Metrolink News

Friday June 14, 2013

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.

Additionally, on May 13, the Orange County Transportation Authority Board (OCTA) voted to discontinue the promotional OCLINK Pass effective July 1, 2013.  The OCLINK pass will no longer be available for purchase at Orange County Metrolink ticket vending machines or on OCTA buses. 

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.

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