Amtrak and Metro rail companies are preparing to run a new train schedule through 2019 that will make the two largest and fastest-growing passenger train lines in the country more reliable and more efficient, and make them more affordable to consumers.
The trains, known as Circuit Training Train (CTT)s, will serve the citys largest suburban commuter rail system, and the two new trains will be built on a much more frequent schedule than those being used by Amtrak and will have significantly fewer maintenance interruptions, Amtrak Chief Operating Officer David Zajac said in an interview with Axios.
“We’ve been doing this for a number of years and we know what works, what doesn’t work, and what we’re going to have to do is change the schedule,” Zajacs said.
“This is really going to be an evolution of how we do things.”
The new schedules, which will be rolled out over the next three years, will allow the trains to run on time more frequently and reduce delays.
The trains will also be more reliable than they have been since the 1980s.
In addition to the CTT trains, Amtrak and Metrolink will also offer commuter rail services in the next few years, starting with a new rail line called the Green Line, which is being designed for people living in the northern and western suburbs, which are largely underserved by public transportation.
Both trains are expected to operate at about 40% capacity for the first few years.
The proposed schedules will be released as Amtrak’s budget, released Thursday, is expected to be released in the coming weeks.
For Amtrak, the new schedules will help the company meet a number a targets set by the Trump administration, including lowering the cost of tickets and improving service reliability.
Metrolink, which has been running its new CTT line since 2021, will also see the most change.
With the new CTTs, Metrolinks first two trains, the Blue and Green, will run about 40%, and the third train, the Orange Line, will start running at about 35%.
Both CTTs are scheduled to open in 2021.
When combined, Metrorail and Amtrak expect the new timetables to reduce the average time between trips on Metrolikes from three hours to one hour.
For Metro, which operates more than 90% of the regions mass transit system, the schedules will reduce the time between trains on its trains from 30 to 20 minutes.
All three of the new train schedules are being developed by Amtrak’s Engineering and Technical Division and will be implemented by 2024.
Zajacs says the new trains are not expected to affect Metro ridership.
Metro has been trying to increase ridership for years.
Its busiest commuter train lines run from the east coast to the west coast and to Los Angeles.
During the 2016 presidential election, Trump pledged to cut Metro’s annual ridership by a third.
But Zajats hopes that the new timetable will make ridership improvements to the regionals trains more sustainable.
At the same time, Zajas says the changes will also make commuter rail more affordable for consumers.
“[Metro] is going to need to make sure that people who are on the transit system are getting value for their money,” he said.
Amtrak and Metrorik are also seeking to increase the speed of the trains.
Transit ridership on the entire Northeast Corridor is expected increase from nearly 2 million people a day to 2.5 million daily riders in 2019.
According to the Metro Rail Authority, it currently has more than 30,000 trains per day.
As the region grows, Amtrak wants to use that more frequent train schedule to get more people on the trains, and to make them better equipped to handle more riders.
If metrolink can get the new schedule, it should be able to handle higher ridership and more frequent service.
Last year, Metro estimated that it would have to shut down two of its busiest commuter lines due to the new scheduled trains.