Sound Transit to change ST Express, Link fares June 1

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Changes to ST Express bus and Link light rail fares will take effect on Wednesday, June 1 as Sound Transit completes a two-phase process of simplifying its fare structure and responding to increased operating costs, the agency said in a news release issued Tuesday.

Under the simplified ST Express fare structure, all of King County will become one fare zone instead of three, so any trip in the region that starts and ends in the same county will have a one-county fare. Fares for adults currently taking one-zone trips in King County and multi-county adult fares will increase 50 cents, and the one-county fare for youth will go up 25 cents. Fares for youth traveling across two zones in King County will decrease 50 cents. Fares for senior and disabled riders, which Sound Transit reduced last year, and the fare for youth traveling across counties, will not change.

According to the news release, when the first phase of the fare change took effect in June 2010, ST Express bus fares had increased only once, in 2005, when ST Express service began.

Effective June 1, ST Express fares for one-county and multi-county bus service will be:

  Current June 2011
  One-Zone Two-Zone Inter-County One-County Multi-County
Adult $2.00 $2.50 $3.00 $2.50 $3.50
Youth $1.00 $1.75 $2.50 $1.25 $2.50
Senior/Disabled $0.75 $0.75 $1.50 $0.75 $1.50

 Link light rail fares for adults go up 25 cents, and youth fare for all Link trips will be $1.25. Fares for senior and disabled riders will remain unchanged.

The new fare structure for Link will be:

  Current June 2011
Adult $1.75 to $2.50 $2.00 to $2.75
Youth $1.25 to $2.00 $1.25
Senior/Disabled $0.75 to $1.25 $0.75

According to the release, this is the second phase of fare increases Sound Transit began implementing last June to respond to higher operating costs, simplify the ST Express and Link light rail fare structures, and bring Sound Transit fares in closer alignment with other local transit agencies. These changes will also help Sound Transit recoup a greater share of operating costs from fares.

Fares for Sounder commuter rail remain unchanged.

Details of fare changes can be found at: www.soundtransit.org/farechange.

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