At a recent city council meeting, a local resident expressed his concern about using Metrolink for travel from the Santa Clarita Valley to Burbank Airport. This person’s primary concern was that the Burbank station was not on a regular schedule for the buses that service the long-term parking lots. Travelers are required to call the airport for free pick-up by an airport shuttle van.
On January 28, I decided to test the system with the intention of sharing my experience with readers of the Santa Clarita Gazette. This is my report.
Metrolink opened a new station at Burbank Airport in May of 2018 with the goal of helping travelers on the Antelope Valley line (Lancaster to Downtown Union Station) whose flight departs/arrives Burbank Bob Hope Airport. Built with millions of dollars and opened with great fanfare, it is largely underutilized by the public.
I traveled on train #210 departing Santa Clarita station at 9:11 a.m. and arrived at the Burbank Airport -North station on time at 9:47 a.m. I purchased the ticket using the Metrolink app for $6.25 one way.
Upon arrival, I called the airport for pick up (818-729-2245) and the operator picked up on the first ring and was very pleasant. She advised me that the van would arrive within ten minutes, which it did. The designated pick up area is at the north end of the station and is clearly marked.
The driver, Ara, was very nice and helpful. The van was new, spacious and clean. Ara confirmed that the station is not used frequently. I was his first pick up of the morning.
The drop-off area is in front of the terminal where airport buses discharge passengers. It is a very short walk to the terminal. I said goodbye to Ara, had a cup of coffee and read a book for a short period of time.
For the return trip to Santa Clarita, I merely walked across the drive in front of the terminal to the valet parking area where the van is parked. Ara drove me back to the Metrolink station, which is a short ride, but takes 7-10 minutes with traffic lights. The train arrived on time at 11:31.
The only “hitch” in my experience occurred when the ticket kiosk at the station was in malfunction mode. There is a hard wire phone at the Metrolink station and the operator advised me to tell the conductor before getting on the train. Tickets are not sold on board. The conductor got off the train with me at the Sylmar/San Fernando station to purchase a ticket.
I find the Metrolink trains to be very comfortable for travel. There is a conductor and several sheriffs officers on the train. Personal security should not be a concern or issue. The conductor does walk the train to check passengers for valid tickets.
I enjoyed the experience and will recommend it to my family and friends when the situation is appropriate. Travel to Burbank airport via Metrolink is an acceptable alternative which helps avoid traffic frustration and parking fees.
There are three stations in Santa Clarita (Via Princessa, Santa Clarita, Newhall) and the fares vary slightly by distance.
Study the Antelope Valley Line schedule for Metrolink trains by Googling Antelope Valley Line Metrolink. The schedule for workdays (Monday-Friday) is different from the weekend schedule. The first train leaves the Santa Clarita station at 4:48 a.m. and the last train northbound from Burbank north departs at 9:50 p.m. on weekdays.
Try to arrive 10-15 minutes early. Board a car towards the back to minimize the walk to the pickup area in Burbank.
You can purchase tickets using the Metrolink app or the station kiosk.
Ara said it is acceptable to call from the train for pick up. The phone number is (818) 729-2245. There are two stations in Burbank North/Airport and Downtown. Be sure to exit Metrolink at the correct station. The Burbank Airport station is west of Hollywood Way and the street address is 3600 N San Fernando Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505
Safe travels, my friends.