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Santa Clarita / Antelope Valley : Metrolink to Cut Some Fares in Half : Transportation: The cost of passes from the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys will be trimmed to keep commuters on the trains.

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Metrolink officials Monday announced reductions of up to 50% on monthly commuter passes for passengers traveling from the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys to Burbank, Glendale and Los Angeles.

The new deals will be in effect for three months, beginning next month.

Monthly passes for commuters originating in the Antelope Valley were cut in half and the cost of a pass for travel from Santa Clarita was reduced by 25%.

The new fares were approved by the Southern California Regional Rail Authority on Friday and are effective April 1 through June 30. Also taking effect on the first of April is a move to bring the city of Burbank into a fare zone closer to the northern valleys.

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“Between the fare reductions and the zone change, there are going to be some significant savings,” said Metrolink spokesman Peter Hidalgo. “We believe the effects of the quake are still with us, and this is going to help a lot of people out.”

Antelope Valley riders were paying $208 for a monthly pass to Burbank and beyond. The 50% reduction combined with the zone change will reduce the cost of monthly passes to Burbank to $80, and $112 for passes to Glendale and Los Angeles.

Previously, it cost $144 a month to travel from Santa Clarita to Burbank, Glendale or Los Angeles. While the reduced fares are in effect, it will cost $80 for a monthly pass to Burbank and $112 for a pass to Glendale or Los Angeles.

The reductions are aimed at keeping post-earthquake commuters off local freeways and are expected to be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Hidalgo said.

Local officials praised the reduction, saying complaints about high fares have been common among potential and actual rail passengers.

“The whole idea behind this is to get people out of their cars and using public transportation,” said Santa Clarita City Councilwoman Jan Heidt, who also sits on the Metrolink board. “I’ve been pushing for this zone change all along.”

Hidalgo said ridership on the Santa Clarita line has increased by eight times, to 9,000 passengers daily, since the quake, making it the busiest line in the system.

Santa Clarita city spokeswoman Gail Foy said that between 30% and 40% of those riders originate in Santa Clarita and travel to Burbank.

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“Everybody will be affected by the fare reduction, but we’re really going to benefit here--this will be great for the city.”


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