WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Virginia Railway Express will hold a series of public hearings to discuss a proposed three-percent fare increase that could take effect in July.

The fare increase has been built into the commuter railroad’s proposed $88.7 million budget for fiscal 2013, which starts July 1.

Two of the five scheduled meetings will be held in the Potomac Communities.

The first of those two meetings will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday March 15 at the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission at 14700 Potomac Mills Road in Woodbridge. The second will be held at 7 p.m. March 29 at the Stafford County Government Center at 1300 Courthouse Road in Stafford.

VRE officials said the cost of operating the trains has increased, specifically in the areas of fuel cost and the commissions paid out to agencies that sell commuter passes.

If passed, the fare increase would increase the cost of VRE’s most expensive fares on both their Fredericksburg and Manassas lines about three percent. The proposed increase comes at a time when ridership is at peak levels, and at a time when the commuter railroad’s CEO Dale Zehner announced he would retire in June.

See the full schedule of VRE public hearings below:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 Rappahannock Regional Library 7:00 P.M.
Theatre Room
1201 Caroline Street
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 Holiday Inn L‘Enfant 12:00 P.M.
Discovery 1 Ballroom
550 C. Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20024

Thursday, March 15, 2012 P.R.T.C. 7:00 P.M.
Board Room, 2nd Floor
14700 Potomac Mills Road
Woodbridge, VA 22192

Thursday, March 22, 2012 Manassas City Hall 7:00 P.M.
City Council Chamber Room
9027 Center Street
Manassas, VA 22110

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 Crystal City Marriott 12:00 P.M.
1999 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 Burke Centre Conservancy 7:00 P.M.
“The Commons” Community Center
5701 Roberts Parkway
Burke, VA 22015

Thursday, March 29, 2012 Stafford County Government Center 7:00 P.M.
Board Chambers
1300 Courthouse Road
Stafford, VA 22554


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