Friday, January 7, 2011

Caltrain is going broke

So they raised fares. Gotta get more money, right?

The fare increase was authorized in October. There has been plenty of time to get ready for it.

This morning, I tagged on at San Francisco, and my card was debited $11.25 - the amount of money it would cost for me to ride to the farthest point in the system - Gilroy.

Or not. The fare to Gilroy was $11.25. Now it's $12.50.

Upon exit, I was refunded $3.50, making my trip $7.75, the old fare to Lawrence.

I tagged on again, just to check. It deducted $7.75, the amount to ride to SF. I tagged back off, getting the refund as if I didn't ride the train.

I wandered over to the ticket machines. Ticket to SF from Lawrence - $8.50, the correct amount.

One week in to the fare increase, and the Clipper system is not reflecting the new fare structure, at least not for one way trips. I have not triggered the autoload on my eight rides to see if I am undercharged for purchasing one - that will happen tonight on the way home (hopefully before Caltrain sees this and gets Clipper to fix it).

Great. Raise the fares, scaring off customers, but don't actually charge the higher fares to the customers who stay. While it is really in my best interest to just keep my mouth shut, chances are this blog entry won't be the trigger, and even if it is, if history is a guide it will take them a while to get it sorted out anyway.

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