Sound Transit, King County Metro suspending fare enforcement to improve safety during novel coronavirus response

March 16, 2020
The agencies say the move to temporarily halt fare enforcement is a safety enhancement.

Citing reduced physical contact and supporting social distancing encouraged by local health departments, Sound Transit and King County Metro have said they will temporarily suspend fare enforcement actions.  

“Guided by the recommendations of Public Health – Seattle [and] King County related to social distancing, suspending fare enforcement will limit hand-to-hand, close interactions between fare enforcement officers and passengers, protecting their health and – by extension – the health of our community,” wrote Jeff Switzer in a blog for King County Metro.

However, the reduction in fare inspection doesn’t mean fares are no longer needed.

“Fare payment and tapping ORCA cards is still required, with fare revenues providing critical support for operating transit services,” notes Sound Transit. “During this challenging time Sound Transit is committed to maintaining services that are vital to enabling the region’s communities to continue functioning.”

Fare enforcement officers will continue to have a presence throughout both systems. Sound Transit says the officers will oversee and provide guidance on fare payment and continue their focus on providing security presence and customer support.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.