And we thought last year was bad. Tri-Rail’s Year Reprieve is coming to an end, and the news looks dire. Sit back and take a deep breathe, there’s a lot going on if you haven’t caught it already.
First up we’ve been hearing talk of a fare increase, and the amounts have been made official: 25%. So the cheapest one-way fare will rise from $2 to $2.50, while the monthly pass will rise from $80 to $100. The increase has yet to be approved, so stay tuned for news of a public hearing which the Sun-Sentinel reports will take place on April 24.
SFRTA, Tri-Rail’s parent agency, is also announcing plans to reduce weekday trains from 50 to 30 and drop weekend service entirely beginning October 5, if no dedicated source is found. Like last year, Palm Beach County has already said they will reduce their funding of Tri-Rail from $4.1 million to $1.5 million, and the great imitators in Broward and Miami-Dade County would follow suit for some strange reason. (Can someone tell them they don’t have to do what Palm Beach County does? They could fund Tri-Rail more and let Tri-Rail just reduce service in Palm Beach County if it comes to that.) No one’s come up with any new ideas for a funding source since last year. The controversial $2 rental car surcharge is still being floated as the solution to their funding woes.
A few more minor, but equally interesting details include the fact that Tri-Rail will be tweaking their schedules in an attempt to keep their trains on time. The Palm Beach Post reports how they also just dumped their law firm that had helped them lobby for the $2 rental car surcharge. Get this—the firm also lobbied against the $2 rental car surcharge for Enterprise. If the law firm were a Palm Beach County Commissioner, they would be in jail for that!
To combat these forces that seek to effectively shut down our commuter rail service, sign the “Fund or Fail” petition at Tri-Rail’s website. You can scream now.
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