Metrolink Next Up for Fare Hikes

metrolink.jpg

Last Friday, Metrolink announced plans to raise fares and cut service effective on July 1. Wait a second, you might be thinking, Metrolink announced these hikes over a year ago. True, but these fare hikes are in addition to the ones passed in 2007. From Metrolink’s press release:

Because of the escalating cost of diesel fuel, scheduled increases in costs for operating services contracts and new start-up costs related to the arrival of additional passenger cars in 2009, the Board is considering a fare increase of up to 7.5%, instead of the previously approved 3.5% and potential reductions in service to take effect on July 1, 2008.

The Metrolink Board is also considering changes to the Group Travel Program. The proposed changes to the program are as follows:

Increase the discounted Group Travel fare for a round trip ticket from $7.00 to $10.00 beginning July 1, 2008

Increase the minimum number in a group to qualify for the discounted fare from 10 to 15 beginning July 1, 2008

Index future increases in the Group Travel fare to system-wide fare change proposals but only increase the fare when the cumulative total of increases is equal to or greater than $1.00.

Much like Foothill Transit during its recent fare increases and Metro during its public process for service cuts; Metrolink is avoiding laying blame at the feet of the governor and other elected leaders in Sacramento who consistently under fund transit operations and sometimes rob dedicated transportation funding to balance the general fund.

Unfortunately, our local media is doing nothing to help pick up the slack. Metrolink used the oldest media suppression trick in the book, releasing major news on Friday afternoon, and so far it’s paid off. No stories on the fare increase appeared in the Daily News, LA Times, or Orange County Register. The only story I found was a reprint of the press release in California Newswire.

You can comment about these proposals in several ways:

Attend the public hearing

E-mail : MetrolinkFares@scrra.net

Fax: (213) 452-0421

Mail :Metrolink Fares, 700 S. Flower Street, 26th Floor, Los Angeles, California 90017

The Metrolink Board of Directors will receive a compilation of all comments received and a public hearing will be held by the Board at its meeting on Friday, April 25, 2008 at 10:00 A.M. to be held at the Southern California Associated Governments (SCAG) San Bernardino Conference Room located at 818 W. 7th Street, 12th Floor, Los Angeles, California.

Comments can also be submitted by using our online comment form by clicking HERE.

Photo: Casualclicks/Flickr

  • Dave H.

    Typo: ‘underfund’ is one word.

  • Robert

    The big problem is that the fare matrix has not been published. The 7.5% is actually an average, since Metrolink also changed their pricing structure from a zone structure to a point to point structure, resulting in thousands of fares for all the categories. Thus, you could see an increase in fares of 12% or more if you are in an unlucky station pair that was allegedly “advantaged” in the past (i.e., Montebello-Burbank Airport, which used to be in one zone but now is charged a higher amount because of the point to point system; never mind the fact that this was done was to compensate riders for the necessary transfer).

  • Besides the fact that Robert probably needs some sleep (3:41 am posting!?), fare tables have been posted on the Metrolink website showing potential fares at 3.5%, 5.5% and 7.5% above current fares. Robert is correct that the percentages are systemwide averages. Some fares will actually be above the mentioned percentage and some will be below. The great majority will be very close to the mentioned percentage. Two of the files are rather large and all require Microsoft Excel® to view.

  • I run a website for Metrolink passengers and I was not aware of the 7.5% increase. I can tell you that the media did pick it up as I was contacted by a major Ventura County newspaper who will be reporting on this today or tomorrow. I ride the Metrolink each day, and as long as my fare increases less than the gas prices go up, that’s a good hedge for keeping my expenses predictable.

  • Alan Criswell

    As to the resent plan to increase Metrolink fares, of course. When considering the cost of fuel, it is understandably necessary.
    Reducing rail service! Not Acceptable.
    When factoring in the cost of fuel to consumers and the ever increasing congestion on our highways, the answer is fairly simple. Al

  • The Ventura County Star published a front page article this morning regarding the proposed fare increases on Metrolink. Here is the link:
    http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2008/mar/28/metrolink-likely-to-raise-fares-rising-costs/

    I also was in attendance at the Metrolink Board meeting this morning. They did not mention service cuts, but the main driver is definitely the diesel fuel costs, operational improvements (equipment/track/etc), and the increase in transfer fare reimbursement (currently 75cents, going up to $1.10).

