Sound Transit to Start Enforcing Fare Violations This Month

After two warnings, riders who fail to show proof of payment can be issued fines.

1 minute read

November 5, 2023, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Sound Transit

Oran Viriyincy / Wikimedia Commons

The Seattle area’s Sound Transit will begin enforcing fare compliance on November 15, according to an article in Mass Transit.

“On the third and fourth interactions without proof of payment, passengers will be issued violations that can be resolved with Sound Transit through non-monetary options such as an online class or engagement activity or with a $50 fine for the third violation and a $75 fine for the fourth.” Five or more repeat violations will result in a civil infraction.

The article adds that “Passengers who do not provide valid ID will be asked to exit the train at the next station.”

Sound Transit says the approach “was developed in partnership with communities disproportionately impacted by the effects of fare nonpayment” and that the agency provides several options for reduced fares for low-income riders.

Transit fares, whether they should exist at all, and their enforcement have been a hotly debated topic in transit circles. While advocates for fare-free transit for all say that eliminating fare collection would save agencies money, others argue that free transit would likely come at the expense of effective service.

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