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Caltrain Jacks Up Rates

Fares set to increase July 1.

Wherever you’re going on the Peninsula, if you’re planning to take a Caltrain, it’s going to cost more starting July 1. 

Caltrain’s Board of Directors approved bumping up the rates to all the zones by a quarter, citing operating costs as the reason for doing so, said Caltrain Spokesperson Christine Dunn.

Ticket prices fund about 44 percent of the total cost of running the trains, according to Dunn.

It’s also going to cost more to park your car by the stations.  The parking fee is going to go up by a dollar to $4 a day, while the monthly pass to park will cost $40.

This is the 6th time ticket prices have been increased in the past six years.

You can calculate how much it will cost you to travel by train in advance of your journey by perusing this rate chart.

Wayne Martin June 23, 2011 at 01:27 PM
Stories like this one don't really help people understand the financial problems of Caltrain, and how this rate increase is going to help reduce the deficit of Caltrain operations. For instance, Caltrain ridership data suggests that about 1M (+/-) one-way "rides" are provided to the public every year. If each "ride" generated a "one-way fare", then this $.25 fare increase would generate $250,000. Given that Caltrain was talking about a $30M deficit, then this is not much money. However, Caltrain offers large, institutional, customers (such as Stanford), Go-Passes, which cost only $155/person, and are good 365 days a year, whether the rider is going to work, or not. The following short paper includes data from a Public Information Request to Caltrain about the current clients of the Go-Pass fare discount program-- Caltrain Go-Passes As Corporate Welfare: http://www.scribd.com/doc/55120933/Caltrain-Go-Passes-As-Corporate-Welfare It doesn't appear that the Caltrain Board understands that you can not give away the farm, and still have any land left to grow crops. The Go-Pass subsidy to the largest, and richest, Silicon Valley companies is paid for by sales taxes, and other government grants that are funded with other taxes. So, this $.25 fare increase is nothing more than a bad joke.
Martin Engel June 23, 2011 at 05:10 PM
For the last several years, each year has seen a "fiscal emergency." Bankruptcy is threatened. We all better do something about Caltrain's operating deficits. And, every year, the problem is, somehow, miraculously solved, at least until the next year. It almost looks like an intentional strategy. Meanwhile, our local Peninsula politicians have been suckered into the scam by supporting some kind of tax to provide subsidies and also to support electrification. What they refuse to acknowledge is the mismanagement, excessive headcount, and fat salaries and benefits of the Caltrain organization and its rubber stamp joint powers board. Time to clean house. Save the Peninsula Commuter Rail Service by taking it away from Caltrain and it's multi-layers of organizations and putting it under state managements, like the Capital Corridor Joint Powers Board. Caltrain is no longer a Peninsula problem; it's a Bay Area problem that should be solved with Bay Area solutions, like a Bay Area wide, coordinated public mass transit system with BART and the Peninsula Corridor at its core.

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