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Portland Streetcar weighs fare hike

Portland Streetcar officials have proposed a $1 fare increase to $2 as of Sept. 1.

The increase would apply to a 2.5-hour pass for use on the streetcar only. The streetcar's combined all day pass with the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Portland (TriMet) would remain the same at $5, according to the streetcar's website.

The streetcar monthly pass would increase from $23 to $40, while the annual pass would jump from $250 to $440.

In the past, the streetcar mostly operated in a "free rail zone" in downtown Portland until 2012, when officials instituted a $1 fare. A recommendation for an additional $1 fare increase came up in October 2013, but it never materialized.

Currently, fares cover about 10 percent of streetcar operational costs; the fare hike would boost that to 15 percent, streetcar officials said in a website post.

The new fare will allow the streetcar to increase service by 17 percent overall, with streetcars running every 15 minutes on Saturday, officials said. Streetcars currently run every 17 minutes on that day. Additionally, the revenue increase will also help the streetcar fund costs related to the transition to an all-electronic fare system in partnership with TriMet.

Along with the fare increases, Portland Streetcar officials also proposed monthly and annual passes for seniors over 65 and youth.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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