Trolleys to the Casino: Passenger Fares

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As of January 1, 1907, when Receiver Hollis took over active management of the EH&A property, a five cent cash fare was in effect and remained in force until October 15 when the rate was increased to six cents. The six cent rate was continued after April 1, 1908 by the reorganized EH&A, which maintained a student fare of three cents and sold commuters' tickets in 50 and 100 ride coupon books for $2.50 and $5 respectively. During the summer, excursion tickets were sold in strips of eight for 40 cents.

Fare limits were as follows:

Exeter Depot - Exeter-Hampton Town Line
Exeter-Hampton Town Line - Whittier's
Whittier's - Hampton Beach Casino
Hampton Beach Casino - Portsmouth junction
Whittier's - Hampton Falls
Hampton Falls - Smithtown Square

The profit from the first full year of operation of the reorganized EH&A, ended June 30, 1909, was only $2,152, and on November 1, in an effort to boost revenues, the number of fare zones between Exeter and Hampton Village was increased from two to three, the new limits being at the Exeter House, at the Hampton car barn and at Whittier's.

Late in 191 1, it was proposed that the cash fare be reduced to five cents and that all reduced rate tickets be eliminated, with the exception of those for students. The suggestion was kicked around for more than two years and early in 1914, it was tentatively decided to begin a one-year experiment with the five cent rate on April 1. The plan appears to have been shelved at the last minute and when a change was made on December 1, the six cent fare remained and the five cent coupon tickets were abolished.

For a time, the railway suspended the free transfer privilege allowed passengers on Exeter-Hampton Beach and Portsmouth-Hampton Beach cars during the summer although, as before, a single fare was charged between Whittier's and Portsmouth junction during the fall, winter and spring. The transfer privileges were restored in 1912 and, so far as can be determined, were continued through 1920.

After 1914, there were no fare changes until October 8, 1917 when the railway's directors voted to increase the cash fare from six to seven cents, effective December 1. There was no change in the student rate, which remained at three cents. Another cash fare increase, from seven to 10 cents was voted by the EH&A directors on April 27, 1918 and a petition for authority to place it in effect was filed with the New Hampshire Public Service Commission the same day. There was only token opposition and the new tariff became effective May 28.

Coincident with the establishment of the 10 cent cash fare, the number of fare zones between Exeter depot and Whittier's was reduced from three to two, the intermediate limit being the Exeter-Hampton boundary. Other fare zones remained as before. In an effort to promote local riding in Exeter and Seabrook, the new tariff provided reduced rate tickets selling 20 for $1. These were good, in Exeter, between the B&M depot and Haynes' Corner (at the junction of the roads to Hampton and Hampton Falls), and in Seabrook, between Smithtown Square and the Hampton Falls boundary.

The 10 cent cash fare remained in effect through December 31, 1920 but the student rate was boosted from three to five cents on June 1 of that year and the price of the Seabrook and Exeter local tickets was increased to 71/2 cents (or 20 for $1.50) on that same date.

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