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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Metrolink to raise fares to close FY2014 funding gap


Metrolink's board last week adopted a 5 percent systemwide fare increase that will take effect July 1.

In addition, the board changed the existing weekend pass to a weekend day pass, priced at $10, and established a requirement that personal care attendants obtain an official Metrolink identification card for $25.

The fare adjustments are necessary to help close an existing $10.2 million funding gap for the fiscal-year 2013-14 budget, Metrolink officials said in a press release. The changes were approved following several public workshops, a hearing and "an extensive outreach effort," they said.

Some major increases in the budget include $8.3 million for the implementation and operation of positive train control technology; $2 million for contracted vendor costs; and $1.6 million for new operations at the Eastern Maintenance Facility to reduce traffic at the Central Maintenance Facility in Los Angeles.

Earlier, the board had considered reducing Metrolink service to accommodate those and other cost increases. The board eventually determined that cutting more than $3 million in other expenses combined with the fare increases would be a better option than reducing service, Metrolink officials said.