Caltrain leaders approve major fare hike

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SAN FRANCISCO — Caltrain’s board of directors have approved several fare changes that will increase zone fares, go passes, and monthly pass options.

The approved changes include a 25-cent hike on Caltrain adult zone fares beginning Oct. 1, while the agency’s Go Pass option will increase from $190 to $237.50 on Jan. 1, 2018. The Go Pass option will then increase again from $237.50 to $285 on January 1, 2019.

The Go Pass program allows companies, educational institutions, and residential complexes to purchase an annual unlimited-ride pass for all eligible employees, students, and residents.

Monthly pass multiplier options will also see an increase from $13.25 to $14 days beginning Oct. 1 and again from $14 to $15 days beginning July 1, 2018. Monthly parking prices will also go up from $55 to $82.50 beginning Oct. 1.

Caltrain is also ending its discounted eight-ride ticket option.

In discussing its decision to increase fares, agency officials referred to uncertainties with dedicated funding and the ongoing cost of operating and maintaining its rail service.

According to the agency, fare revenue accounts for only 66 percent of its operating costs, with member agencies contributing to the operating needs of the system. Caltrain says funds from other agencies have declined in recent years and are no longer sufficient to support current service levels.

Even with the fare hike, the agency will still need to use more than $8 million in reserves to maintain operations during its 2018 fiscal year. It is projected to use another $7 million of those reserve funds in fiscal year 2019.

Prior to announcing the fare changes, the agency held six community meetings and hosted other community outreach sessions in an effort to gain customer feedback. The agency says it received nearly 3,000 customer interactions and more than 1,500 survey responses as a result of those efforts.

Caltrain hasn’t increased fares since 2015.

See the news release online.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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