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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, are being installed over the coming months at downtown Seattle tunnel stations. 

This work has been completed at Westlake Station and is in progress at University Street, Pioneer Square and International District Stations. 

To do electrical work, the contractor needed to temporarily remove some street-level validators at International District Station, so please remember to tap on and off using the S Jackson St entrance and platform validators for the next few weeks.

Since buses no longer use the downtown tunnel stations, there’s no need for ORCA card readers on the platform for riders to transfer between buses and trains.

Sound Transit contractors will soon begin installing similar signage and markings as shown above at the downtown 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 or other markings will also be added so riders know when they have entered a Fare Paid Zone.

We know this will be a big change for many, but it will make buying tickets and riding Link light rail consistent across our system. 

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