Lack of Metrolink reliability begins to weigh on students

white and grey train stationed
A Metrolink train departs the Northridge station Friday afternoon. Students receive 25% off a Monthly Pass, 7-Day Pass, One-Way and Round-Trip tickets, according to Metrolink, and must show a student ID to fare inspectors. Photo credit: Max Sullivan

Imagine waiting and waiting for the train to get to campus, and suddenly it cancels. Students getting to and from campus have been through this and more.

Students who commute are frustrated by the service Metrolink provides. They are requesting changes from Metrolink to be more reliable and better accommodate their needs so they won’t be late.

“I’ve been late to class countless times, especially to my 8 a.m. classes,” said Larissa Pimentel, Public Health major.

Metrolink does not work with other organizations or campuses that have students who use their services.

“There is no direct communication with individual companies or campuses to communicate service information. Metrolink communicates service disruptions via electronic message boards at stations–audio and visual–as well through our Facebook, Twitter and website,” said Christopher Gutierrez, Assistant Public Affairs Officer of Metrolink.

The transportation system does have a contingency plan regarding costs and cancellations so students will be able to make it home.

“If other trains cannot be used by the riders, we try to arrange for buses to provide transportation,” said Gutierrez. “If there are no buses, depending on the circumstances, we have arranged for ride-share companies and taxis to provide our passengers with transportation options. The alternate transportation options are available to all passengers that may be affected, including students. Metrolink makes every attempt to secure alternate transportation, which is at no extra costs to passengers.”

But students say they are inconvenienced with the cancellations that do happen and are forced to use other methods.

“I would have to take an Uber which would cost me $60 from union station and $85 from my home,” said Manjeet Singh, a Computer Information Technology major who commutes from Covina.

“When one of the trains cancels on such short notice, I have no choice but to miss class,” said Pimentel.

Students are requesting improvement for Metrolink services when comes to service problems.

“Maybe add some more trains to stop here, add more shuttles to transport students to class later than the last one at 9 a.m. and back to the train station,” said Pimentel.

“I want Metrolink to run their trains as often as the San Bernardino line,” said Singh.

It has a plan to make people aware of when the trains can come.

“Later this month we will be releasing train tracking technology that will be available through our website,” said Gutierrez.

Students who do use the Metrolink should always have a plan B.

“Also, never take 8 a.m. [classes] if you’re commuting from far, and lastly never run late to catch a train,” said Pimentel.