There is about to be a lot more room on the Coaster. Sandag is proposing some fare increases that will take coaster from marginally affordable to down right expensive. Here is a list of the proposed changes:
|Amount listed is the proposed cost of a monthly pass
to Sorrento Valley w/ the use of the shuttle
|Zone 1|| - Oceanside
- Carlsbad Village
|Zone 2|| - Carlsbad Poinsettia
- Solana Beach
|Zone 3|| - Sorrento Valley
|Zone 4|| - Old Town
- San Diego (Santa Fe Depot)
One way/Round trip passes
1) $.50 increase per zone on July 1, 2008.
(Carlsbad Village to Santa Fe Depot will increase to $7.5 from $5.5)
2) $.50 increase per zone on January 1, 2009.
(Carlsbad Village to Santa Fe Depot will increase to $9.5 from $7.5. $19 ROUND TRIP!!!!)
1) $14 increase per July 1, 2008.
2) $14 increase per January 1, 2009. (Passes that include Zone 1 will increase by $15)
Sorrento Valley Shuttle (Coaster Connection)
1) $1 per ride
2) $40 monthly pass w/ purchase of a monthly Coaster pass
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Here is a link to an article about the Sorrento Valley Shuttle fare increase:
I submitted my thougths:
Public transportation is terrible in San Diego. Increasing fares on the Coaster is only going to make it worse. Reasons to take public transportation:
1) Saves money
2) More convenient
3) Saves the environment
Currently @ $142 The Coaster is a little more expensive than driving, it is rather convenient and it helps to save the environment. If you increase fares by $28, that will bring the monthly fare to $171 which makes it much more expensive to take the Coaster than drive. Then if you start to charge for the SVCC, that brings the monthly cost to $211. Now the coaster is 50% more expensive than driving AND it adds between 0 min to an hour to a commute. At that point the value of the coaster to becomes minimal.
Assume the following:
Miles to work: 25
Work Days Per Month: 22
Average MPG: 32
Cost of Gas: $4
((25 miles x 2) * 22 days * $4 for gas)/32 MPG = $137.5
If you are looking to increase margins, maybe you should look to the other forms of public transportation that are rarely used. Adjust the schedules there to reduce costs. I see buses driving around all day long that are empty. EVERY coaster I am on for commuting is full and most times when I am on the shuttle there is standing room only.
It seems like at least 1/3 of the commuter ridership comes from Sorrento Valley workers. I would bet many of them stop using the coaster if all of the proposed increases take affect. Especially the ones originating in Zone 2. The coaster just would not make sense.... To expensive AND it adds time to your commute.