LANCASTER – Metrolink announced Thursday that it has launched an online tool to allow riders to check recent ridership levels of the train they plan to ride and to confirm that they will have the ability to maintain safe distances from other commuters.
“We know that safety is top of mind with our customers,” said Brian Humphrey, Metrolink board chair. “Safety is foundational at Metrolink — and a shared responsibility. Riders are required to wear face coverings while on our platforms and on board our trains. This tool empowers the rider to practice social distancing.”
The digital “How Full Is My Train?” tool — available at metrolinktrains.com/howfull — allows users to view average train ridership before boarding and, if their travel plans are flexible, to choose a train that usually has fewer people aboard.
In many cases, riders will be able to simply move to other cars if one car appears crowded, officials said.
Metrolink’s goal is to keep ridership at or below 30% of the available seats per rail car to allow for up to six feet of social distance between riders. Ridership is closely monitored on all trains so Metrolink can add a passenger car or additional train service, as possible, to allow for social distancing when one has consistently reached 30% ridership, officials said.
A recent Metrolink customer survey found that social distancing and cleanliness are among the top concerns of riders.
Nearly 81% of the survey’s respondents indicated they would ride with Metrolink again, with 29% planning to return as soon as the stay-at-home measures are lifted, according to Metrolink. The survey also revealed that popular amenities like electrical outlets and Wi-Fi are now taking backseat to riders’ desire for hand sanitizers on every rail car.
Metrolink said it has significantly enhanced cleaning and other safety protocols to keep riders safe since March, including a “Clean Care Crew” dedicated to cleaning and disinfecting trains throughout the day, wiping down regularly touched surfaces and using mist hospital-grade disinfectant on all areas of train cars.
Hand sanitizer stations have been installed on each train car and face coverings are required for anyone on board Metrolink trains and on Metrolink platforms.