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Tacoma Link Fare Proposal

We asked recently how much you would pay to ride the Link through downtown Tacoma. Now Sound Transit is asking you the same question.

Sound Transit is considering charging fares to ride Tacoma Link. If approved by the Sound Transit Board, an adult fare could range from $1 to $2, with lower rates for children, seniors and people with disabilities.

The Tacoma Link is Sound Transit's only free ride service, but that 10-year free ride looks like it will be coming to an end. Free fares are allowed on Sound Transit services when the cost of fare collection is determined to outweigh the probable revenue. That made sense originally, but with about one million rides a year, the transit agency is reassessing the situation.

Sound Transit will host an open house and take comments at a public hearing next Thursday, September 19. Public comments may also be submitted submitted in writing through September 19. Details at soundtransit.org.

The Sound Transit board is expected to take up the question later this month. If they decide a fare is in order, collection would begin mid-2014 at the earliest.

If it's feasible to charge a fare for the Link, does that mean downtown Tacoma has arrived as an urban center? And where do we go next?


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Comments

fred davieRegistered

People can’t provide an informed opinion about instituting a fare collection routine unless they are told what the anticpated cost of fare collection would be.

September 12, 2013 at 8:04 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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JesseRegistered

They should charge for parking in the parking garage instead.  It would be less punishing for those who chose an urban lifestyle.

September 12, 2013 at 9:15 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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talus

I agree with Jesse.  If a fare is put on the short (and quite walkable!) current route, I hope ST doesn’t use the inevitably reduced ridership as an excuse to reduce their contribution to the Link’s extension.  Once extended to Hilltop and Stadium, a fare will actually be justified.

On the other hand, I would support a fare if every penny goes toward ST’s budget for extending the Link in a manner that would be additive to ST’s share of the extension budget and thereby reduce the city’s contribution.  ST owes Tacoma one given that Seattle has light rail to the airport, Bellevue will soon, and we don’t and won’t for a looooong time.

September 12, 2013 at 10:31 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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JDHasty

In other words you would continue to give short shrift to people within the ST boundary who were promised in Sound Move ‘96 Express Bus service that never materialized and who have received absolutely NO benefit what so ever for the dollars they have contributed to ST. Is that what you are saying?

September 13, 2013 at 9:19 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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