Activism Success: Metrolink Riders Convince Board to Put Off Fare Hikes

I owe an apology to any Streetsblog readers that ride Metrolink.  While I was obsessing about bicycle and pedestrian access to the Gold Line, the Metrolink Board of Directors voted to delay a decision on a 6% fare hike.  After receiving thousands of complaints on the proposed hike, which would have been the agency’s second in six months, to try and figure out how to make the cuts needed to maintain the current fare structure.  Congratulations, Metrolink riders.  You spoke out and the agency heard you.

Metrolink, which is the most expensive transit ride in the county, has bucked the trend of growing ridership in large part due to its high fares.  In its article about the Board’s decision, the Times notes:

Ridership and ticket revenue on the five-county rail system have
tumbled about 15% from last year because of job losses across the
region and lower gas prices that enticed commuters back into their
cars. Ridership is now below levels of four years ago, officials said.
Ticket revenue is forecast to be $7.7 million below what had been
expected in the current year’s budget.

The agency also has increased expenses for safety improvements after
last year’s head-on wreck between Metrolink and Union Pacific trains
that killed 25 and injured dozens more in Chatsworth.

Some early ideas that were floated at the meeting were renegotiating deals with contractors and trimming parts of the agency’s budget.  The Daily News, showing its supply side, argued that the agency should consider cutting fares and it would increase revenues by bringing back former riders priced out of the service.

Streetsblog may be a couple of days late to the story, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help.  Leave your suggestions for the Metrolink Board to hold off a fare hike, and I’ll make sure they get in the right hands.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

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 […]

TAP Solution for Metrolink 2.0

|
My last Metro Transit Access Pass (TAP) related post detailed the vexing situation regarding TAP and Metrolink’s patrons and the ongoing inability of Metro and Metrolink to find a means for Metrolink riders to be able to pass through the Red and Purple Line station gates after they are locked. I couldn’t hide my incredulity […]

The latest Metrolink TAP solution

|
When you look over the list of 90 some posts I have contributed to this blog over the past few years, certain recurrent topics become apparent like the Wilshire bus lanes and the statewide bullet train project. Recently I have been quite involved in covering the effort by local agencies to assume management of the […]