A New Metrolink Extension to Riverside Opens on Monday

The 24-mile stretch of SoCal’s commuter rail system is ready to roll

So, March’s Gold Line extension opening and May’s new Expo Line to the beach weren’t enough to make you hop on the train? Well, if you live out in the suburbs near Riverside, there’s another new rail option coming your way.

Monday marks the beginning of service for the newest extension to Metrolink (Southern California’s commuter rail system) in over two decades: the $250 million Perris Valley line. An extension of the existing 91 line, the new service adds four new stations and 24 new miles of track that terminate at the new South Perris station. The service will connect Perris to DTLA’s Union Station via three direct daily trips and additional trains that require a transfer in Riverside.

The direct route from the South Perris station to L.A. is about two and a half hours, a decent trade-off from rush hour driving—what with the nap time allowed (an issue that continues to plague Metrolink is its lack of Wi-Fi). Metrolink is working to increase ridership though, which was on the decline until recently. “Fare reductions and the introduction of student and short-distance tickets have boosted ridership by about 10 percent over the last year,” KPCC reports.

Meanwhile, the transit service is hoping to lure more folks specifically onto the Perris extension; for the first six months of service, they’re offering a $10 round-trip ride for those traveling within Riverside County and a 10 percent discount on tickets starting at one of the new stations and traveling outside of Riverside County.

Officials hope the new Perris line offers not just rides to-and-fro L.A., but a reason to visit the area.

“What’s new and different about the Perris Valley Line is that Metrolink will serve Riverside as a destination, rather than just a place to pick up people and take them elsewhere,” Riverside mayor Rusty Bailey told the Press-Enterprise.