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Rail News: Passenger Rail

LACMTA's board to consider fare hikes


The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) is considering two options for restructuring its fare system that would raise ticket prices in three phases over the next eight years.

The fare increases are necessary to help cover the cost of operating the agency's rail and bus systems, and to prevent a budget deficit in 2016, according to LACMTA's blog.

On Thursday, the LACMTA board is expected to consider scheduling a March 29 public hearing on the fare restructuring. If approved, the new fares would take effect on Sept. 1.

Late last week, LACMTA staff unveiled two options for the fare restructuring. The first would raise the base fare from the current $1.50 to $1.75 for the next four years, eventually to $2.25. The second would maintain the $1.50 base fare during off-peak hours and raise it to $2.25 during peak hours for the next four years. Eventually, it would rise to $2 in off-peak hours and $3.25 in peak hours, the blog reported.

The proposals would be a "notable departure" from the current fare structure, which requires riders to pay a full fare for each individual ride on a LACMTA train or bus, agency staff said in the blog. The changes could be helpful to those who use the system to for short distances, possibly reducing the cost of riding for some passengers, they said.

Currently, fare revenue covers 26 percent of the cost of operating the trains and buses and the average fare is 70 cents.