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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

Fare restructuring options, which if implemented across the board could bring $6 million to $6.4 million, include increasing 10-trip ticket prices and reducing ticket validity from 90 days to 45 days. Others would eliminate weekend discounts and reduce student price breaks from 25% to 10%.

Absent significant expense reductions, a fare increase of between 3% and 6% would be needed to maintain current revenues, in addition to all of the fare policy options, according to a draft Metrolink report.

Streator challenged the report, arguing that it was better public policy to try to increase the number of paying passengers rather than reduce service and raise fares.

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“We do not believe that Metrolink adequately promotes the connectivity it has to a major-air-carrier airport,” she said. “And Metrolink could be promoted as a cost-effective way for passengers to get to the airport in lieu of more expensive taxis or parking.”

Angela Starr, a Metrolink spokeswoman, said the board would carefully consider changes that had the least impact to the fewest number of passengers.

Considering the severity of the rail authority’s financial issues, airport commissioners said they were willing to promote Metrolink service to the airport so long as it was not reduced.

The airport authority would also consider reviving shuttle service between the Downtown Burbank Station to the Bob Hope Airport Train Station, reconnecting Antelope Valley Line passengers to the airport.

But it’s going to take a reordering of priorities to ensure those services are maintained, Glendale City Councilwoman Laura Friedman said.

She pointed to a proposed tunnel extension of the 710 Freeway — a costly, long-fought-over project that the Glendale City Council took a harder stance against last week — as a prime example of what she called misguided planning.

“Overall, the state really needs to take a look at where it’s spending its money,” she said.

“It should be spending it on alternate transportation — not on highways and tunnels.”


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