For the second time in as many years, the California High Speed Rail Authority has updated its business plan -- a document intended to show that the proposed train system will be financially sound.
The newest update, released last month, sheds light on a decision that the authority will have to make sometime in the next decade, before the system is scheduled to start operating. Specifically, how much should it cost to ride on the high-speed trains?
In all, the two plans examine three different fare concepts, and calculate likely revenues, passenger loads and profits for each.
According to the authority, the results show that raising ticket prices may cut ridership but still result in higher revenues, up to a point.
In addition, fewer riders would mean lower operating costs, which would also boost profits.
An authority spokesman cautions that none of the projected fare structures should be taken as a sign that actual fares will resemble those structures.
"None of this is decided yet," said Jeff Barker, a deputy director of the authority. "When we decide ticket prices, it will be years down the road and it will be a public process."