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Caltrain proposes fare increases starting in 2020

Agency seeks opinions on possible price hike through public meetings

People can weigh in on potential Caltrain fare changes at a series of public meetings the agency will hold this month.

Six meetings are lined up ahead of a public hearing by Caltrain's board of directors at the agency's headquarters in San Carlos on Aug. 1. Those unable to attend the August meeting are invited to voice their opinions at any of the other scheduled meetings.

The board is considering increasing the price of the Go Pass, the annual unlimited ride pass, up to 20% on Jan. 1, 2020, with a 5% increase to follow every two years on Jan. 1.

They are also considering implementing regular fare increases every two years. If the proposal is adopted, the base fare will increase 50 cents in July 2020, the zone fare, which is calculated based on the number of zones traveled by the passenger, will increase 25 cents in July 2022, and the base fare will increase 50 cents again in July 2024, according to Caltrain.

If the agency adopts the proposed changes, it will be eligible for participation in the Metropolitan Transportation Commission's Regional Means Based Fare Pilot Program, currently scheduled to begin in early 2020.

By participating in the program, Caltrain could offer low-income riders a 20% discount on the single-ride adult Clipper Card fares.

The board will give the changes a final vote at a September meeting, according to Caltrain.

The first of six meetings was this afternoon in Caltrain's San Carlos offices. Another meeting will be held tomorrow (July 18) in San Francisco, and another on July 22 in San Jose. The full list of meeting times and locations can be found at caltrain.com.

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