Citing an 80 percent decline in ridership due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Metrolink has announced a temporary reduction in scheduled service.

The new schedule, which will take effect March 26 and continue indefinitely, reduces frequency of service on each Metrolink's seven lines.  Click here for the revised schedule.

"In planning the temporary service reduction, we looked carefully at the ridership on each of our lines, and each of our trains," said Metrolink chief executive officer Stephanie Wiggins in an e-mail posted to The Source. "We built a temporary reduced schedule to ensure plenty of service during peak times for those who need it, and to ensure we maintain as many connections as possible. We did all this taking into consideration the important need for our riders to maintain appropriate social distancing from each other and from our valued conductors."

Metrolink has already increased the frequency of its vehicles and added hand sanitizer to its trains, according to Wiggins.

The commuter rail system, which five different counties and has more than 500 miles of track, announced record ridership just last year.  The agency attributed the increase to improved marketing and discounted fares, among other factors.

However, transit providers nationwide - already in the midst of long-term declining ridership - have seen patronage cater as workers stay at home in the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Metro, which operates Los Angeles County's bus and rail lines, has also seen ridership declines during the crisis.