Fare Enforcement Upheld by Washington Supreme Court

But using armed police to enforce fare payment is less than ideal in the eyes of the top court in the state of Washington.

1 minute read

March 21, 2023, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Seattle Transit

EQRoy / Shutterstock

Transit fare enforcement is still legal in Washington, according to a recent ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court, but transit agencies have been advised to rethink their use of armed police officers on public transit.

Donna Gordon Blakenship reports on the ruling for Crosscut, noting the mixed-bag for transit agencies. On the one hand, the ruling “does not prohibit transit agencies from using armed officers for fare enforcement,” but on the other hand, “it does explain at length why plaintiff Zachery Kyle Meredith should not have been handcuffed and arrested for not paying to ride a bus in Snohomish County in 2018.”

“‘Many transit systems have already discontinued similar practices due to their known, racially disproportionate impact,’ Justice Mary Yu wrote in the beginning of the lead ruling,” according to the article. Still, according to the ruling, transit agencies have the authority to ensure fare payment.

Thursday, March 16, 2023 in Crosscut

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