Board adopts fares for Link light rail; adult trips will range from $1.75 to $2.50

Publish Date

The Sound Transit Board today adopted the fare structure for the Link light rail system that will open this July. Light rail fares will be comparable to regional buses under the distance-based system, with a $1.75 base fare plus $.05 per mile, rounded up or down to the nearest quarter. 


The maximum adult fare, to ride from Westlake Station in downtown Seattle to the airport, will be $2.50, the same as a bus ride. Youth base fares will start at $1.25 and have a maximum fare of $2.00 and Senior/disabled fares will start at  $.75 and have a maximum fare of $1.25 under the adopted structure.


“We’ve said from the start that light rail fares should be in line with local bus services, and today’s decision does just that,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels.


The fare structure supports Sound Transit’s goal of recovering 52 percent of annual operational costs by 2017.


The fares will apply on the whole light rail line, including the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel (DSTT). The Board considered offering free service in the DSTT, which would have required increasing the base fare by $.25, for a maximum fare of $2.75. Sound Transit conducted extensive public outreach on the options, collecting nearly 200 comments via the web, phone and 16 events. Overall, opinions between the two options were virtually split. The majority of comments at 10 meetings in the Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill — areas that are home to many future Link riders — favored the lower base fare achieved by charging for trips in the DSTT.


Link light rail is on schedule to open for passenger service between downtown Seattle and Tukwila in July and to Sea-Tac International Airport by the end of the year. Buses will carry passengers between Tukwila and the airport until the direct airport connection opens in December.


More information about the new fare structure can be found here: linkfares