This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
Today I took my first ride on Link. I’m currently a stay-at-home dad, and I took my baby son for a day trip. Since this was around noon, I asked my wife to meet us at Pioneer Station near her work. We were going to ride to King Station, get $1.75 sandwiches, and she’d ride back to work while we rode onward.
Her cost to ride Link one stop and back? $3.50. To get a $1.75 sandwich. It turns out that unlike bus transfers that are good for 90 minutes, Link requires a payment in each direction. There’s even a special section on the ticket vending machine for 2-way downtown only rides – $3.50.
How on earth is this a fair fare? Yes, she can wait for a bus – and actually decided to only ride Link one way to experience it and take the bus back. But since we’re running trains anyway, can’t we just charge some small fee that people would be willing to pay? Say, $0.25 a way. It’s not like it costs ST anything to have these extra riders, and this represents lost income for ST since people will just wait and ride the bus for free.