The Point: Passenger rail service offers travel options throughout southern California  

It was June 14, 1993. The nation was commemorating Flag Day, Jurassic Park had just hit the theaters, Michael Jackson was on the cover of Time magazine, his sister, Janet, had the #1 hit in the U.S., “That’s the Way Love Goes,” and gamers were playing NBA Jam. Amidst all of this excitement, Metrolink launched passenger rail service in Riverside County.

Metrolink began operations in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties in October 1992, quickly followed by the start of service in Riverside County, with four round-trip trains on the brand new Riverside Line between Riverside and Los Angeles.

The rail service provided a new transportation option for commuters and recreational travelers, offering a convenient, traffic-free way to travel across southern California.

The Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) and other transportation agencies formed the Southern California Regional Rail Authority in 1991, a joint powers authority that operates Metrolink trains across the counties of Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles, and Ventura.

Following the start of service in Riverside County, service expanded to include the Inland Empire-Orange County Line in October 1995, and then the 91 Line in May 2002.

In June 2016, the 91 Line was extended 24 miles to Perris, creating the 91/Perris Valley Line to serve travelers from Perris, Moreno Valley, Riverside, Menifee, Murrieta, Temecula and other southwestern Riverside County communities.

Throughout the years, Metrolink service has continued to grow and now serves as the nation’s third largest commuter rail system, with seven routes, 62 stations, and 534 route-miles across its system. An average of 39,000 passengers ride Metrolink each weekday, with 60 percent of these riders crossing county lines.

RCTC owns and operates nine stations in Riverside County, including three in Riverside, two in Perris, two in Corona, one in Jurupa Valley, and one in Moreno Valley. Metrolink’s service reduces 8.7 million car trips each year and reduces 110,338 metric tons of greenhouse gases.

During recent years, Metrolink has made several technological advancements, creating mobile ticketing in 2016, introducing its low-emission Tier-4 locomotives in 2016, and serving as the first railroad in the nation to implement Positive Train Control for added safety.

RCTC Metrolink System Map