Sound Transit to change light rail fare to $3 flat rate in fall 2024

Current fares vary depending on trip distance

Link light rail fares will change to a flat rate of $3 per trip for adults starting in the fall of 2024.

Currently, Sound Transit charges between $2.25 and $3.50 for adults traveling one way based on distance. Sound Transit last raised Link fares in 2015. The new fare structure will not affect low-income adult (ORCA LIFT) fares or senior/disabled fares.

The Sound Transit Board approved the new flat fare structure, which will coincide with the scheduled opening of the Lynnwood Link Extension, according to a Dec. 15 Sound Transit news release.

Extensive community engagement found the public almost evenly split on whether to continue with distance-based fares or move to flat fares, according to Sound Transit. In making the change, board members emphasized increased simplicity and the potential for fare capping in the future, as well as equity concerns.

“With easy-to-understand pricing, and ORCA programs to match every income, there’s never been a better time to get on board Link,” said Dow Constantine, King County executive and Sound Transit Board chair. “Link is expanding to serve more and more communities over the next few years, and this simple pricing will make getting where you need to go even easier.”

The Angle Lake in SeaTac to Federal Way extension is scheduled to open in 2026.

The implementation of a flat fare will eliminate the need for Link passengers to tap off at the end of their trip. Today, if passengers fail to tap off, they pay the highest possible fare from their originating station. Forty-six percent of Link passengers pay the adult fare with the remainder using employer-funded passes or reduced fare products, according to Sound Transit. Youth 18 and under ride free.