Sound Transit seeks feedback to light rail fare changes, parking options

Online open house available through Oct. 22

Sound Transit has launched an online open house to inform the public and to ask for feedback about changes the agency is considering to Link light rail fares and its parking program.

The website, which is available through Oct. 22, includes detailed information about the proposed changes and the potential impacts to riders, according to a Sept. 25 Sound Transit news release.

The link for the online open house is

Sound Transit is considering two fare structures for Link light rail that it would recommend to the agency’s Board of Directors.

Under one proposal, fares would be based on distance traveled. Base fare increases of 25 and 50 cents are under consideration, resulting in fare ranges of $2.50–$4.50 or $2.75–$4.75 after light rail expands to Lynnwood, Redmond and Federal Way. Under the second proposal, flat fare rates of $3, $3.25, or $3.50 are under consideration.

The 7.8-mile extension from Angle Lake in SeaTac to Federal Way is scheduled to open in 2026.

The proposals may change as the agency learns more from community members, according to the news release. Sound Transit last increased Link light rail fares eight years ago. Currently, Sound Transit charges between $2.25 and $3.50 for adults traveling one way based on distance.

Sound Transit is also considering changes to its parking program.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency established a reserved permit parking area at the busiest lots and issued free reserved carpool parking permits and paid reserved single-occupant vehicle permits. Permit parking was suspended in March 2020. Parking usage has been trending up in the last two years, and free carpool permit parking was re-started at the Tukwila International Boulevard and Northgate stations in 2022, according to the news release.

As Sound Transit prepares to open new Link light rail lines with 12 new and expanded park-and-ride lots in the next few years, parking is expected to regularly reach capacity. Now is the time to plan for efficient use of parking areas, to ensure passengers have reliable access to parking, and to recover agency costs associated with park-and-ride lots, as called for in the voter-approved ST3 System Plan.

Sound Transit is considering a variety of tools, including adoption of daily fees, at some or all park-and-ride lots. Monthly permits and daily user fees can help Sound Transit manage the availability of parking, so passengers are more likely to find a space when they need one.

The online open house includes surveys where people can provide feedback on the various fare and parking options.