Saturday, September 10, 2005

Making them Squeal

My guess is that Amtrak's massive increase of commuter fares is designed to make a relatively well-off segment of their ridership squeal loudly. If not, well, I guess they're just not that interested in the commuter fares.

WASHINGTON - Amtrak fares for monthly passes on the Northeast Corridor will increase as much as 59 percent effective Sept. 20, and tickets for other service will go up as much as 7.5 percent, the railroad announced yesterday.

Rising energy costs and other expenses were cited as the reasons for the fare increases.

The national railroad also confirmed that it would end service at the Cornwells Heights station in lower Bucks County at the end of October.

Amtrak officials said that most fare increases would average between 5 percent and 7 percent, but that costs for commuters who pay steeply discounted rates for multiple trips or monthly passes would rise much more.

For commuters from Philadelphia's 30th Street Station to New York, the price of a monthly pass would rise from $633 to $1,008, a 59 percent increase. The $53 one-way fare to New York, by contrast, would go up about $4, Amtrak said.