Reduced Link light rail fare for low-income riders available March 1

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New $1.50 fare aligns with new King County Metro ORCA LIFT option

Qualifying Sound Transit Link light rail riders can pay a new $1.50 low-income fare beginning March 1 that aligns with a new fare category aboard King County Metro bus routes.

Sound Transit will provide the fare discount to riders who pay with special low-income ORCA LIFT cards issued by King County Metro or Kitsap Transit.

"Having a reliable, affordable transit system is more important than ever as housing costs rise and commutes get longer," said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine. "This reduced fare will help lower-income riders who rely on Link light rail to get to work and school each day."

The reduced fare will be available to adult riders with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level - about $23,000 in annual income for an individual. To qualify, a household of four must have an annual household income at or below $47,700.

The new fare changes apply only to Link light rail, which operates only in King County. Sounder train and ST Express bus fares remain unchanged. All other light rail fares will increase by 25 cents to offset the low-income fare.

How to qualify for the new ORCA LIFT card

Riders can visit orcalift.com to find out if they qualify for the card. They can also visit Public Health - Seattle & King County locations across King County for enrollment assistance.

Facts about the new low-income fare for Link light rail:

  • The reduced fare will take effect March 1, 2015, and will be $1.50 a ride.
  • Riders who qualify must use an ORCA card and cannot pay with cash. No fee will be charged for a new card or renewal.
  • The eligibility threshold for a person to qualify for the low-income fare is 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, currently $23,340 for an individual.
  • The low-income fare will expire 24 months after the card is issued and qualification must be verified again.
  • The low-income fare will be limited to one card per person. Each card must be registered in the ORCA system to an eligible adult.