Caltrain gets few comments on fare increase proposals

Proposed Caltrain fare increases have not generated much public comment, but the public will have another opportunity to speak up at a hearing Thursday in San Carlos, Caltrain officials said.

“There has been a very small turnout of people,” Caltrain spokesperson Christine Dunn said of three community meetings held on the fare increases last week.

“People seem to understand the reason we are considering a fare hike. It doesn't seem to be generating too much interest,” she said.

Two fare increase proposals are being considered to offset higher fuel costs. One is an increase of 25 cents to Caltrain's base fare, and the other is a 25-cent base fare increase plus an additional 25-cent increase in the per-zone fare.

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

Under the second proposal, the fare to travel from one zone to another would also increase, from $1.75 to $2.

The fare increases would take effect Jan. 1.

Dunn said that at the most recent community meeting, held in San Francisco, the two members of the public who attended were split in their opinions of the increases.

“One person is opposed to the increase,” she said. “The other one was OK with the smaller increase, and OK with the larger increase if there would not be another (increase) too soon.”

Of the total 20 comments received, four of which were received at public meetings, nine opposed any fare increase and three were related to other issues.

The public hearing on the fare increases is 11 a.m. Thursday at Caltrain's central office in San Carlos, 1250 San Carlos Ave.

The decision on the fare increases will be made at October's board meeting, Dunn said.

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