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9/28/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Amtrak to raise ticket prices, reduce discounts



After obtaining comments this month from public officials and other interested groups about a proposed fare increase, Amtrak is set to begin charging higher fares next month. The national passenger railroad is raising ticket prices to help cover expenses, including fuel costs, which have risen 40 percent during the past year.

On Oct. 4, Amtrak will increase fares between 5 percent and 7 percent on most trains, including Acela Express, and regional and long-distance service. Increases will average between $3 and $4.

The railroad also will begin to "revenue manage" regional, Empire, Vermonter, Adirondack, Springfield/Hartford Shuttle and Keystone trains. Standard fares will increase, but passengers that travel during off-peak hours will pay lower ticket prices.

The railroad also plans to reduce ticket discounts. Currently, passengers who purchase monthly tickets receive a 70 percent discount. Oct. 16, Amtrak will reduce the discount to 60 percent; the discount will be reduced to 50 percent in February. Smart Pass 10-trip tickets also will be adjusted, offering passengers a 20 percent discount.


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