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Metro fare will be simpler in 2018

Say goodbye to off-peak and two-zone fare

Blurry photo of a Number 3 bus at night Happy Hour Photography/Shutterstock

As part of their effort to simplify and streamline transit fare in the region, the King County Council approved fare revisions eliminate off-peak and two-zone fare.

Standard adult peak fare, $2.75, and special fares for seniors, youth, and low-income riders remain untouched. But regular off-peak fare is going up 25 cents to $2.75. Two-zone fare, which applies to trips that cross Seattle city limits, is going down 50 cents to—you guessed it—also $2.75.

The short version: Standard adult fare on Metro transit will be $2.75 across the board, regardless of time of day or length of trip.

According to county data, adults riding in a single zone during peak hours make up 28 percent of Metro trips, while adults riding off-peak make up 35 percent.

While more adults paying standard fare will experience changes than not, the county notes that reduced fares make up 31 percent of trips—so more than half of trips won’t experience changes.

The council also passed legislation reducing ORCA card costs. The $5 fee per standard card will stay the same—earlier versions of the legislation package lowered the fee to $3—but reduced regional reduced fare permits won’t cost anything at all.

New fares take effect July 1, 2018.

The original version of this article reported that standard ORCA costs were going down. They’re staying the same, although the fee for reduced fare permits will still be eliminated.