Fare change proposal

Potential low-income fare program and general fare increase

Sound Transit is considering offering a low-income adult fare to align with King County Metro’s program and ensure fare consistency for low-income riders. To offset revenue loss, other fares (for other adults, youth, seniors and people with disabilities) would be raised by 25 cents. The Sound Transit Board is considering several fare change options and is seeking public comment on them. If Sound Transit adopts fare changes, it will aim to implement them at the same time as Metro.

In March 2015, Metro is implementing a discounted fare of $1.50 for adult riders with incomes at or below 200% of federal poverty level* and increasing fares by 25 cents for other riders. Transit partners in Snohomish and Pierce counties are not pursuing the low-income program.

The public comment period was Sept. 19-Oct. 23. A decision is expected to be made at the Sound Transit Board meeting on Nov. 20.  

* To qualify, a household of four would have an annual household income at or below $47,700.

Fare change options

The Sound Transit Board is considering several fare change options. All options exclude Tacoma Link light rail.

  • Option 1: No fare changes at this time.
  • Option 2: Fare changes on Link light rail only. All Link fares increase by $0.25, except low-income adults pay $1.50.
  • Option 3: Fare changes on Link light rail and King County ST Express bus trips. All Link fares and ST Express fares within King County increase by $0.25, except low-income adults pay $1.50.
  • Option 4: Fare changes on all Sound Transit services. All Link, ST Express and Sounder fares increase by $0.25, except low-income adults pay $1.50 or youth fare, whichever is more.

 

Option 2

Option 3

Option 4

Link light rail

Low-income adult

$1.50

$1.50

$1.50

All other riders

+$0.25

+$0.25

+$0.25

ST Express King County

Low-income adult

No change

$1.50

$1.50

All other riders

No change

+$0.25

+$0.25

ST Express multi-county

Low-income adult

No change

No change

Same as youth fare

All other riders

No change

No change

+$0.25

Sounder

 

 

 

Low-income adult

No change

No change

Same as youth fare

All other riders

No change

No change

+$0.25

Low-income certification and card distribution would be available only at locations in King County. Eligible riders would be issued special ORCA cards allowing them to pay the reduced fare. Income eligibility would be determined through partner agencies, like Public Health - Seattle and King County, which routinely do such work and will also help distribute and manage the ORCA cards.

Meetings

Thank you for your participation, the community's feedback will help inform the Board's decision. Five public meetings and one public hearing were held throughout the region to get feedback on the proposals. A decision will be made on the Fare Change Proposal at the Sound Transit Board's Nov. 20 meeting.

The public comment period ended Oct. 23.

Everett: Tuesday, Oct. 7

Bellevue: Wednesday, Oct. 8

Federal Way: Thursday, Oct. 9

Tacoma: Tuesday, Oct. 14

Seattle: Thursday, Oct. 16

Public hearing: Thursday, Oct. 23