Currently, Sound Transit charges between $2.25 and $3.50 for adults traveling one way based on distance. Sound Transit last raised Link fares in 2015.  -  Photo: Sound Transit

Currently, Sound Transit charges between $2.25 and $3.50 for adults traveling one way based on distance. Sound Transit last raised Link fares in 2015.

Photo: Sound Transit

Seattle’s Sound Transit approved a new flat fare structure for its Link light rail, according to the agency’s press release.

The new fare, $3 per trip for adults, takes effect in Fall 2024, coinciding with the opening of the Lynnwood Link Extension.

Currently, Sound Transit charges between $2.25 and $3.50 for adults traveling one way based on distance. Sound Transit last raised Link fares in 2015. The agency said the new fare structure will not affect low-income adult (ORCA LIFT) fares or senior/disabled fares.

Inside Sound Transit’s Decision

Sound Transit officials said extensive community engagement found the public almost evenly split on whether to continue with distance-based fares or move to flat fares.

In making the change, board members emphasized increased simplicity and the potential for fare capping in the future, as well as equity concerns.

“With easy-to-understand pricing, and ORCA programs to match every income, there’s never been a better time to get on board Link,” said King County Executive and Sound Transit Board Chair Dow Constantine. “Link is expanding to serve more and more communities over the next few years, and this simple pricing will make getting where you need to go even easier.”

What the Move Means

The implementation of a flat fare will eliminate the need for Link passengers to tap off at the end of their trip. Currently, if passengers fail to tap off, they pay the highest possible fare from their originating station.

Forty-six percent (46%) of Link passengers pay the adult fare, with the remainder using employer-funded passes or reduced fare products, according to the agency.

About the author
Alex Roman

Alex Roman

Executive Editor

Alex Roman is Executive Editor of METRO Magazine — the only magazine serving the public transit and motorcoach industries for more than 100 years.

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