    Metrolink also made a very wise move years ago to pre-purchase fuel at established costs, known as fuel-hedging. Had they not made this prudent step, the proposed fare increase could have been significantly higher.

    There will be a public hearing on April 25th (refer to the Metrolinktrains.com website for details).

  • ricardo

    Last Friday, Metrolink announced plans to raise fares and cut service effective on July 1. Wait a second, you might be thinking, Metrolink announced these hikes over a year ago. True, but these fare hikes are in addition to the ones passed in 2007. From Metrolink’

  • ricardo

    diesel fuel, scheduled increases in costs for operating services contracts and new start-up costs related to the arrival of additional passenger cars in 2009, the Board is considering a fare increase of up to 7.5%, instead of the previously approved 3.5% and potential reductions in service to take effect on July 1, 2008

  • ricardo

    Increase the discounted Group Travel fare for a round trip ticket from $7.00 to $10.00 beginning July 1, 2008

  • ricardo

    LA Times

  • ricardo

    Orange County Register

  • ricardo

    Daily News

  • ricardo

    The Metrolink Board of Directors will receive a compilation of all comments received and a public hearing will be held by the Board at its meeting on Friday, April 25, 2008 at 10:00 A.M. to be held at the Southern California Associated Governments (SCAG) San Bernardino Conference Room located at 818 W. 7th Street, 12th Floor, Los Angeles, California

  • ricardo

    Metrolink

  • ricardo

    10:00 A.M

  • ricardo

    at its meeting on Friday

  • ricardo

    Street, 12th Floor, Los Angeles

  • ricardo

    12th Floor, Los Angeles

  • ricardo

    The Metrolink Board of Directors will receive a compilation of all comments received and a public hearing will be held by the Board at its meeting on Friday, April 25, 2008 at 10:00 A.M. to be held at the Southern California Associated Governments (SCAG) San Bernardino Conference Room located at 818 W. 7th Street, 12th Floor, Los Angeles, California?

  • ricardo

    of diesel fuel, scheduled increases in costs for operating services contracts and new start-up costs related to the arrival of additional passenger cars in 2009, the Board is considering a fare increase of up to 7.5%, instead of the previously approved 3.5% and potential reductions in service to take effect on July 1, 2008

  • ricardo

    Last Friday, Metrolink announced plans to raise fares and cut service effective on July 1. Wait a second, you might be thinking, Metrolink announced these hikes over a year ago. True, but these fare hikes are in addition to the ones passed in 2007. From Metrolink’s

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Today, Metro Talks Cuts. Tomorrow, Metrolink Talks Hikes

|
The next two days will see two different board meetings, by two different local transit agencies, dealing with the same budget crunch almost every transit agency across the country is facing. At 9:30 this morning, the Metro Board will vote on whether or not to cut over 200,000 hours of service to its Class 1 […]

LADOT Outlines Massive Cuts, Fare Hikes, for DASH

|
This route won’t be alone in seeing a cut…but at least it survives. Photo: rjmconnel/Flickr For much of the last year, Los Angeles’ transit riders were spared much of the suffering caused by the Governor and legislature’s decisions to eliminate transit funding in the name of partially closing the yawning chasm which is the state’s […]

For Metrolink It’s a 6% Fare Hike vs. Major Service Cuts

|
This was one of four cars on an Orange County Line run leaving Los Angeles Union Station to Orange County and Oceanside. It gets busier in Orange County.  Photo and description: LA Wad/Flickr Two weeks ago, I celebrated that the Metrolink Board agreed to "look into other options" rather than raise fares by 6%. Maybe […]

BRU: No Fare Hikes Without Public Process

|
Image of "Times": Strategy Center/Flickr Earlier this morning, the Bus Rider’s Union rallied at the Wilshire/Western Transit Station to urge the Metro Board to not go forward with planned fare hikes for Metro bus and rail services until a full public hearing schedule is announced and executed. In May of 2007, the Metro Board adopted […]

Metrolink Moves Forward with Some Service Cuts

|
Photo: The 818 Now The Southern California Transit Advocate’s Ken Ruben reports from today’s Metrolink Board meeting that the agency is moving forward with some of the proposed service cuts that the agency first proposed in the fall of 2009.  As you may remember, debate raged and eventually the Board asked staff to look at […]