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$1 Fare to Ride the Link

You've got one more year of free rides on Tacoma's Link light rail, and then it's going to start costing you. One dollar. That's the price of a fare approved yesterday by Sound Transit's board. 

Sound Transit will begin charging riders of the 1.6 existing miles of Link tracks the $1 fare in September 2014. In September of 2016 the price will climb to $1.50.

Discounted rates will be available for youth and disabled and senior riders, who will pay $0.75 and $0.50, respectively, and discounted transit passes will be available to agencies serving low-income populations. Kids under five will ride for free.

Riders will be able to pay the fare using ORCA cards or by buying a pass or ticket at vending machines.

Mayor Strickland would have liked the fare to stay at $1 until the Link is expanded up to Stadium and MLK, but there's no timeline for that. It's no surprise that Link ridership, which was over one million last year, is expected to drop off with the implementation of fares, and the phased in approach is meant to ease riders in to paying for what they've been used to getting for free.

Any predictions on how this is going to work out?

Read more over at the TNT.


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Comments

Pro Transit

It’s about time. It should have started 10 years ago, then the extension phase would already be here.

September 27, 2013 at 6:38 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Name ingrid walker

While I understand that Tacoma’s not supporting mass transit, this seems like a choice that could adversely affect the renewed energy downtown. Not to mention seriously slowing things down for the SOTA and University folks as they come and go between classes.

September 27, 2013 at 8:09 am / Reply / Quote and reply


JesseRegistered

I’ve heard that to pay for the new pay to ride program, it will take 4-12 years to recoup the money.  Is that worth it?

Also, why id the parking garage for this free and the Link is going to be a pay to ride service.  I know the garage is owned by Pierce Transit and the Link is run by Sound Transit but you’d think they could get together on this and charge for parking in the garage instead.  I mean, aren’t they after a dense downtown?  So why would they have a parking subsidy for suburbanites to drive in and park for free and charge the urban pioneers a fee to get around?  It makes no sense at all.

So I’m not just complaining and not offering a solution, here are some revenue sources to consider:

1. Create zone street parking for downtown in the metered area.  A yearly parking pass for those who have to move around downtown as a street parking vehicle, like delivery people or contractors, and make the rate high. 
2. Charge for parking in the Pierce Transit garage.  Right now it saves people a few hundred dollars a month by being free.  It’s a subsidy to live in the suburbs.
3. Create zone parking permits for street parking outside of the metered area for long term parkers, residents, etc.
4. Create parking maximums and fine those businesses and residence buildings that go over the limit. Including the mall, Wal-Mart, and Target.

With some of these ideas they could probably even fund some of Pierce Transit so it’s not solely funded by the highly volatile sales tax alone.

September 27, 2013 at 9:33 am / Reply / Quote and reply


JDHasty

“urban pioneers” is nothing but code for FREE LOADERS and I have had enough of people free loading on me for the parks they enjoy, the schools their kids attend, the fire and police that protect their sorry asses and on and opens on ad infinitim.

September 29, 2013 at 7:25 am / Reply / Quote and reply


Sid

“Any predictions on how this is going to work out?”  Now that the rain is here, it will work really well.  I don’t know why this is even a discussion, this type of service should have never been free in a city like Tacoma, where there is no disposable income.  Our parking downtown is very fair also, that needs to go up a bit.  Things cost money and the city has to start charging for things, they are too lenient here.  People here think they are being charged too much for services, go to Seattle, or Portland.  I am all for paying, but what I do want is accountability as to where the money is going.

September 29, 2013 at 10:45 am / Reply / Quote and reply


thackerspeedRegistered

This carnival ride is over. Time to pack it up and move it to the next backwoods.

Once the 1.6 mile railway is repaved and converted to a bicycle path, the disciples of New Urban Bicyclingism will announce to the world the revelation of Tacoma’s progressive thinking and the manifestation of its signature achievement.

September 29, 2013 at 9:02 pm / Reply / Quote and reply


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