Thu, Mar 31|
Snotrac Speaker Series: Fair Fares & Fare Faeries
Join Snotrac on March 31 for a discussion of how to make our fares and enforcement mechanisms fairer.
Time & Location
Mar 31, 2022, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
About the Event
Join Snotrac on Thursday, March 31, 12-1 p.m. for a panel discussion on establishing fair fares and fair fare enforcement.
In recent years, there has been a growing call for reducing or eliminating fares on public transit as a means of increasing access to low income riders. Island Transit has always had free fares, and following the passage of a local ballot measure in 2019, Intercity Transit (Olympia) piloted establishing free fares which it has since kept. Sauk-Suiattle's DC Direct, Snoqualmie Valley Transportation, and Snow Goose Transit also are already fare free with donation options. In addition, during the lockdown period of the pandemic, all transit agencies in the region temporarily eliminated fare payment. And just this spring, the Washington Legislature authorized more than $1.4 billion for transit agencies, subject to the agencies making fares free to those 18 or younger.
The Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 also spurred a conversation about enforcement strategies. With stakeholder input, King County Metro and Sound Transit have been piloting new ways to encourage fare compliance, including non-uniformed staff called "fare ambassadors" (a.k.a. "fare faeries" to Brock). An ACLU lawsuit currently before the state supreme court calls into the constitutionality of enforcement by uniformed officers on Swift bus rapid transit buses.
For many transit agencies, fares are a significant funding source, are a requirement for seeking federal grants, and underpin employer-supported transit passes. Eliminating fares altogether could result in a significant decrease in service, which could significantly impact low income riders.
With the region shifting to the new ORCA payment system, now is the time to discuss the future of fares and enforcement. Join us on Thursday, March 31 for a special panel discussion on "Fair Fares & Fare Faeries."
- Justin Leighton, Washington State Transit Association
- Hester Serebrin, Transportation Choices Coalition
- More TBA
Call-in: 253-215-8782; Meeting ID: 628 249 3569