Sound Transit:

The Fare Ambassador Pilot Program grew out of passenger feedback and community engagement that expressed discomfort with fare enforcement officers who resemble law enforcement. In response, Fare Ambassadors wear bright yellow caps, and carry yellow messenger bags that make them easy to recognize. Their focus is on passenger education and customer service rather than enforcement, with particular emphasis on how to purchase ORCA cards and passes and how income-eligible passengers can obtain ORCA LIFT cards.

“We want all passengers to feel comfortable asking Fare Ambassadors for assistance, whether they need help getting to their destination, or they’re having trouble purchasing fare,” said Sound Transit Chief Passenger Experience and Innovation Officer Russ Arnold. “Fare Ambassadors are here to provide help.”

Riders can expect to see the yellow caps starting this week. Read our previous coverage of fare enforcement here.

38 Replies to “Sound Transit begins new fare ambassador pilot”

  1. Does this mean people will be given a ‘talking to’ if they don’t pay the fare, but that there won’t be any real consequences?

    1. Since Public transportation is supposed to be 100%, totally, completely, FREE!!!!
      – To ALL Users.

      Please give actual thought to, and then tell me, what it is you think, you mean, by “Real Consequences”!

      1. If it were supposed to be free ST wouldn’t charge a fare, nor would it include fare-box monies in its revenue forecasts.

        On the other hand, this post sat for most of the day without any comments, and now there are some! Nice!

    2. Non-paying riders won’t be given a talking to. At the most, fare ambassadors might almost apologetically hand the rider a pamphlet on how to get an ORCA card. That’s as far as it will go. There will be no consequences for non-payment.

      Fare ambassadors should be paid extremely well for the abuse they’re going to endure. If it were up to me, they’d make $40/hour.

      1. ? Abuse?

        They do, already, make MORE than $40.00/hr.

        You’re going in the wrong direction. They should much more simply, just NOT exist. The existence of a Fare Inspector / Enforcer / Ambassador, is a serious WASTE of “Human Resource”, an even more serious waste of funds, and since most of the funds which are the Revenue of Public Transportation systems is Federal Grant funds, the funds for the Fare Ambassador program in its entirety is a waste!

    1. Since Public transportation is supposed to be 100%, totally, completely, FREE!!!!
      – To ALL Users.

      No one, is supposed to pay.

      Only because our State, Regional, County, and City Governments, and our Public Transportation Organizations, are mismanaging Current and Potential Revenue Streams, Public Policies, Public Laws, and Law Enforcement…..

      … there the current woefully misconceived notion of Public Transit Fares.

  2. ST considering more changes to fares, fare enforcement
    Posted on November 10, 2020 by Martin H. Duke

    The $124 fine goes to court fees, and can’t shrink without state action. Board members would like to get the courts out of it, but CEO Peter Rogoff is still looking for the magic solution: “what do we do, if not the courts?”

    The new [Community Court] Chief Judge is not interested in partnering with us… No one is interested in putting a poor person through the court system. [There are] persistent fare violators who are not clearly economically distressed… Metro is on the same journey as we are… Folks who set up appointments for alternative resolution [with Metro], some 90% never show up, and then nothing becomes of those cases. Which is to say, there is no consequence for persistent violators… What does the community want for these cases?

    – Board members would like to get the courts out of it, but CEO Peter Rogoff is still looking for the magic solution: “what do we do, if not the courts?”

    — Either absolutely nothing, in the vein of so called “Fare Enforcement”, try a bit of “Intelligent Creativity”.
    — Intelligent Creativity: Since you are a Public Transportation entity, and one in what is suppossed to be one of the most PROGRESSIVE regions in the entire world……
    …..I say, be Intelligent! Work with Local, County, Regional, State governments to innact Transportation PROGRESSIVEness.
    – In the Greater Seattle Area, eliminate ALL “ON STREET PARKING”!
    – In the meantime, Put that $15 MILLION, Seattle police Department Payroll Surplus to PROPER use by, restructuring Police Officer Duty Assignment to Parking Enforcement / Violation Revenue. Put those increased Motor Vehicle Mis-Usage funds towards increased Public transportation Funding / Via increasing Rider Usage.
    – Do the same with Motor Vehicle Moving violation Revenue increasing. Restructure Police Officer Duty Assignments to Putting Police officers on the more used intersections of the most used Seattle, Greater Downtown area.
    – All intersection of both Pike & Pine, from 1st Avenue, up tp 15th.
    – All intersections along Madisson from 1st to 15th
    – All intersections of Broadway from Jackson to Roy
    – All along Jackson from 1st to Boren.
    – All throughout the Downtown Shopping corridor

