Feb. 28--The San Mateo County Transit District has softened a proposal to raise ticket prices after receiving a flood of protests from Caltrain riders.
Even so, the modified fare increases should raise revenue and encourage riders to switch from cash fares to the regional Clipper card that can be used on several other Bay Area transit systems, Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn said.
The Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board is scheduled to vote on the latest fare increases on Thursday.
Under the original plan, riders would have paid an extra 25 cents per zone for a one-way ticket and 50 cents per zone for a one-day pass. The new proposal recommends just a 25-cent increase for a one-way ticket, no matter how far the route, and a 50-cent increase for the one-day pass.
But if at least half of the ticket buyers don't switch to Clipper cards by March 1, 2013, staff is suggesting that the board reconsider the original proposal.
Meanwhile, staff has backed off a plan to eliminate the popular 15 percent discount pass for Clipper riders who take the train eight times within a 60-day period. Most of the complaints Caltrain received after announcing the fare increase proposal on Jan. 17 centered on elimination of the eight-ride ticket. Staff now is recommending that the pass has to be used within 30 days, at a discount of only 7.5 percent.
"We're keeping it, but we're doing it in a way that makes it more financially viable for us," Dunn said.
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Copyright 2012 - Palo Alto Daily News, Calif.