Friday, January 11, 2013

Caltrain raises farebox recovery goals

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The Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, which owns and operates Caltrain, said late Thursday it is increasing the railroad's farebox recovery goals for Fiscal Year 2014.

JPB expects to cover between 45% and 65% its operational costs using fares, up from a target range of 38% to 50% that was adopted in 2008.

The overall average for fares recovered by the farebox by U.S. transit agencies, varying by year, has been roughly 35%, according to the Federal Transit Administration and other sources.

"While Caltrain's farebox recovery ratio is among the highest of all Bay Area transportation systems, the service requires additional operational funding," JPB said. "This is made particularly challenging because Caltrain is among the few transportation systems in the country without a dedicated funding source, relying instead on member contributions and one-time-only funds to bridge the gap between fares and total operating costs."

In FY 2012, Caltrain covered more than 58% of its operating costs through the farebox. Farebox recovery rates have continued to demonstrate growth during FY13, Caltrain said. With corridor electrification, "Caltrain expects to reduce the need for additional operating subsidies by roughly 50% between the projected increase in ridership and savings in fuel and maintenance that the electrified system would provide," it said.