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Budget deficit blues: Caltrain proposes fare increase, service cuts

Later this month, Caltrain will begin holding community meetings and public hearings to gather comments on proposed fare increases and service cuts.

The agency is facing a multi-million-dollar fiscal-year 2006 budget deficit due to increased operating costs. Caltrain’s commuter-rail operations are subsidized by contributions from partner agencies San Francisco Muni, San Mateo County Transit District and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, which have not significantly increased contributions because of their own budget constraints.

In previous fiscal years, Caltrain bridged the funding gap by using reserve funds, which now have been depleted. Now, the agency proposes hiking fares up to 35 percent, reducing or eliminating low-use and weekend service, cutting train frequency, and reducing or eliminating ticket offices.

Community meetings will be held March 23; public hearings, April 7.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/16/2005