This is yet another failure by Metrolink. After 20 years in operation, the best this railroad can do is attract 20,000 round-trip riders per weekday from a population base of about 20 million. It is still not possible to take a train between most of Los Angeles County and Orange County, and there is no attempt even to provide timed transfers between trains.
Now we hear that there is not even a sound bookkeeping system in place to control and disperse the funds to operate the trains and to invest in the future. In addition, Metrolink has raised fares to the point that the cost of many journeys exceeds the cost for gasoline.
The Joint Powers Board model has failed. We need either a state or super-regional authority with the power to coordinate all rail passenger services in Southern California to provide commuters a true alternative to cars.
The writer is president of the Rail Passenger Assn. of California and Nevada.