    In short order CLOSE Broadway from Jackson through the Roy street “Y-split”, to all but STREET CAR usage. Yes, that means lengthening the STREET CAR along the full thenth of Broadway to the Roy Street “Y-split”.
    In-fact, the STREET CAR should be extended past the Roy Street “Y-Split” at the north end of the Broadway / Capitol Hill shopping district, all the way up to the Metro Bus Staging / Transfer area in the University District.
    No On-Street Parking anywhere on Jackson, Ranier, Broadway, along the expanded Street car Route, all the way up along University, to 45th in Wallingford / The University District.

    …..I can go on and on with ways in which Seattle, the Greater Seattle area, King and surrounding counties, and the State of Washington can increase Revenues by the TRILLIONS of dollars annually, reduce ALL Motor Vehicle ownership and usage, and eliminate 100% of all combustion engine vehicle ownership and usage, reduce crime, increase citizen incomes, reduce citizen cost of living, increase small business ownership and profitability, increase Public Transportation usage by more than 10,000%!


  3. If persons weren’t paying 300% up towards 500% and more, what Housing is actually worth, for their housing, perhaps those same persons could then afford the Public Transportation fare fees, which are supposed to be FREE!

    NO! I am most absolutely NOT any sort of…….”Socialist”!

    1. Economics 101:

      Things are “worth” what people will pay for them. That’s how markets work.

  4. The lack of fare enforcement will have long-lasting effects. Whatever the percentage of non-payers used to be, let’s say 5%, will now be much higher, maybe 20%+. This higher percentage will be permanent. ST’s response won’t be tougher fare enforcement. Instead, they’ll try to get that lost fare revenue from someplace else. Higher fares on those who do pay. Higher taxes. Etc.

    1. Counterpoint – the use of fare ambassadors is an effective “sales” tactic for Sound Transit, and more awareness of the reduced fare program results in more riders and more revenue.

      1. So is the reason people are not riding transit right now because fares are too high? If fares were reduced 50% or 75% across the board would ridership increase significantly during a pandemic?

        Restaurants, sporting events, and many employers will mandate vaccinations, but not transit. Mask adherence has never been enforced on transit. Apparently public transit riders fear the police for some reason.

        We know what happens when fares are free from Metro’s free zone years ago. I really don’t think ST and Metro could do a better job of convincing work commuters to demand WFH, or subsidized parking if they go into the office.

        If ST ever releases its financials I will be interested to see what the farebox recovery ratio has been over the last six months, and why ST felt those numbers supported reducing the deficit from $11.5 billion to $6.5 billion.

        We all know who the “fare ambassadors” will target and who they will avoid for political reasons, except there won’t be any riders from the first group on Link, even if fares are free for them too.

      2. You know as well as any of us that the “farebox” had nothing to do with the change in projected revenues, because the firebox only funds a portion of operations. The capital budget is met from taxes and grants.

        The sky did not stay fallen, so projections of future tax revenues went up sharply.

        But you already knew that. It’s an Inconvenient Truth completely destroying your fanciful story that ST wil, not be able to build anything in the Nortk King subarea except the two infill stations.

      3. Daniel Thompson,

        The reason for non-maximization of Public Transportation System usage, again is a very simple issue. One which most persons, just as you have, fail to pay attention to.

        The issue has near NOTHING to do with Public Transportation.

        The issue is do to:
        Transportation as a whole.

