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Sound Transit last month adopted new, lower fare options on the Sounder commuter-rail system in Seattle, and launched an initiative to replace fare enforcement officers with ambassadors who will conduct fare inspections and issue warnings.
Starting March 1, low-income adults, youths, seniors and people with disabilities who ride the Sounder system will be offered a flat fare of between $1.50 and $1. The current fare levels range between $4.25 and $1.50 for these services, Sound Transit officials said in a press release.
Meanwhile, Sound Transit this month launched a fare engagement pilot on the Sounder and Link light-rail system in which the agency employees staff members as fare ambassadors to conduct fare inspections, educate riders about fare options and issue warnings to reduce fare evasion.
Sound Transit will continue the current suspension of issuing citations for nonpayment of fares throughout the pilot project. The project's results will help officials shape the agency's long-term approach to dealing with nonpayment of fares.
By January 2022, Sound Transit staff will recommend permanent fare inspection approaches and implementation plans.
Riders with no or low income are at greater risk of not being able to pay citations, ending up in court and possibly becoming involved with collections agencies, Sound Transit officials said.