Caltrain to raise fares, cut service

The Caltrain Board of Directors has voted to increase fares while decreasing service in order to reduce a $2.3 million budget deficit.

Caltrain will increase its fares by an average of 7.2 percent and erase four trains from its weekday schedule, according to the San Jose Mercury News. A trip on Caltrain will now cost 25 cents more for each "zone" riders travel through. There are four zones between San Francisco and San Jose, with two more in the extension to Gilroy.

A one-way ticket between San Francisco and San Jose will cost $8.50, up 75 cents. A monthly pass between the two cities will increase $20 to $225. The fare increase is expected to bring in about $1.4 million in revenue. Eliminating the four trains will save around $160,000. An additional $600,000 will be saved by eliminating ticket offices at the San Francisco and San Jose Diridon stations.

The changes were discussed at three community meetings in August and one public hearing in September, according to the San Francisco Examiner. About 1,700 comments were submitted to Caltrain officials at the meetings or via e-mail, mail or telephone input, Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn said.

"Most people were in favor of increasing the fare and keeping as much service as possible," Dunn said.

The last rate increase for Caltrain was in January 2009, when fares went up 25 cents.

The changes will take place on Jan. 1.