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Commuter Bus Fares Boosted to Discourage Out-of-Towners : Santa Clarita: Antelope Valley residents use the city’s subsidized line to save money on trips to downtown Los Angeles.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Forget the Antelope Valley. Call it the Interlope Valley.

A number of residents from the Antelope Valley have been using a commuter bus service, subsidized by the city of Santa Clarita, to ride to work in downtown Los Angeles.

The reason: A commuter line from the Antelope Valley to downtown Los Angeles charges $155 a month.

The Santa Clarita line was $65.

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Concerned that the practice could become widespread, the Santa Clarita City Council has decided to more than double the monthly fees for non-Santa Clarita Valley residents to $132.

“We have found that commuters from the Antelope Valley are car-pooling to our city and board our commuter buses to take advantage of our lower fares,” Public Works Director John Medina wrote in a memo to the City Council.

On Tuesday night, the council also approved a $10 fare increase for Santa Clarita Valley residents, raising the monthly fee to $75.

The $75 fee would cover about half the cost of running five 47-seat buses that carry riders between Santa Clarita homes and Los Angeles offices each weekday.

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Medina said the fare increases probably will discourage commuters from the Antelope Valley from taking Santa Clarita buses and will provide extra funds for Santa Clarita to expand its commuter bus program.

But city officials don’t want fares to rise too much, Medina said, because “we have to make sure we don’t start losing riders.”

There were three commuter buses when the city was created two years ago.

Demand has continued to rise and now the city is considering the addition of a sixth bus, Medina said.

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