Metrolink Board Holds Fare Increases

4_27_09_metrolink.jpgPhoto:SP8254/Flickr

Trying to follow the lead given last year when Mayor Villaraigosa devised a way to hold off proposed and "needed" service cuts at Metro, the Metrolink Board of Directors voted last week to hold off on increasing fares for at least a month while it looks for other options.

The Board was widely expected to increase fares from between 3.5% and 5.5% depending on the origin and destination of the trip.  Metrolink riders have been seeing higher and higher fares over recent years.  The Metrolink Board actually passsed a fare increase on top of a fare increase for July of 2008.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune interviews a Metrolink Rider who breaks it down.

Riding the Metrolink since 2004, Highland
resident Raul Barrientos said he has seen his fare increase about $50
since 2005. Barrientos now pays $250 a month to ride from Baldwin Park
to San Bernardino.

What’s worse, Barrientos said, is that parking fees at the Baldwin Park station Friday from $30 a month $60 a month."The parking increases on top of the fare increases are an extra added weight," he said.

The Metrolink Board says they’re going to spend the next month combing the budget to try and find ways to hold off the fare increase.  If you got any ideas, leave them in the comments section and we’ll pass them along.

  • Spokker

    If they don’t raise fares then weekend service is probably the first to go.

    As far as the fare hike, it isn’t that big a deal. Inflation would push fares up anyway. What gets me is the loss of transfer privileges for round-trip and one-way riders. I would have to buy a $5 day pass to roll around LA on the weekends. That amounts to about a 50% fare increase for me.

    But if they end up getting rid of weekend service anyway, then I’m back in the car. Oh well, it’ll make weekday commuters happy, which is their bread and butter.

  • Here are some interesting facts…..

    Labor costs have probably risen about 3%.

    Fuel has dropped by about 40%

    What Metrolink won’t admit is that their LIABILITY expenses have gone through the roof, due to the Metrolink Board of Directors incompetence.

    For example, I understand that the accident in Burbank, you remember – the one where the nutcase parked a car on the tracks, may have been partially Metrolink’s fault.

    According to the attorneys that represent the plaintiffs in that crash, the Metrolink engineer did not apply the emergency brake until the last minute. The attorney claims that had he followed Metrolink rules, and applied the brake when he saw the obstacle, the train would not have hit the car.

    How many dollars will Metrolink pay for that one? Eleven people died in the accident. Is the engineer still employed? I suspect so. Firing him would be admitting liability in the accident. Better to keep an unsafe operator than pay for his mistakes.

    More dollars spent, and let’s not even talk about the Chatsworth crash! How many dollars will that cost us?

    And Metrolink just settled with Denise Tyrrell, their former spokesperson for $135,000. Naturally the agreement requires Tyrrell not to say anything bad about Metrolink or its Board of Directors. Hush money? You decide–after all, your taxes and fare monies paid for the agreement that requires Tyrrell not to reveal what really happened.

    We have to pay because they choose not to police their contractors as well. Metrolink knows of “problem employees” even now that they have and that the contractors have. Yet Metrolink fails to take any action.

    As long as the situation continues, we will continue to pay and pay. We need to do a clean sweep of the Board, and the powers that appoint board members should be required to appoint people who have been regular passengers for at least a year.

    But that will never happen. Why do you think that the Metrolink Board of Directors voted to spend your tax money to take legal action to shut down the http://www.Metrolinkrider.com web site? It is estimated that Metrolink spent $20,000 to $30,000 in legal fees, filing fees, and other expenses to try to shut down that web site. In the end, they lost their legal battle and the web site is still up.

    More of your tax dollars at play.

    Want to save money? Start by dumping the Metrolink board. Is this any way to run a railroad?

    Robert Arkow
    Webmaster and passenger
    http://www.metrolinkrider.com
    bob@metrolinkrider.com

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Metrolink Next Up for Fare Hikes

|
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 […]

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 […]

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 […]