Metrolink to increase fares by five percent and change fare policy effective July 1

Here is the news release from Metrolink, the commuter rail agency. Metro helps fund Metrolink along with transportation agencies representing Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

Metrolink to institute fare increase, fare policy change effective July 1

Metrolink Board adopts 5% system-wide fare increase, as well as changes to Weekend Pass and Personal Care Attendant fare policies. Student fares remain unchanged.

LOS ANGELES – Following multiple public workshops, a public hearing and an extensive outreach effort, the Metrolink Board of Directors adopted a 5 percent system-wide average fare increase and two new fare policy changes to help close an existing $10.2 million funding gap for the Fiscal Year (FY) 13-14 budget.

Monthly Pass holders will begin to see the new fares when they purchase their July passes on June 25. The impact to riders will vary depending upon their origin and destination, as well as the type of ticket purchased. For more information, please visit www.metrolinktrains.com.

In addition to the fare increase, the Board changed the existing Weekend Pass to a Weekend Day Pass, still priced at $10.

The Board also opted to exempt students from the new fare changes, resulting in a student discount changing from 10 to 15 percent.

The fare increase and the Weekend Day Pass will become effective on July 1, 2013.

The Board also voted to require personal care attendants (PCAs) to obtain an official Metrolink PCA identification card at the cost of $25. Additional PCAs assisting the same person would be required to obtain an official Metrolink PCA identification card at the cost of $10. Implementation date of this policy is pending and will not occur on July 1.

Prior to adopting the final FY 2013-14 budget at the end of June, the Metrolink Board has examined various options to address the anticipated budget shortfall due to increases in operating expenses. The major increases include:

 

  • $8.3 million for implementation and operation of positive train control (PTC). PTC refers to state-of-the-art safety technology capable of intervening and automatically stopping a train, preventing train-to-train collisions.
  • $2 million in increases to contracted vendor costs for service providers.
  • $1.6 million for new operations at the Eastern Maintenance Facility (EMF) to reduce traffic at Metrolink’s Central Maintenance Facility in Los Angeles, allowing equipment to be serviced in the most efficient and effective manner.

The Board previously considered reductions to Metrolink service but ultimately opted to consider alternatives to service reduction. After identifying more than $3 million in cuts of other expenses, the Board ultimately determined that a combination of fare increases and increased subsidies from its Member Agencies would be the best course for addressing the Agency’s budgetary issues without reducing service.

Metrolink is not the only commuter rail agency being impacted by a fare increase. Even with the beginnings of a regional and national economic recovery, the current climate is requiring difficult decisions by transportation leaders to fund operations at a continued level to meet transportation needs. Many transportation providers across the country are facing similar challenges and have responded by raising fares by up to 25%.

Metrolink held public workshops across its five-county service area to provide information to the public and solicit additional input from the public. In addition to the input received at workshops held in Oxnard, Santa Ana, San Bernardino, Palmdale, and Los Angeles, Metrolink received public comments via email, social media, letters, faxes and on the Agency’s “e-comments” system.

ABOUT METROLINK (www.metrolinktrains.com)

Metrolink is Southern California’s regional commuter rail service in its 20th year of operation. The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), a joint powers authority made up of an 11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, governs the service. Metrolink operates over seven routes through a six-county, 512 route-mile network. Metrolink is the third largest commuter rail agency in the United States based on directional route miles and the seventh largest based on annual ridership.

9 replies

  1. Metrolink’s problem is that it needs more riders, not less. Although counter-intuitive, Metrolink should lower fares to increase ridership.
    And instead of widening freeways, Metro should double-track the Metrolink tracks it owns, grade separate, (electrify?), and get Metrolink off the freight tracks. Maybe more people would use a faster, quicker, and more convenient rail system.

  2. It’s not just Metrolink. The same problem exists for most of the rail service on the West Coast. When you are on Amtrak during rush hour; Amtrak has to wait on a side track to let the Coaster commuter trains in San Diego County have the right of way. I never saw this until I moved here. In the Northeast most of the trains have their own tracks. There are separate tracks for passenger and freight trains. Also Amtrak, New Jersey Transit commuter trains, and Septa commuter trains all have their own tracks. I also heard that when the Bullet Train is built in the cities it will use the same tracks as the present trains. The way the tracks are built and used in the West; it is amazing anyone gets anywhere at all on time.

  3. How nice, my weekend swap meet trips just doubled in price, nice job. BTW it costs me twice as much to take Metrolink from Palmdale to downtown LA, Here are a few cost savings I can recomend: Reduce the number of cars on the off hour trips, I sometimes take the 5:40AM train from VG Acton to LA, usually it is almost vacant, and never more than 50% capacity, also fix those vending machines, I buy a weekend pass it spits out 2 of them.

  4. And here I was considering moving to the SGV near the SB Line. I think I will have to stick to moving near to a Gold Line station. This news isn’t surprising considering Metrolink’s finances have been poorly managed. Read a story recently that Metrolink’s books are a huge mess. Maybe they can address that issue first before passing the fare increase.

  5. I really wish the cities at the ends of the systems would bulk up on activities and incentives to get people to travel there. Arriving in San Bernardino is pretty uneventful. Downtown Riverside has some nice places, but the end of the line there is unfortunately amputated from Downtown Riverside because of the 91. I feel those that come into Los Angeles get a pretty good selection of things to do for what the fare is worth; not so much for people of Los Angeles wanting to travel out, unless visiting relatives, L.A. County Fair, and Angel Games.

  6. How about making a $10 day pass for each Metrolink line. For instance, a $10 San Bernardino Line day pass that would be good all day on the date of purchase amongst any of the San Bernardino Line Metrolink Stations and any local buses/subways/light rail that connect with San Bernardino Line stations.

    However, Inland Empire-Orange County Line $10 day passes should be good on Orange County Line trains between Orange and Anaheim, and Orange County Line $10 day passes should be good on Inland Empire-Orange County Line trains between Orange and Anaheim Canyon.

  7. Ha ha ha ha, a 100% increase in the Weekend Pass fare. Are they increasing the service on the weekends to justify such an increase?

    What a joke.

    So long Metrolink!

  8. There are so many bus alternatives to Metrolink nowadays that are much cheaper and don’t take that much longer, and in some cases even shorter if you consider wait time because they are more frequent. LADOT Commuter Express to the Valley, Orange Line to Chatsworth, Green Line to Norwalk, Silver Line to El Monte, Santa Clarita Transit, AVTA, Foothill Transit to the San Gabriel Valley, are all options for people totake.

  9. Rick Beaver: Amtrak does not run on separate tracks from NJ Transit and SEPTA. Amtrak owns the portion of the Northeast Corridor from Washington to New Rochelle, and operations in most of New Jersey are controlled from New York Penn Station. I’ve spent many hours in NJT trains standing still (usually between Newark and New York) waiting for a delayed Amtrak to pass.

    The San Diego County portion of the Surf Line is owned by NCTD, which is probably why Coaster trains get priority over Amtrak.