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Caltrain facing fare hike
August 08, 2008, 12:00 AM By Dana Yates, Daily Journal Staff
Facing an 84 percent increase in the price of gas, the Caltrain board of directors moved forward yesterday with a proposal to raise fares come Jan. 1, 2009.

Caltrain is suggesting either a 25-cent base fare increase or a 25-cent base fare increase combined with a per-zone increase. It means an average monthly pass for travel between San Mateo and San Francisco will increase from $106 to between $112 and $119, according to Caltrain.

Caltrain fuel prices have increased from $2.30 per gallon on April 2, 2007 to $4.25 on July 3, 2008. The increase represents an 84.9 percent jump in the last 15 months, according to Caltrain.

Fuel costs were $10.9 million in fiscal year 2007 and Caltrain is budgeting $14.4 million for the current fiscal year. The $3.2 million increase represents 32.5 percent increase over two years, according to Caltrain.

"The last fare increase was April 2, 2007. It would make it 21 months or almost two years since between fare increases," said Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn.

Under the first proposal, the base fare would go up from $2.25 to $2.50, while fares between Caltrain's six zones would remain unaffected.

Under the second proposal, the fares between zones would also increase, from $1.75 to $2.00.

There are six zones between San Francisco and Gilroy.

Caltrain will hold three public meetings on the proposals in late August in San Carlos, Santa Clara and San Francisco.

If either proposal is approved by the board, the fare hike will go into effect on January 1, 2009, Dunn said.

Dana Yates can be reached by e-mail: dana@smdailyjournal.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 106.

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