Sound Transit is looking to simplify fares on its ST Express buses, which run between urban centers in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties. Currently, fare varies by trip: standard adult fare for riders crossing county lines is $3.75. Riders that stay within a single county pay $2.75.
Under proposed changes, riders will always pay the same fare when boarding the same route. What Sound Transit is considering is either charging a higher fare on multi-county routes than single-county routes, or splitting the difference into one fare somewhere in the middle of the one- and two-zone fare across the board.
Under one option, fares would remain the same—$2.75 or $3.75 depending on the trip—but it would be based by route instead of individual trip length. Buses that go through more than one county would cost $3.75 per ride, regardless of how far a rider goes.
Another alternative simplifies fares even more, but some riders would pay a little more. Under the more streamlined option, standard adult fare would be $3.25 on all routes.
With all proposed changes, reduced fares would be $1.50 across the board for ORCA LIFT and youth passengers and $1 for senior and disabled passengers, regardless of route or trip length. (Currently, two-zone fares apply to all.)
Similar changes are coming to King County Metro fares; come July, two-zone and off-peak fares will be eliminated in favor of one simplified standard fare: $2.75. Sound Transit fare changes are expected to be implemented around the same time.
This article has been updated to clarify one option for fare changes.
- ST Express Fare Change [Sound Transit]