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Caltrain Proposes New Fare Increases For Cash Customers

In an continuing effort to balance its budget, the commuter railway is proposing changes that would take place July 1.

Caltrain is proposing to increase fares for commuters paying cash that would become effective exactly one year after their last round of fee hikes in 2011.

If the fare increases are approved by its board of directors, Caltrain would:

  • Increase the cost of paper one-way and zone upgrade tickets by up to 25 cents per zone and day passes by up to 50 cents per zone. The cost of a one-way ride would remain the same for those using a Clipper card. Monthly Pass prices would also remain the same.
  • Eliminate the 8-ride ticket
  • Increase the cost of the Go Pass, an employer-sponsored pass, by $10 to $165, and setting the minimum level at $13,750.
  • Lengthen the sales period for monthly transportation passes and parking permits from the 9th of the month to the 15th of the month.

As an example of the increase, round-trip travel between San Jose and San Francisco would go from $25.50 to $28.50.

Caltrain last raised its fares July 1, 2011, adding 25 cents to the base fare charged to ride the Peninsula commuter rail service.

Noting the 2011 increase, Caltrain's website stated, "The Caltrain Board of Directors approved the 25 cent increase after extensive public input on resolving the rail system’s current and ongoing fiscal problems. Members of the public, including customers, frequently commented that they would be willing to pay more to ride Caltrain if the increased fares helped to resolve the immediate budget crisis."

The newly-proposed increases - if they take effect - would be the seventh time Caltrain has raised fares in the past seven years.

Caltrain claims 40,000 customers use the rail service every weekday, but that fares paid by passengers only cover about 44 percent of the cost of providing the service.

Earlier in 2011, the Caltrain Board rejected a proposal to cut weekday service from 86 trains to 48 and close up to 10 stations.

Two public meetings will be held on the Peninsula to gather feedback about the newly suggested increases:

  • Jan. 25 at 6 p.m.
    City Council Chambers, 500 Castro St., Mountain View
  • Jan. 25 at 6 p.m.
    Caltrain Administrative Office, 1250 San Carlos Ave., San Carlos

A public hearing will be held:

  • Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 at 10 a.m.
    Caltrain Administrative Office, 1250 San Carlos Ave., San Carlos

Comments also can be e-mailed to changes@caltrain.com; sent by regular mail to District Secretary, Caltrain, P.O. Box 3006, San Carlos, CA 94070; or telephoned to 1.800.660.4287 (TDD for hearing impaired only 650.508.6448).

randy albin January 20, 2012 at 10:04 PM
it's tough enough just to ride around on public transportation. give people a break-at least people aren't driving around on the roadways to use up fuel and energy, etc.

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