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Metrolink plan jeered

Airport officials pan proposed service cuts in light of planned transit center.

March 17, 2010|By Christopher Cadelago

DOWNTOWN — Area representatives derided a series of proposed Metrolink fare hikes and service reductions, contending that their renewed pledge to boost public transportation would suffer significantly under diminished service.

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority on Monday unanimously opposed proposed cuts to Metrolink service at the Bob Hope Airport Train Station, challenging the wisdom of adjustments that could include significant service cuts to the Antelope Valley and possibly eliminate service from Camarillo and Oxnard.

“They’re just going to add to the congestion that’s on the surface streets and the freeways if they continue to do this,” airport Commissioner Don Brown said. “They should take advantage of what they have and utilize it, particularly if the transit center is built.”

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The planned $120-million regional transportation center across the street from the airport train station is expected to further promote a link between the terminal, public transit and rental cars — at no cost to Metrolink, President Joyce Streator said.

In a letter to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, which governs Metrolink, she argued that proposed service cuts would severely diminish the value of the airport stop to passengers, namely the synergy between alternate modes of public transit that converge at the airport.

Metrolink is slated to consider fare increases and service changes at a public hearing April 2 in Los Angeles. Proposals to close a projected $17-million shortfall for fiscal year 2010-11 are wide-ranging.

Service reductions include the possible elimination of eight weekday Ventura County Line trains through the cancellation of trains 103, 105, 107, 108, 112, 114, 900 and 901. Another proposal calls for reducing weekday service on the Antelope Valley Line by eliminating 11 trains. All of them stop in Burbank and Glendale.

Officials in both cities said they likely would not take official positions on any of the proposals.

Still, policymakers from both cities maintained that now is not the time to pull back operations.

“The combination of fee hikes and [service] cuts — that goes contrary to what we’re trying to do to increase ridership,” Burbank City Councilman Dave Golonski said.

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