Fare Engagement

After nearly four years of work, the Sound Transit Board has adopted a package of updates to Sound Transit’s fare compliance approaches:

  • Fare Ambassadors have officially replaced Fare Enforcement Officers
  • Passengers can now receive two warnings in a 12-month period instead of one
  • More options for resolving cases of initial citations
  • No involvement with collection agencies

The Board also reinforced support for income-qualified riders, including lower ORCA LIFT fares that will be promoted through expanded marketing and extended subsidized pass programs.

  • Reduction of ORCA LIFT fare from $1.50 to $1.00 beginning in September 2022
  • Additional outreach funding for reduced fare programs 
  • Fully subsidized ORCA pilot program extended until end of 2024

Fare Ambassadors are Sound Transit staff that will be present at Link and Sounder stations and onboard trains. Look for their yellow hats!

Fare Ambassadors:

  • Check fares
  • Answer questions
  • Teach passengers how to use the system
  • Help passengers purchase ORCA cards and passes
  • Assist riders in finding the ORCA fare that is best for them
  • Help income-eligible passengers learn how to get an ORCA LIFT card

Let us know how we're doing!

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The Sound Transit Board adopted Fare Engagement’s recommendation on staffing levels for Fare Ambassadors, which will take effect starting in 2023.

When the newly adopted fare compliance policy takes effect, riders will have more opportunities to learn how to best pay their fare depending on their situation. For example, they might get connected to ORCA LIFT if they fit the requirements for the program.

For those riders that do move into the citation steps of non-compliance, there will be multiple pathways for resolution, including non-monetary options.

Non-payment interactions within 12 months

Old Program

New Program

1st ​

Warning​

Warning​

2nd ​

Civil infraction​

Warning​

3rd ​

Civil infraction​

$50 Citation*

4th​

Civil infraction​

$75 Citation* ​

5th and beyond​

Civil infraction​

$124 Civil infraction**​

*Sound Transit managed resolutions: will include monetary and non-monetary options, along with referrals to reduced fare programs like ORCA LIFT.

**Resolved through the district court, depending on where the infraction occurred

An effective and equitable fare engagement program starts with authentic community relationships. We're grateful to the individuals and groups who have challenged us to improve, and we'll continue to rely on your feedback.

Email us: FareEngagement@soundtransit.org
Call us: 800-201-4900

Take the survey