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Transit Agencies Seeking Comments on Operational Changes in Downtown

Important Open House Thursday

This Thursday, March 29, King County Metro Transit, Sound Transit, Community Transit and the City of Seattle are hosting an important open house on the elimination of the bus Ride Free Area (RFA) in downtown Seattle. The meeting will be held from 4 – 6:30 p.m. in the Union Station Great Hall, located at 401 S Jackson Street.   In addition to this change to the RFA, in September bus riders will begin paying when they enter the bus for all trips.. These operational changes that are scheduled to start on Sept. 29 will help save money for the transit system, which in turn, will help preserve bus service. It will also make fare payment and passenger boarding the same throughout the transit systems.

Community Transit will make the same changes in September. Sound Transit is considering similar changes to align with Metro and Community Transit operations in downtown Seattle.

Ending the Ride Free Area in downtown Seattle and asking passengers to pay when they enter could slow down boarding, especially at busy downtown Seattle bus stops. The best way to speed up boarding is to increase the use of ORCA cards for electronic fare payment. Metro is working with the city and other transit agencies on an implementation plan to make these operational changes as efficient as possible.

Please visit the website for more information, including answers to frequently asked questions.

Through April 6, Metro is seeking comments from the public on its implementation plan. You can fill out an online form, or email, or call 206-296-7643; 206-263-9988 (Spanish); or 206-263-9674 (Vietnamese).

If you don’t already have an ORCA card, now is a great time to get one. Check to see if your employer offers ORCA as a transportation benefit, or buy your own.