Sound Transit Adds ‘Fare Ambassadors’ to Enforce Payment

Riders found without proof of payment will have options to pay rather than receive a citation.

1 minute read

May 28, 2024, 11:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Close-up of person's hand holding blue ORCA transit fare payment card in front of fare payment machine.

ColleenMichaels / Adobe Stock

The Seattle-area Sound Transit agency will start requiring proof of payment before boarding to prevent fare evasion, writes Spencer Pauley for The Center Square.

According to Pauley, “The new process will have an initial rollout on June 3. Sound Transit’s ‘fare ambassadors’ have been checking passengers’ proof of payments on various trains throughout the day.” Riders found without proof of payment will be provided with options to pay instead of a citation. 

As Pauley explains, “The new ‘fare paid zone inspections’ will occur only on the 1 Line at downtown Seattle stations at different times, and will be expanded in later phases.” The program will trial several methods of platform inspection over the summer prior to opening an extension of the 1 Line.

Sound Transit started boosting its fare enforcement efforts last year, citing reduced fare revenue.

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