SAN CARLOS (KCBS) Caltrain is set to raise fares and cut service, as it grapples with a budget deficit.
The commuter rail line's board of directors is expected to approve a 7 percent fare hike and eliminate four weekday trains at a meeting on Thursday, to plug a $2 million budget deficit.
But while this has happened, Caltrain's administrative payroll has grown by 14 percent over the past three years according to documents obtained by the Bay Area News Group.
"We're going to end up having to have cuts, along with price increases, but you're cushioning your pockets. How does that sound fair?" asked Tina, a Caltrain rider.
Caltrain is defending the numbers, saying that the increase is because employees being paid by the San Mateo County Transit District have been doing more work for Caltrain, meaning the money comes out of that budget. Christine Dunn with Caltrain says they haven't had an actual raise in two years.
"We've done everything we can to reduce our expenses," said Dunn. "We took furlough days last year, and we're taking furlough days this year."
Fares would go up 25 cents for each of Caltrain's six zones. Commuters traveling between San Francisco and San Jose would pay $8.50, 75 cents more than they currently pay.
A monthly pass between those cities would climb $20 to $225.
The service cuts would leave Caltrain with only hourly service from about 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The changes would go into effect in January.
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