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Rail News: Passenger Rail

LACMTA's board to consider fare increase options to address deficit concerns

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) will host a hearing on March 29 to solicit public comments on two proposed fare changes.

The proposals would eliminate the cost of transferring from one bus or train to another. Both options also would raise fares gradually over the next six years and help avoid a budget deficit that could occur in 2016 if fares are not revised, LACMTA officials said in a press release.

LACMTA fares currently cover 26 percent of the cost of operating trains and buses. LACMTA could face "an unsustainable operating deficit" of $36.8 million in two years, which would grow to $225 million in 10 years unless changes are made. The agency has raised fares three times in the past 19 years, agency officials said.

The first fare option would raise the base fare from $1.50 to $1.75 for the next three years, with an eventual rise during the six-year period to $2.25. The second option would keep the base fare at $1.50 during off-peak hours and raise it to $2.25 during peak hours for the next three years, eventually raising it to $3.25 during peak hours.

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More News from 3/18/2014