Today’s Headlines

  • Hit-and-Run Driver at Large After Killing Pedestrian in Oakland (Mercury News)
  • Hit-and-Run Driver Injures Bike Rider in South San Francisco (SSF Patch)
  • Transpo Authority of Marin Chooses a Design for Bike-Ped Bridge at Larkspur Landing (LCM Patch)
  • N-Judah Derails at Folsom Street Stop on Embarcadero, Causing Delays (SF Appeal)
  • More on the SFMTA’s Consideration to Eliminate Free Parking for Disabled Placards (ABC 7)
  • CA High-Speed Rail Authority Spokesperson Stepping Down (SF Examiner)
  • CAHSRA Could Be Consolidated With Caltrans, CHP, DMV (SF Examiner)
  • More on the Federal Funding Recommendation for BART Extension to SJ (SF Examiner, Mercury News)
  • BART’s $7.7m Transbay Tube Improvement Project Up for Approval (SF Examiner)
  • Caltrain to Hold Public Hearings on Fare Hikes (Caltrain)
More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill
  • Mackadon

    BART to Berryessa, woohoo

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand why Caltrain is getting rid of 8-rides. Why not incentivize people to buy more tickets (without having to get a monthly since a monthly doesn’t make sense if you only use the train a couple times a week)? This is a bad decision as far as I can tell.

  • mikesonn

    Murph can expand better than myself, but Caltrain should do what GG Ferries do and that is give the 15% discount to anyone using a Clipper on one-way fares. This is the cost savings of the 8-ride and will incentivize the use of Clipper. They are “kinda” doing that in a back handed way by only raising fares for paper tickets and not Clipper.

    Really though, from what I hear and see, 8-rides on Clipper are just a flat out mess.

  • Caltrain is raising fares on the two most discretionary components of their ridership base – 8 ride ticket users and single day paper ticket buyers. That’s a real solid way of falling off the laffer curve.

    They are on twitter now and someone is sitting at the computer answering questions. They state that only 7% are using 8 rides. It was 20% a couple of years ago – the dropoff almost certainly due to the complexity of using 8 rides with Clipper. They argued that users moved to other fare media – my guess is that some did move to monthlies, but many just got fed up and left. A simpler Clipper Cash only system would work better, but with the fare increase they will lose the rider who is comparing the fare to the marginal cost of driving.

    The preferred strategy would be to eliminate the 8 rides but give all Clipper users the former 15% discount that 8 riders recieved. This would be a fare cut for Clipper users buying one way tickets – Caltrain did not identify the percentage of riders this applies to (personally speaking, when I am using 8 rides I also end up buying one way tickets for trips outside of my typical trip). Should it result in a reduction in revenue, Caltrain could then raise fares across the board – preferably giving more favor to Monthly pass riders in order to transition more riders to monthlies.

    Raising the price for paper tickets by 15% will impact the more marginalized passengers who don’t have Clipper for whatever reason, and for Giants fans who will decide “This is too expensive” and then drive (drunk).

  • Anonymous

    A 15% discount is good, but that’s not what it will work out to be with this latest move. And plus, like you said, it’s not even that they are giving a discount, but just making paper ticket prices go up (and considering they’ve already raised fares a couple times in the last couple years, this is too much).

    It just bugs me like mad that I keep watching public transit prices go up, tax benefits for public transit users reduced (with the massive reduction of the commuter monthly benefit that used to be over $200), and public transit service cut while meanwhile motorists have had absolutely no increases in their fees (ie, the gas tax) in decades and just had their commuter benefits increased. It’s not necessarily Caltrain’s fault (though it slightly is because I don’t think they make these points enough and get the public more tuned into the issues), but it just really bugs me. We are doing everything in this country to drive people into cars, even when we all know (if we stop and think rationally) that it makes no sense to have everybody driving.

    I guess I feel like Caltrain doesn’t do nearly enough to make their case to the wider public, and that’s what frustrates me. All the public sees is an agency that can’t balance its budget (even though it’s not their fault), that has massive delays (many not their fault since they can’t stop suicides), and that doesn’t offer frequent enough service (also not completely their fault since they rely on the 3 transit agencies for their budget).

  • Someone using an 8 ride now gets a 15% discount vs a one way ticket. Caltrain is changing this to “someone using Clipper for a one way ticket gets a (X%) discount no matter how many times they ride”. That’s good. Instead of a convoluted set up that is hard to use, “If you have a Clipper card – you are a frequent rider”. Simple.
    The fare increase they are coupling it with – bad.

  • Richard Mlynarik

    MTC’s “incentives” to use Clipper are just MTC CEO Steve “inexplicably not yet indicted” Heminger’s — the individual responsible for the five billion dollar over budget Bay Bridge East Span — way of driving revenue into the pockets of Cubic, inc, the “winner” of the “competitive contract” to “operate” Clipper né TransLink.

    The more people forced to use this turkey the better for Cubic.

    That’s all there is to it.

    $400 million (and counting) down the crapper for “smart” cards.

    Bay Area Transportation.  Always, always, putting riders last and contractor mafiosi first.

  • Sprague

    I’ve been using the 8-ride ticket on Clipper and it works well (although it makes no sense that it can’t be bought at Caltrain stations!).  I’d be happy to buy a monthly pass but I usually miss the last train back north and then ride the slow bus home; so it doesn’t make too much sense for me to have a monthly pass.  Couldn’t/shouldn’t Caltrain’s monthly passes include Samtrans service since they are operated jointly (to some extent, I believe).  More fare cooperation in the Bay Area is sorely needed.

  • mikesonn 

    “Caltrain Monthly Pass customers with 2 or more zones receive a local fare credit on any SamTrans bus at any time.”

  • Sprague

    Thank you, Mike!  And kudos to Caltrain for providing such multi-modal passes.