- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Amtrak, the national passenger-railroad operator, said yesterday it will begin implementing a series of fare increases on Oct. 4 to offset the rising cost of fuel.

In early September, Amtrak said it would raise ticket prices nationally, effective Sept. 20 to counter increasing energy costs. Less than a week later, the railroad operator stepped back from that announcement, saying it needed to hold additional meetings with officials and “interested groups” before raising fares.

Citing a 40 percent rise in fuel costs this past year, Amtrak said yesterday that fare increases will be implemented on a tiered basis, starting with an average $3 to $4 rise in general fares Oct. 4.

Acela Express ticket prices will rise 7 percent, regionals 5 percent, long-distance coach 7 percent and long-distance sleeper 5 percent.

On Oct. 16, Amtrak will trim discounts in the Smart Pass commuter monthly fare tickets in the Northeast Corridor, from the 70 percent discounted monthly fare to a 60 percent deal. In February 2006, that discount will be adjusted to 50 percent.

Smart Pass 10-trip tickets, Amtrak said, will be adjusted Oct. 16 to give riders a 20 percent discount.

Amtrak also will begin to revenue-manage Northeast Corridor trains to match fares with periods of demand. Those trains include Regionals, Empire Service, the Vermonter, the Adirondack, the Springfield and Hartford Shuttles and the Keystones between Philadelphia and New York.

The railroad operator said passengers who travel at off-peak times on those trains will see some lower fares.

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