At its December meeting, the Caltrain Board of Directors adopted a fare policy for the first time in the agency’s history. This policy lays out the principles and goals that will shape any future changes to Caltrain’s fare structure.
The goals of the policy center on financial sustainability, equity, customer experience and ridership. The new policy will require the fare structure to achieve a farebox recovery ratio for the operating budget of at least 65 percent and encourage Caltrain to push for and participate in regional and State fare programs, including those that support low-income riders. Other goals include ensuring the fare system is easily understandable and usable, and supporting achievement of the agency’s ridership goals.
The idea for the adoption of a fare policy came from the Board of Directors, as well as out of phase one of Caltrain’s Fare Study, as a fare policy allows for fares to be adjusted for purposes other than budget shortfalls. This policy will be used by both Caltrain staff and its Board to guide adjustment of fares in the future.
About Caltrain: Owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain provides commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with limited commute service to Gilroy. Caltrain enjoyed more than five years of consecutive monthly ridership increases, surpassing more than 65,000 average weekday riders. While the Joint Powers Board assumed operating responsibilities for the service in 1992, the railroad celebrated 150 years of continuous passenger service in 2014. Planning for the next 150 years of Peninsula rail service, Caltrain is on pace to electrify the system, reduce diesel emissions by 97 percent by 2040 and add more service to more stations.
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