- Sound Transit, from Seattle to Kent (~16 miles): $3.50
- CalTrain, from San Francisco to Burlingame (14.9 miles): $4.25
- Metrolink, from LA to Norwalk (16.7 miles): $6.25 weekdays
- Frontrunner (Utah Transit Authority), Salt Lake to Farmington (16.2 miles): $3-$5.
Kudos to Erik for digging up these numbers:
It's also useful to compare longer rail trips--in the 30-50 mile range, in some of these metro areas.
- A ride on Sound Transit from Seattle to Tacoma (30 miles) is $4.75, $4.50 from Seattle to Everett. (The agency doesn't appear to run through trains between Everett and Tacoma). (See here for details).
- A four-zone pass on CalTrain, which will get you from SF to San Jose, is $7.75.
- A weekday ticket from LA to Irvine on Metrolink (about 42 miles) is $9.25
- A ride from Portland to Salem on Amtrak Cascades starts at $13.
Part of the issue with WES, I think, is a bit of role confusion--is it commuter rail, or is it transit? It tries to act like both; with a fare structure (and a corridor) appropriate for local mass transit, but the equipment and service more appropriate to commuter rail. Likewise, a CalTrain like service, with CalTrain like prices (and without the long-haul amenities and cost structure of Amtrak) would probably be useful in Oregon.