Sound Transit will begin to issue violations to passengers found to be riding repeatedly without proof of payment, starting Nov. 15.
The Sound Transit Board approved the updated fare compliance policy in 2022. Under the updated policy, passengers without proof of payment will receive two warnings in a 12-month period. Warnings issued to passengers before Nov. 15 will be removed. All passengers will start with zero warnings.
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. Repeat non-payment, which is five or more instances of riding without proof of payment in a 12-month period, will result in a civil infraction, which may be referred to the district court.
Passengers found riding without proof of payment must provide some form of identification for tracking purposes. ID can include:
- Valid state-issued identification card or driver’s license
- Valid military identification
- Valid passport or passport card
- Tribal enrollment card
- Current school or employment identification card that displays the full name
- Library card
- Utility bill, paystub, bank statement, government check or government document displaying full name and current address
- Hunting or fishing license
- Medicare, Medicaid or health insurance card
Passengers who do not provide valid ID will be asked to exit the train at the next station. Refusal to do so will result in a referral to security.
Sound Transit’s new approach to fare compliance was developed in partnership with communities disproportionately impacted by the effects of fare nonpayment. The agency will continue to track the performance of the program to ensure it meets equity goals and inspection targets.
In conjunction with the updated fare compliance policy, Sound Transit has implemented several programs to ensure everyone has access to fare. Sound Transit reduced ORCA LIFT fares for low-income passengers, continued its partnership with King County Metro to provide subsidized annual passes for qualified passengers and made fares free for youth 18 and younger.