With Transit Funding in the Dumps, Seattle Could Ditch Ride Free Area

A section of downtown Seattle has for decades been a fare-free public transit zone. Those days could be coming to an end.
May 22, 2010, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Seattle's downtown Ride Free Area is again under the microscope as transit officials examine how much it contributes to a multi-million-dollar problem with fare evasion. King County Metro Transit officials also have sat down with city officials to revisit an outdated agreement under which Seattle pays to offset fares that would otherwise be collected inside the zone.

'That may lead us to determine to abandon the ride free zone, but that's many months away from now,' Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond told the county's Regional Transit Committee Wednesday."

Despite concerns over funding, the actual amount of people using riding fare-free is only about 5% of the King County Metro Transit system's total ridership.

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Published on Thursday, May 20, 2010 in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
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