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Home<California<Metrolink<Riverside Line<East Ontario

East Ontario is a Metrolink Station built as the station for Ontario, California at a location with the least community opposition and least contaminated soil where a stop with lots of parking could be built near Ontario California. Figuring out where to build a Metrolink station along the Riverside Line to service this large city was a bit complicated. The original idea was to put the station right near the Ontario Amtrak station where the Metrolink ROW is just 400 feet south of the main UP Sunset Line used by Amtrak, unfortunately site and soil contamination issues prevented this from happening, and putting in a simple station without parking in this downtown area was a non-starter for the early 90s goals of commuter rail being just to get suburban residents to park their cars and take the train to jobs in downtown LA. Unfortunately, the operations issued caused by Union Pacific not negotiating with Metrolink limiting the Riverside Line to be a rush-hour only route, means a non-parking infill station in Downtown Ontario (like the previous stop at Pomona – Downtown) seems unlikely to ever be built.

Just west of the station, Metrolink runs along the southern edge of Ontario International Airport. Unfortunately, the passenger terminals are along the northern side of the Airport – along the tracks used by the Sunset Limited that pass the terminals with just the short-term parking lots between the trains and airline terminals – so building an intermodal station like at Burbank is not an option. This station is nearly 3 miles from the Airline terminals. At times (but not as of 2024) Ontario Airport and Metrolink offered free Lyft rides between the Metrolink Station and the Airport. As of 2024, Airport-Metrolink connections are via Rancho Cucamonga on the San Bernardino Line via Omnitrans-operated ONT Connect Bus Route 380, which is a mile farther from the airport than East Ontario but receives much more frequent all day service.

Surprisingly, with the all the questions regarding a location for the station, the current South Ontario station did open on time as one of the 5 original Metrolink Riverside Line stations when it began service on June 14, 1993. It is the only station on the line located in San Bernardino County. The station was later expanded in 2003 and a plaque from the City Council at the station illustrates.

The stop contains two platforms for the two-track line. There is a main side platform that contains all the station’s amenities along the north track, tack 1. A pedestrian level crossing at the southern end of the main platform leads across track 1 to the secondary platform for Track 2. The Track 2 platform is as bare bones as possible with no canopies or shelters. Just a low-fence making sure everyone uses the pedestrian crossing and don’t just cross Track 1 anywhere. There is a mini-high ADA boarding area at its western end that all passengers going to train cars farther down the platform must walk over.

Platform 1 is located across an access driveway along the station’s 656 space free parking lot. This driveway contains ADA parking spaces directly along the platform, and the station’s three sawtooth bay, bus stops. These bus stops service Omnitrans Bus Route 81, the only one to stop at the station. The parking lot is entirely accessed via three entrances from Metroway and Francis Street with decent sidewalk coverage from nearby streets for a station in such an industrial area.

Passenger amenities consist of 5 shelters along the platform. These are all of a unique half-circle, arched roof design. They have windscreens, benches and are painted a greenish-gray color. The platform is lined with 1st generation Metrolink signs saying East Ontario. A sixth shelter (of a similar design) says East Ontario Station on its roof and is set back from the platform forming a little bit of a plaza. This shelter covers the stations TVMs.

Across the entrance driveway from the TVM shelter is the station’s decorative artwork structure. This is a semicircular structure from the parking lot side looks like it could be a small gazebo with overbuilt arching concrete walls, and a green domed roof. Gold lettering spells out East Ontario. In fact, the structure is only a half-circle, with the opposite side of the dome facing the platform containing a painted under-dome roof (Sistine chapel-style) with buildings of Ontario in drawing forms and the mountains and sky in the backdrop beyond. Just under the dome is gold lettering saying “Ontario, California — Gateway to Southern California. From here are some additional images (with what looks like water damaged plastic over them) containing what look like posters with minimal text for landmarks in Ontario, one has a jet plane flying over palm trees.
All Photos taken on August 4, 2023

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Home<California<Metrolink<Riverside Line<East Ontario

Last Updated: March 16, 2024
All photos are by Jeremiah Cox
All histrocial dates unless otherwise noted come from: Edward J. Simburg, Railroad-Freeway, Agoura, CA: Yerba Seca Publications, 1998
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