The services provided by commuter and other passenger rail systems are often the only alternatives to travel on crowded and congested freeways, streets and highways. In southern California, Metrolink rail services provide alternative means of travel between urban centers ten to fifty miles apart, avoiding the often hours-long commutes typical of travel on freeways throughout the region. As such, Metrolink is an effective and efficient commuter rail services.
When new access and station facilities are built as part of multi-modal transportation centers, Amtrak and Metrolink passenger services can bring regional or inter city linkages and access to local communities. Limited to weekday commuter services, Metrolink cannot be expected to enhance local commerce or activities during weekend or evening hours. Planned and developed in transportation centers or focal points which bring together bus, trolley, at grade rail and local commercial auto traffic, passenger train stations can play a supportive role in revitalizing urban settings and networks. Attracting and discharging passengers into such multi-modal settings can contribute patrons and participants to such local activity centers.