus home last week after collecting class registration information, said she would be willing to ride Metrolink if the price is right.
"It would be better if I could catch the train instead of taking the bus or catching a ride," said Cynthia Gomez, who lives in El Monte. "If it's not too expensive, it'll make it even easier."
The school will also start offering monthly bus passes at a 50% discount. Students can register for them at the campus's April 20 Ride Share Fair.
"This is something to encourage bus ridership and . . . (decrease) parking at the campus, which is at a premium," Gachupin said.
Gachupin said a review of student registrations showed that 2,700 students, faculty and staff members live in cities along the train route. She did not have figures for the number of students who currently take the bus or ride Metrolink.