The Metrolink Board of Directors decided in late September that the 2013 Metrolink Holiday Toy Express will be suspended in order to help close a $10.2 million funding gap for the 2013-14 fiscal year. This would have been the 17th annual event, which the agency indicates costs $269,000 to host.
Last year, the Metrolink Holiday Toy Express, 40+ city tour, passed through six counties as a brightly packaged gift – a 450-ton train decorated with holiday displays, a musical performance and 50,000 twinkling lights and of course, Santa.
The rail agency is considering seeking private funds or corporate sponsors to operate the train in the future. But without significant private sponsorship commitments in place, the Board of Directors felt it would not be prudent to move forward with this year’s Holiday Toy Express.
Funding for the Holiday Toy Express will be reconsidered by the Metrolink Board of Directors for 2014.
Metrolink is Southern California’s regional commuter rail service in its 20th year of operation. 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, governs the service. Metrolink operates over seven routes through a six-county, 512 route-mile network. 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. www.metrolinktrains.com