Caltrain May Keep 8-Ride Ticket

But the discount for purchasing one may decrease.

The Caltrain Board of Directors may decrease the amount of time an 8-ride Caltrain ticket is valid at a meeting on March 1st, instead of eliminating it completely.  

Caltrain announced it may shorten the amount of time a rider can use the 8-ride ticket from 60 days to 30 days, simultaneously shrinking the amount saved by purchasing one from 15 percent of the total cost of eight trips down to 7.5 percent, starting on July 1st.

The transportation agency received 185 comments in response to a previous announcement that these would be eliminated and opted to retain them, said Caltrain spokesperson Christine Dunn.
This change in pricing structure is intended to incentivize the use of the Clipper Card, which riders can use to purchase tickets in advance in bulk, according to documents on Caltrain’s website.

The Staff Coordinating Council says this will reduce the Caltrain operating budget deficit.  This along with other tariff changes could generate $1.4 million in revenue during the fiscal year 2013, according to documents on Caltrain’s website.

Other changes to the rates include increasing the price of a Go Pass, which is a sticker that enables unlimited rides on all zones, by $10 to $165 a year. 

Institutions such as Stanford University that purchase these passes for employees would be held to a new standard if the new tariffs are approved by the Board of Directors. The employers would be required to have at least 13,750 participants, which is an increase from the minimum participant amount of 10,850 that is in place.

“Staff also is recommending that the Board authorize an increase to the cost of the paper One-way and Zone Upgrade tickets by 25 cents on the zone fare and Day passes by 50 cents on the zone fare effective no sooner than July 1, 2013 if a significant movement from paper tickets to has not occurred by March 1, 2013,” said Caltrain Spokesperson Christine Dunn.

“A 'significant movement' means at least 50 percent of passenger trips using One-way tickets in a single month are paid for with Clipper e-cash,” Dunn said.

Gregory February 28, 2012 at 08:16 PM
More multi ride options could create a woman in the shampoo aisle effect.
Alan Dale Brown February 28, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Woman in a shampoo aisle effect? I never heard of that one before. By that, you mean people will spend more time trying to decide which ticket to buy from the vending machine?
Gregory February 28, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Exactly. "Too many options! I can't decide! They're all so similar!" Next time you visit the store, look down the shampoo aisle. You'll see people standing there frozen in indecision, picking up bottle after bottle, unable to determine the difference between each one. They're usually women.
Alan Dale Brown February 28, 2012 at 09:22 PM
That's stereotyping, Gregory- tsk, tsk. And I've seen it happen. They just need a simple criteria to decide, such as "what's cheap?" All those shampoo commercials just serve to befuddle the mind ... (should I wash my hair with aloe, fruit juice, or beer?) It's a funny thing about people; when asked, they want more choice and complexity. When actually given a lot of choice and complexity, they report less satisfaction than when they're constrained to a few choices. Train vending machines need to be simple. Nothing more annoying than being stuck behind someone figuring it out with a train arriving at the station.
commuter February 29, 2012 at 12:28 AM
I think 8-ride tickets significantly reduce the amount of time people spend at the ticket machine, since you don't need to buy the next 7 tickets. In fact, you currently can't even buy 8-ride tickets at the ticket machine. You have to buy them in advance, e.g. on-line, so you actually spend zero time at the ticket machine. Same goes for monthly passes.


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