Tag Archives: Transit Riders

Sound Transit Searching for Equitable Fare Enforcement Solutions

by Lizz Giordano


Two years after Sound Transit acknowledged that internal data showed Black and low-income riders were more likely to be cited and punished for failing to pay on trains, the agency is still searching for a solution for fare enforcement equity.

According to 2018–2019 rider surveys and enforcement data, 9% of light rail and Sounder train riders were Black but accounted for 21% of the people cited or fined by officers. And nearly 60% of the riders cited had a household income of less than $50,000.

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OPINION: No One Should Go to Court Because They Can’t Afford a Transit Ticket

by Rich Stolz and Anna Zivarts


Following years of local advocacy and heightened scrutiny by the movement for Black lives around enforcement practices, Sound Transit has announced a new approach to fare enforcement on public transit: the fare ambassador pilot program. This pivot from a punitive system to a supportive one is long overdue. Sound Transit and other agencies must see this process through and fully divorce its transit fare system from the court system. Failure to pay for a transit ticket — whether due to poverty or misunderstanding — should never place transit riders at risk for devastating legal, financial, or physical harm.

Continue reading OPINION: No One Should Go to Court Because They Can’t Afford a Transit Ticket