        If not by means of Public Transportation System usage, then how ARE most persons transporting themselves?
        (That, is the proper question. The question which our Politicos, and Municipal Operations persons know to be the proper question. They themselves pose the question, they simply chose to ignore the very simple solution to the issue, the answer to the question.)

        It is all about the elimination of the problem. Very simply!

        The problem: (How most persons Are transporting, and Do transport, themselves!)
        – Personal, Private, Motor Vehicles.

        The solution:
        – Reduce the irresponsible, dangerous, use and ownership of Personal, Private motor vehicles.
        – Since the use of personal, private motor vehicles is actually a privilege, not a ‘Right’, the reduction of their usage is a 100%, complete, NON-ISSUE, beyond the fact that this essential and necessary reduction is not being implemented.
        – Ownership of Personal, Private, motor vehicles, however IS a “Right”. As such, and as things are…..I could enjoy having financially irresponsible persons purchasing, and owning, personal, private motor vehicles……yet not being allowed to ever use them. I am POSSITIVE, that a great many persons would do just such. buy personal, private, motor vehicles, for all of the pretentious, irresponsible reasons which they currently purchase them.
        – However, the manufacture of, and mere existence of, personal, private motor vehicles, is and would continue to be every bit as dangerous, as a whole, as they currently are.
        – So the proper and intelligent solution is to simply make the financial cost impact of the ownership of personal, private, motor vehicles, the REAL burden upon all who do and might choose to own them.
        Cease all government subsidization of the manufacture of all Motor vehicles!
        Cease all government subsidization of all aspects of the motor vehicle fuel industries!
        Charge all who chose to own, and operate motor vehicles the actual costs for usage of Public assets.
        (The actual costs to the Public, just here in Seattle, for the usage / operation of motor vehicles, is in the TRILLIONS, annually.) Yet the owners and operators of motor vehicles get to do so for FREE!

        So while you may ‘think’ that Public transportation usage being Free of all usage Fares, is incorrect…….why are you, at the same time, choosing to give away TRILLIONS upon TRILLIONS, to keep usage of Public Transportation at a minimum?

        #1 – Eliminate ALL on-street parking!
        #2 – Do NOT allow any additional creation of motor vehicle parking facilities!
        #3 – Eliminate ALL public motor vehicle parking facilities!
        #4 – Criminalize ALL use of Fossil Fuel powered, and all other combustion engine, vehicles!
        #5 – Encourage Privately owned, subterranean, electric powered, fully automated, parking facilities, for ONLY Electric, non-Fossil fuel powered, vehicles.
        #6 – Since private, Personal vehicles are “Luxury Items”, and their use is a Luxury burden upon the Public, make the actual financial cost of both their ownership, and especially their use, the sole burden of the Owners and the Users!

        Do these things, and guess what…..people will stop using, then will stop owning, personal, private motor vehicles.
        Those who currently transport themselves by owning and using personal, private motor vehicles will…..
        – Walk
        – Ride Bicycles
        – Use Electric Scootors
        – Use Public transportation!

        There is Actually, Truly, Genuinely, Factually, Realistically – Absolutely no reason for ANYONE to Own, or Use, EVER, ANY personal, private Car, Truck or other version of what is known as a Motor Vehicle!

        It’s all VERY SIMPLE!
        It IS the actual INTELLIGENT thing to do!

        Now go prove just how much most all persons do not like Facts and especially not Reality!
        G’head, disagree with me.

      4. Daniel,

        For the record, my first point is it is easy, simple and nice to prognosticate on the effect of this pilot program. The more important thing to do is to take adequate lessons from the data – so I hope there are as many engaged commenters whenever they review this pilot program.

        No, obviously low fares are not going to solve the pandemic.

        Are you aware of the “pay what you want” pricing model? It has had some niche applications (for me, Radiohead’s album release in 2007), as well as widespread, analogous examples (e.g. tipping at restaurants, cafes, & bars).

        The core understanding is that it removes the “adversarial” relationship between the buyer and seller. Instead, people (on average) behave in a way that is more in line with other social interactions, based on reciprocity, generosity, compassion, etc.

