Those bright blue and green Irvine Shuttle buses are hitting the breaks for four days next week. Like the Metrolink trains, the iShuttle buses will not operate from Dec. 26 to Dec. 29.
While any commuter can hop on an iShuttle at one of the many stops around Irvine and Tustin, the buses largely serve Metrolink riders. They are timed to begin routes at the Tustin and Irvine Metrolink stations and will wait if a train is running late.
Metrolink is implementing a system-wide “pause” from Tuesday through Friday next week for maintenance, repairs and other updates. That includes work on the signal system at Union Station in Los Angeles and other repairs across multiple lines, said Metrolink Chief of Program Delivery Justin Fornelli.
And since so many iShuttle riders come from the Metrolink, the city of Irvine decided to suspend its service those days as well, said Eric Carpenter, a spokesperson for the Orange County Transportation Authority, which operates and manages the buses.
StationLink bus service, which connects Metrolink stations with major employment centers, will operate as regularly scheduled, said Carpenter, as more than 10% of its ridership is not associated with Metrolink transfers.
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“OCTA will communicate to riders via messages dropped on seats and through online communications. We will also cancel all the iShuttle trips so they will show up as canceled on transit apps,” said Carpenter.
From the Tustin Metrolink station, the iShuttle has two routes that service the Irvine Business Complex with stops near businesses, retail centers and residential areas and ends at John Wayne Airport.
Two routes also stem from the Irvine station that serve areas around the Irvine Spectrum.
Fares are free with a valid Metrolink ticket or OC bus day or multi-day pass. Otherwise, cash fare is set at $1.