Hundreds of people help welcome the next generation of passenger rail by Dianna Baskin
A crowd of more than 300 on Friday helped usher in a new era of public transit in Southern California with a ribbon cutting for the new Arrow line at the historic Redlands-Downtown station.
Local, state and national officials joined community members and leaders of the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) and Metrolink to welcome the highly anticipated new service and state-of-the-art passenger trains that will transform the way commuters rail is operated in the Inland Empire and across the state.
Arrow, which will officially enter service on Monday, has taken more than a decade in the making, with new tracks, improved crossings, quiet areas and five stations along the 9-mile route between downtown San Bernardino and downtown Redlands.
Arrow will connect San Bernardino County’s eastern valley to a multimodal transportation hub that can provide access to all points west. Five new stations will connect residents, businesses and visitors to a variety of recreation, education, healthcare and other destinations. Stations include San Bernardino-Downtown (Rialto Avenue and E Street), San Bernardino-Tippecanoe Station (between Victoria Avenue and Hardt Street), Redlands-Esri (across from the Esri campus), Redlands-Downtown (just north of the historic Redlands Santa Fe Depot) and Redlands-University (the south end of the University of Redlands campus).
“The launch of the Arrow line signals the next generation of commuter rail service in our region. This clean air service will help improve air quality while providing direct Metrolink system access to tens of thousands of additional commuters in one of the nation’s fastest growing economic and population centers.” , said Art Bishop, president of the SBCTA. Board of Directors and Pro Tem Mayor of the City of Apple Valley.
Others who spoke at Friday’s ribbon cutting included U.S. Representative Pete Aguilar (CA-31) and San Bernardino County 3rd District Supervisor Dawn Rowe. The event also featured a welcome video from US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Metrolink owns and operates Arrow. Metrolink will share Arrow’s schedules and fares on its communication platforms. For more information, passengers can text or call Metrolink at (800) 371-5465 or email through its customer service web page.
To learn more about the Arrow line, visit SBCTA’s project page