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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Metrolink considers fare changes to boost ridership


Metrolink's board is soliciting public opinion on a proposed fare restructuring, including an option that would reduce some fares while increasing others.

One option calls for reducing discount short-distance regular fares. The California commuter railroad would offset the subsequent revenue decrease by increasing some longer-distance fares by 25 cents per trip or 50 cents for trips over 100 miles, Metrolink officials said in a press release.

A second option would reduce short-distance regular fares with no increases for passengers, with the resulting revenue loss offset by possible increases in public agency subsidies.

"The proposed fare adjustments would help grow ridership by encouraging short-distanced riders, a market with demand proven by the $3 'Station-to-Station' fare pilot program," said Chief Executive Officer Art Leahy.

In January, Metrolink launched a $3 "Station-to-Station" fare pilot program for six months. Scheduled to end June 30, the pilot showed a significant interest from riders, but resulted in a revenue loss for the agency, Metrolink officials said.

Metrolink is asking the public to weigh in online, during a series of upcoming workshops or at a public hearing to be held during the board's meeting May 13. If the board approves the changes, they could go into effect July 1.





Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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