LOS ANGELES — Seeking to ease crowding for Metrolink suburban riders, the Southern California Rail Authority Board on Monday authorized $49 million for the purchase of up to 35 new cars.
With a current fleet of 119 passenger rail cars, Metrolink has an average of 28,000 daily riders, said spokesman Peter Hidalgo. The trains travel six routes above ground between downtown's Union Station and Orange County, the Inland Empire and Ventura.
But rush-hour routes are starting to look overcrowded, said board Chairman Bill Davis, noting: "We are literally running out of seats on some routes during the rush hour."
Federal, state and local grants will be used to build the new cars, so fares will remain the same, Hidalgo said.
The new cars will be built by the Canadian-based Bombardier Transit Corp. and have the same 138-passenger capability of the existing fleet, Hidalgo said. They are expected to be in operation within 18 months.