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Commuters can take a load off highways and their wallets by taking Metrolink

Thursday September 14, 2017

Long-distance commuters especially vulnerable to rising gas prices

LOS ANGELES – With gas prices reaching the highest levels in more than two years in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma that cut supplies, drivers can beat the pump by taking Metrolink, Southern California’s regional rail system.

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Orange Counties region has increased 18 cents in the past three weeks, according to AAA and Oil Price Information Service. A gallon of gas now costs $3.191 in Los Angeles County and $3.167 in Orange County, the highest prices since September 2015.

It is unlikely prices will dip substantially even after the Gulf Coast oil refineries are fully back in operation because California gas taxes will go up 12 cents per gallon Nov. 1.

Gas prices are only one element of the cost of driving a car. Add in depreciation, maintenance, parking fees, and insurance and the cost of driving per mile in Southern California is 61.5 cents or $9,226 annually, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

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Metrolink is Southern California's regional commuter rail service in its 24th year of operation. Metrolink is governed by The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), a joint powers authority made up of an 11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. Metrolink operates seven routes through a six-county, 538 route-mile network. Metrolink’s passengers travel approximately 441 million miles each year, making Metrolink the second busiest public transportation provider in Southern California. Metrolink is the third largest commuter rail agency in the United States based on directional route miles and the eighth largest based on annual ridership.