CEO Q&A: A Lightning Round with Darren Kettle

We had some burning questions for our new CEO, Darren Kettle, during his first week. We hosted him for a little lightning round session to help our riders get to know him!

PART I: Let’s Get to Know You

  • In which city were you born? Covina.
  • Are you married? Yes, to a super amazing woman named Keri. We have been married for about 11 years. She is the managing partner at her law firm based in Ventura. 
  • How old are your children? Maddie, 16, and Spencer, 20, are my kids. Sebastian, 20, and Tessa, 23, are Keri’s kids, but all four are “our” kids.
  • Do you have any pets? Two cats. Eli, a floppy cat and Dream is a tabby. We had a basset hound named Roosevelt. He had an internal tumor rupture over the 2020 holiday season and the big fella didn’t make it. 
  • What is your astrological sign? Leo. Yes, I’m stubborn.
  • When did you start taking public transportation? My first bus ride was when I was about 8 or 9. It was when Omnitrans first started. But I did not use transit regularly until when I started taking Metrolink regularly from San Bernardino to L.A. Union Station for a job in downtown LA.
  • What’s the best movie/TV show you’ve seen in the last year? Ted Lasso
  • Favorite author? Michael Lewis. I like most of what he writes, but his sleeper is Home Game, a book about fatherhood.
  • Favorite book? Boys in the Boat (Daniel James Brown) and Team of Rivals (Doris Kearne Goodwin).
  • What’s your favorite season? I live in Camarillo; we do not have seasons. 😉
  • If you could have any other job in an unrelated field, what would it be? Bullpen catcher for the LA Trolley Dodgers.
  • Would you rather be too hot or too cold? Too cold…that’s what a sweater or sports coat are for.
  • Are you a morning person or a night owl? Morning person.
  • Where did you take your last vacation? Punta Mita, Mexico.
  • What are your favorite sports? Football, Soccer, Baseball, Basketball, Track and Field, Wrestling, Golf.
  • What are your favorite sports teams? Rams, Chargers, Dodgers, Lakers, LAFC, Bruins and whoever is playing the Dallas Cowboys.
  • Summer or Winter Olympics? Summer.
  • Do you prefer to call or text? A call. Unless it’s my mom because she can talk my ear off.
  • Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Introvert.
  • Do you prefer to dine out or order in? Dine out.

PART II: Taking the Train

  • How long does it take you to get to your train station? If I hit the lights right, about 10 minutes to Camarillo Station, and if I need more train options, it’s 20 minutes to Moorpark.
  • Ticket machine or mobile app? The app is easy and convenient.
  • Cab car or caboose? Caboose.
  • Bombardier or Rotem car? I’m a little old school: Bombardier.
  • Do you prefer the Quiet Car? Nope. How could I possibly speak to our riders and our conductors if I’m in the quiet car?
  • Top level or bottom level seating? Top Level. Sometimes I just like to enjoy the ride and the view from above.
  • Table or non-table seating? If I’m working and have the laptop out I use the table. If I can just chill, I like a forward facing seat at one end of the car that provides a little extra leg room.
  • Window or aisle? Aisle.
  • Alone or with others? I will talk with others, but remember: I’m an introvert. So I do like my alone time.
  • Same seat or switch it up? I switch it up based on what direction the train is heading and where the sun is.
  • Headphones in or chat with friends? Headphones.
  • Would you rather read or watch a movie? I read on the train
  • Would you rather work or sleep? I can’t sleep on something that moves. When my wife and I travel, she can sleep on a long flight. Me, not so much.
  • Have you ever missed your stop? Nope.
  • Worst part of not taking the train? TRAFFIC.
  • Would you rather go to the city or the beach? I went to college at UC Santa Barbara. What do you think?
  • Shopping excursion or biking adventure? Definitely not shopping
  • Snacks: sweet or savory? Savory

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  1. Thank you for your comment. Safety is one of the premiere concerns at Metrolink. We strive to ensure that passengers and employees always feel safe on Metrolink trains and in workspaces.

    Metrolink contracts the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to provide a vast set of law enforcement duties systemwide. The officers conduct random baggage checks, verify fare of riders and police crimes onboard. The set of deputies of the Metrolink jurisdiction ride random trains and respond to inquiries of passengers and train crews.

    To report suspicious activity, Metrolink’s Security Operations Center is available to riders and conductors at (866) 640-5190. If you witness or experience criminal or life-threatening situation, dial 911.

    Here’s a link to learn more about Metrolink’s Safety & Security efforts.–security/security/

  2. Hi Jesus! Thank you for giving us feedback on what trains we can restore to benefit our riders. We are hard at work preparing for our next restoration of service in the coming months, and it’s testimonies like yours that help us make these things happen. ^BH

  3. Hi Edna! Wow–your international train travel history is incredible! Thank you for sharing your story with us about feeling safe onboard our trains. We are going to continue doing our best to deliver the very best customer experience for you. And NOBODY likes the 405 or the 5, so we feel you on that! ^BH

  4. Hi Kathryn! Thank you for sharing your story with us. We do our absolute best to make our trains clean and safe for all riders, so we’re glad you are embracing a return to public transportation. We appreciate you riding Metrolink ^BH

  5. Hi! Thank you for letting us know the kind of service you are looking forward to us restoring. Be on the lookout for our next schedule restorations in the coming months. Stay tuned! ^BH

  6. I would like Metrolink to restore late night service Monday through Friday from Union Station to San Bernardino.
    Currently, the last train leaves Union Station to San Bernardino at 7:38 pm Monday through Friday, which leaves riders with no alternative to travel back to San Bernardino later in the evening. Thank you for considering this request.

  7. Thank you for reaching out to the riders and sharing some interests about yourself. 2020 and 2021 have been usual and many adjustments have been made due to COVID. I work a hybrid schedule, three days in the office and two working from home. I ride the Metrolink on those three days I catch the 5:45 am early morning train out of the Upland station not very many people. I do enjoy being back on the train a bit of normalcy. I was hesitant to get back on the train at first, but after driving to work for a few weeks the train is the best way to go. The conductors make regular announcements and people seem to be wearing face masks and keeping their distance. Glad to have the train as an option.

  8. I am a retired person taking the metrolink from Orange County/Tustin to Union Station to visit family and friends. I have prior experience riding trains..Amtrak..from Oakland to Seattle….Amtrak Philadephia to NY. and Underground trains in London, trains in Italy, Shanghai and Japan. I find that Metrolink is clean and trains are on schedule. Plenty of security if you catch it from Union Station. I feel safe catching the train from the Union Station. Thank you for trying to make it better. I don’t like to drive and traffic can be crazy at times on the 405 or 5.

  9. reinstate 404 train to riverside. That was a dumb idea to cancel. you have us driving to work. We are not waiting two hours for the 406 to leave to riverside. I am not alone.

  10. Hello,
    If your concerned about peoples safety, then why don’t you have security on the trains? Or provide the Conductors with more resources to help them manage people with knifes and guns or on drugs.
    How can the Conductors protect themselves and the people.

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