LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Riders hopped aboard regional Metrolink trains at record levels during the closure of a stretch of the 405 Freeway, according to transit officials.

The entire Metrolink system saw about a 50 percent jump in ridership over the weekend, compared with the same weekend last year, said Sherita Coffelt of Metrolink.

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Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Red and Green line trains and the Orange Line busway, which were offering free service, saw about a 15 percent to 20 percent jump in passengers, Mark Littman of Metro
said.

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A Metrolink line from downtown Los Angeles to Oceanside saw 50 percent more riders on Saturday and 25 percent more on Sunday, compared with one week earlier.

Coffelt attributed the increase to the “secondary message” of the massive media campaign leading up to the closure of the San Diego Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass.

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“The primary message was stay home and buy local,” Coffelt said. “The secondary message was, if you have to go somewhere during the 405 closure, you should take public transportation.”