Since 1992 Metrolink has provided Southern California commuters with reliable and affordable rail service along its more than 500-mile rail system. Serving more than 50 stations along seven routes in six counties, Metrolink reaches from Ventura to Oceanside, Los Angeles to San Bernardino. In a region where the personal automobile has long been the dominant form of transportation, Metrolink has, in a relatively short time, racked up more than 100 million riders, placing it among the nation’s fastest growing commuter rail services.
Many of these rail passengers travel through Fullerton on a daily basis. On any given workday, an average of 3,000 commuters travel through the Fullerton Transportation Center, making it the busiest stop along Metrolink’s Orange County route. Ridership along the route grew in 2006 by a record 11 percent over the preceding year. By the year 2020, the anticipated number of Fullerton’s boardings and alightings (the amount of commuters either getting on or off a train) is expected to grow to a daily average of 4,000. In response to this projected increase in demand, Metrolink is scheduled to increase its service over the next few years, with a train going through the Fullerton station every 30 minutes before the end of the decade.
Project T: preparing for the future
You may not know this, but the City of Fullerton is home to the busiest train station in Orange County, providing access to Amtrak and Metrolink rail service, the OCTA bus system, private taxi service, and secure bicycle storage.
Originally developed in the 1970s, the Fullerton Transportation Center (FTC) is centrally located in Fullerton’s historic downtown core, which contains a lively mix of urban-scaled housing along with office, retail and entertainment uses.
Fullerton has long been a Southern California leader in passenger rail improvement efforts. The FTC ranks No. 1 in boardings on the Orange County line, and No. 3 on the five-county Metrolink commuter rail system.
With the recent adoption of Senate Bill 375, Fullerton considers the goal of reducing green house gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled a priority.
Through SB 375, local governments will collaborate to promote compact growth patterns and identify emission-reduction goals for the region.
The CHSRA will evaluate the Fullerton Transportation Center for “skip-stop” service on the Los Angeles-to-Anaheim segment of the high speed rail project. A skip-stop reduces travel times and increases capacity by scheduling some trains to stop at the station while others continue through the station.
On April 27, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board approved Fullerton’s Project T grant funding application for $875,000. Project T funds will allow the City to perform preliminary engineering for the proposed expansion of the Transportation Center to include an additional station and loading platform. The Fullerton Redevelopment Agency will provide 11 percent matching funds toward the project.
The City anticipates involving the community, OCTA and CHSRA in both the planning and development of Fullerton’s high-speed train station.
For further information or questions regarding the Project T grant funding from OCTA for preliminary engineering of a California High Speed Rail Fullerton Station, contact Nicole Coats, Redevelopment and Economic Development project manager, at (714) 738-4102 or firstname.lastname@example.org.