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An picture of a Link station entrance highlighting the various signs and markings to show riders are entering a Fare Paid Zone where valid fare is required.
Media Caption
Downtown tunnel entrances will soon have the same entrance markings as this one at Roosevelt Station.

Saying goodbye to card readers on platforms at downtown Link stations

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As part of Sound Transit’s broader fare engagement reforms, we're making the Fare Paid Zones where riders are expected to have valid fare to ride more recognizable, starting with the downtown Link stations.

Fare Paid Zone signage and markings, similar to what riders see at University District, Roosevelt and Northgate stations, will be put in place at the rest of the Link stations, starting with Westlake, University Street, Pioneer Square and International District/Chinatown stations.

Since buses no longer use the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel downtown tunnel stations, there’s not a need to have ORCA card readers on the platform for folks to transfer between buses and light rail.

Sound Transit contractors will soon begin installing the new signage and markings as shown above at the downtown Seattle stations and will eventually remove the ORCA card readers from the platform levels.

Riders will need to purchase a ticket, tap their ORCA card or activate their ticket on the Transit GO Ticket app, prior to crossing the yellow line into the station to head down to the train platform.

ORCA card readers are located on the station mezzanines, usually adjacent to elevators, escalators, or stairs to the platform, prior to entering the new Fare Paid Zone.

Tactile floor tiles will also be added, to mark crossing the Fare Paid Zone threshold.

This will make buying tickets and riding Link light rail consistent across our system. 

We know this will be a big change for many, so we encourage riders to start getting in the habit of tapping on and off, prior to reaching the station platform.

We will also be posting new signs, and we’ll have audio messages reminding you that readers are not on the platforms anymore.

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