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Link light rail trains at Othello Station

Sound Transit revises fare enforcement methods to better ensure safety of all

Officers to act as customer support, security presence

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Sound Transit has suspended fare requirements on buses and trains until further notice to help protect transit employees and riders through social distancing.

ST Express passengers other than riders using mobility devices or the boarding ramp will board and exit buses through rear doors whenever possible.

Front areas of buses will be limited to these passengers, increasing separation from operators whose dedication enables Sound Transit to continue service during the COVID-19 crisis.

Resources normally used for fare enforcement will shift to continuing to maintain a strong security presence on trains and at facilities to assist riders.

The suspension of fares and the new bus boarding policy follows the decision to temporarily reduce service on Link, Sounder and ST Express buses in light of drastically reduced demand.

Sound Transit remains committed to serving the public and will continue to meet the needs of transit-dependent riders as well as low-income, minority and limited-English-proficiency populations. 

Please limit your travel to essential trips only. 


The safety of Sound Transit’s riders is of vital importance during this period of community members and public agencies working together to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

In keeping with social distancing measures encouraged by health authorities to reduce virus transmission risks, Sound Transit this morning directed its fare enforcement officers to start limiting hand-to-hand, close interactions between fare enforcement officers and passengers.

Fare payment and tapping ORCA cards is still required, with fare revenues providing critical support for operating transit services.

During this challenging time Sound Transit is committed to maintaining services that are vital to enabling the region’s communities to continue functioning.

Fare enforcement officers will continue to ride trains to oversee and provide guidance on fare payment, and officers will continue their focus on providing security presence and customer support.

We ask all riders to continue observing the protective measures that are being emphasized by health authorities.

People should observe social distancing precautions whenever possible, wash hands thoroughly before and after traveling, and cover coughs and sneezes.

Most importantly, community members should avoid public places, including transit, when experiencing potential symptoms.

Our earlier blog post touched on work by Sound Transit and its partners to increase disinfecting of vehicles, and the encouragement to call Sound Transit security to report any unsanitary condition or concern.

Working together we can reduce the spread of the virus and help keep our families and communities safe.

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