"In the past two years, we've experienced a 78 percent increase to our fuel cost," said Sherita Coffelt, spokeswoman for Metrolink, the commuter rail service that serves most of Southern California. "The last thing we want to do is increase fares, but unfortunately we have few options."
A 7 percent increase would mean the average rider would see about a $20 increase on a monthly pass.
"We're not happy," said Paulethia Marks, who uses the service to get to her job in Glendale from her home in Hesperia. "The fare increases but our paid period doesn't increase, so everything is still left wondering if you're going to make it from one month to the next."
Along with rising fuel costs, Metrolink has to pay $3 million more in higher labor costs due to a settlement with Amtrak.
Metrolink is holding a series of public hearings on the proposed increase, starting May 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Santa Ana Station at 1000 E. Santa Ana Blvd. in Santa Ana.