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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Sacramento students to see cheaper fares


At a time when many passenger rail agencies are facing projected revenue shortfalls and some are considering increasing fares, Sacramento Regional Transit District decided Dec. 10 to cut student monthly passes by half to $15 (effective Jan. 1) for a 12-month demonstration period.

Agency officials plan to monitor the program to track changes in student traveling behavior and school attendance that might result from the discount program, according to a prepared statement.

RT plans to subsidize the $400,000 to $600,000 revenue loss by using a combination of local sales tax and Temporary Aid to Needy Families funds. If the demonstration is extended, an additional funding source would be sought.

The agency’s board directed its staff to seek funds for a permanent reduction and consider using State Transportation Development Act funds, which Sacramento Area Council of Governments uses for planning purposes. Staff members also were to report back to the board between now and June regarding the status of funding to continue the program six months and indefinitely, as well as the program’s overall status.

RT Oct. 15 reduced student cash/ticket fares from $1.50 to $0.75 and daily passes, $3.50 to $1.75; Oct. 25, it began selling half-monthly passes to spread monthly payment cost over two installments.

Student fares are available to people 18 years old or younger who are pursuing a high-school diploma. The reduced fares go on sale Dec. 26.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/17/2001