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4/29/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Budget deficit blues: Caltrain to raise fares more than 20 percent, reduce several services


Earlier this week, Caltrain officials approved a plan designed to make up a $13.6 million operating budget in fiscal-year 2006, which begins July 1. The agency will increase fares and eliminate some train services.

On July 1, Caltrain will hike fares 17.5 percent; on Jan. 1, 2006, the agency will raise fares another 5.6 percent. Combined, the fare increases are expected to generate $4 million in revenue.

Meanwhile, Caltrain will eliminate service to the Paul Avenue, Broadway and Atherton stations, and reduce service to College Park Station. However, Caltrain will increase service to provide 96 weekday trains — its highest ever — including a total of 22 Baby Bullet trains. In August, the agency will add 12 Baby Bullets to extend the express service to the San Mateo, Redwood City, Menlo Park, Sunnyvale and Tamien stations.

Combined with other cost savings, the fare increase and adjusted train schedules will reduce the projected shortfall to about $2 million, Caltrain officials said in a prepared statement. Officials will seek increased subsidies from San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties to make up the remaining deficit.



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