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Cheap Amtrak tickets for VRE riders delayed

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Local,Transportation,Liz Essley,Amtrak

Plans to make special Amtrak tickets even cheaper for Virginia Railway Express riders have been delayed yet again.

The commuter train agency said earlier that by Dec. 1 it would pump even more money into offsetting the cost of special "step-up" tickets that would let its riders take Amtrak, making the price drop from $5 to $3, to help reduce crowding on its trains.

But the train service is still waiting on Virginia to agree to the subsidy agreement.

"We're still waiting for this sign off. While we're told it shouldn't be much longer of a wait, we no longer have an estimated time completion," officials said in an email to riders.

Faced with trains crowded with commuters from exurbs like Manassas and Fredericksburg, VRE first started subsidizing $5 of the $10 tickets in May 2011. The ticket allows VRE riders to move to an Amtrak train when VRE only has standing room.

About 400 VRE riders are using the tickets, the agency has told The Washington Examiner.

lessley@washingtonexaminer.com

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