The number of Metrolink commuter trains serving the Riverside metropolitan area increased to pre-COVID levels Monday, as the agency fully restored service to attract greater ridership.

According to Metrolink, four trains were added to the Riverside line, traveling between the downtown station and Los Angeles daily, while two more trains will service Moreno Valley and Perris via the 91/Perris Valley Line.

Commuter train service throughout the Metrolink system was curtailed on March 24, 2020, as public health lockdowns took effect and ridership plummeted 90%, officials said.

According to Metrolink, weekday ridership is still hovering at roughly one-third of what it had been prior to the lockdowns. However, weekend usage has recovered to about 70% of pre-lockdown levels, and agency CEO Darren Kettle said he’s optimistic weekday rider traffic will eventually bounce back.

“I’m elated that we’re able to restore our service … so our riders can get to work, to friends and family and to fun — more affordably and without the headaches of traffic and parking,” Kettle said. “As a Metrolink rider … I can have more flexibility to get to and from work. And I know from my conversations with fellow Metrolink riders, they too are looking forward to the flexibility our new schedule will bring to their lives.”

Officials said skyrocketing gas prices will likely be an incentive for more people to climb aboard commuter trains.

The new train schedule is available at metrolinktrains.com/scheduleupdate.

Officials said ticket prices currently range from 50 cents to $26.50, depending on distances and discounts for some riders, including the disabled, active military personnel, college students, youths and seniors.

Fare options can be viewed at metrolinktrains.com/ticketsOverview/ticket-info/ticket-types/

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