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Sound Transit board to vote on fare enforcement policy reform

(Image: Sound Transit)

The Sound Transit board of directors will vote Thursday afternoon on what the body is calling the start of “major reforms” for how the agency handles fare enforcement.

If approved in Thursday’s vote, the proposed motion (PDF) would direct the creation of “a new fare enforcement/engagement program” and suspend all “civil infractions for fare evasion” until the board can vote “on an updated fare enforcement policy.”

Current enforcement policies disproportionately “impact people of color and individuals with little or no income” and surveys showed Black passengers were cited and punished disproportionately by the process.

Publicola looked here at some of the options Sound Transit is considering as it shapes the program and policies.

The Seattle Transit Blog reported on the coming Sound Transit “ambassador” pilot program here and also has details of coming changes to fare structures on ST’s services.

CHS reported here a year ago in December 2019 on officials directing Sound Transit to start to solve its fare enforcement problems “early” in 2020.


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TransitRocks
TransitRocks
4 months ago

Just no. If you want to help poor folks with their transit fares, set up a program with easy rules so they can get free orca cards for 50 or 60 rides per month. But don’t just make paying effectively optional. The message to the public should be that we all help pay for transit.

F. G.
F. G.
4 months ago
Reply to  TransitRocks

“Programs” are very cost ineffective tho. They just add more admin costs and more time spent applying for them.

Sea Girl
Sea Girl
4 months ago
Reply to  TransitRocks

Obviously, you, like too many others, don’t understand what it truly means to be poor and how “we all help pay for transit” is inhumane on top of all the other ways the poor are harmed by this lack of understanding by people like you. But, hey, there are those who don’t pay because they can get away with it, not because they can’t afford it; they should have enforcement, but there’s no easy way to prove that in the moment. And let’s not forget the huge discounts big organizations get for their employee transit benefits. Feed the rich, starve the poor. It’s shameful and simply ridiculous that these tired arguments are still alive and well today.

CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
4 months ago
Reply to  Sea Girl

There are already *multiple* programs that help people who can’t afford it with fares – everything from subsidized fares to completely free… There are no fewer than at least 5 programs that can assist people…

Lacy
Lacy
4 months ago
Reply to  TransitRocks

This isn’t about fares, it’s about egos.

epwarp
epwarp
4 months ago

Fare enforcement disproportionately impacts people whom don’t pay fare. Not sure why Sound Transit needs to revisit their methods.

Phil Mocek
4 months ago

Two thoughts on this: 1) Making public transit available to all of the public, not just those who pay extra (as with public roads, public parks, public libraries, and most other things we designate as “public”) would solve this problem. 2) Free public transit should not come with a retirement to have one’s travel tracked by RFID card.

Sandy
Sandy
4 months ago

How about museum rules; you have to have your ticket showing at all times by wearing it.