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Metrolink fare hike delayed

April 24, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Metrolink riders have at least another month before they face fare increases. Metrolink's Board of Directors voted Friday to delay rate hikes and will look for other ways to cover rising operating costs.The board was considering a 4.5 percent fare increase and unanimously decided to search through its budget for other cuts in order to avoid raising fares.

"Raising fares is the last thing we want to do," said board member Richard Katz.

Other options for covering Metrolink's operating costs could include service cuts or asking Metrolink's member agencies for increased funding.

The proposed fare increase was expected to generate $2.6 million for Metrolink's budget. It is part of a 10-year fare restructuring plan approved by the Metrolink Board in 2004.

The fare increase was also requested to cover the cost of rider transfers. Metrolink currently subsidizes the entire cost of rider transfers to transit systems in the counties it serves.

Metrolink's fare restructuring plan is set to calculate rates according to the driving distance between stations. Fares are currently set according to zones, which created inequities in how fares were charged in various regions.

The Metrolink board is expected to consider budget options, including the proposed fare increase, at its meeting next month.

City News Service contributed to this story.