        For something that is public service, this is appropriate. Because, ultimately, this is something that is meant to be a cooperative venture between citizens – we all pay into this, and we all benefit. In a way, the use of fare enforcement is sort of a “Potemkin village.” People are already paying for public transit in their taxes. Why introduce harsh rules and punishment over a revenue source that is only a small proportion of the total?

        The other thing about a pay what you want model is that it recreates what is already happening with transit in a more consistent way. Ultimately, even the small proportion of people caught for non-payment are probably not made to pay – as Rogoff said, no one is interested in hauling these people to court if they don’t pay. So they don’t pay. Meanwhile, the people who are willing to pay do so. What distinguishes our system from pay-what-you-want is it subjects people who don’t pay to a bunch of highly improbable but also highly stressful talkings-to and bureaucratic machinery – the para-law enforcement “fare enforcer” being the hallmark of this.

        Currently, the people who habitually don’t pay fares are nabbed by enforcement on probably their 100th time riding. It’s like DUI enforcement. We can arrest people every 100 times we drive drunk and absolutely *nail* them for it – which is Kafkaesque – or we can try and spend that state power to try and address the underlying causes. In the case of DUI, it’s alcoholism. With non-payment, it’s less clear, but I’d imagine two primary contributors are poverty and homelessness.

        The reason I bring this up is that the change (really two changes – removing fare enforcers and introducing fare ambassadors) – moves us closer to a pay-what-you-want model. Because it reduces the penalty for non-payment, and it increases the ease of paying less than the full fare. In fact, I think it is very interesting because it is moving closer to a “covert” pay-what-you-want model because people don’t necessarily think that they are allowed to pay nothing. There is a lot of social and other pressure to pay. But the examples of unpleasant and stressful interactions between fare enforcers and non-payers will be eliminated. The advantage being – treating public transit more like the cooperative good and public service that it is.

      5. Andrew, could we extend the pay what you want model to the general fund taxes used to fund ST, like sales taxes, property taxes, vehicle taxes, etc.? Because I would like to have the option to not pay those taxes, since I don’t use the transit service. Surely if someone who actually uses transit is able to opt out of paying for their fare (and probably pays no general fund taxes toward ST) someone who does not use transit should be able to opt out of paying for transit.

        In fact make all of transit voluntarily funded, by those who use it.

        “Why introduce harsh rules and punishment over a revenue source that is only a small proportion of the total?” 40% of operational costs are to come from ST fares. That is not a small percentage IMO. For example, if frequency and coverage on light rail was reduced 40% would that be a small percentage for riders?

        If you allow some to pay no fare soon none will pay just like I would opt out of paying the general fund taxes for ST if I could, because they will feel they are being taken advantage of, and may disagree with the atmosphere of free transit. That is what happened with Metro’s free zone in downtown Seattle. It is why my income taxes are not voluntarily, and if I get caught not paying them I am in deep shit.

        At least designate one train car the free train car so enforcement officers don’t waste them time on them, and they all get to ride together.

        I have a hunch we will have this discussion in the next year or two, when ST has to acknowledge long term reduced ridership will result in less than the 40% farebox recovery it estimated in ST 2 and 3 to cover operations.

        Some like me will argue raise fares, or request riders voluntarily make up the difference in voluntary higher fares. Others will argue cut service and frequency to meet the operations budget. Some like ST might argue forgoe maintenance. My guess however is those who advocate free fares, or pay what YOU want, will argue for more levies, another realignment, or some other general fund tax increase that unfortunately won’t be voluntary.

        Sam is correct: most other transit systems set up a system in which a fare is necessary to enter the station, which in the long term is cheaper, and more objective. No fare no station entry and no train ride.

      6. I see your point about taxes. Why can’t you opt out of paying some of them? The practical answer is that if people were able to opt out of paying taxes on certain public goods, we would no longer have most public goods. This is the tragedy of the commons. Most democratic nations require you to contribute to public goods you don’t use.

        I think you are getting into this sense that transit riders are privileged over you in that they can choose not to pay fares. But they aren’t! They do not get to choose to not pay taxes any more than you do. I know you slipped in this “(and probably pays no general fund taxes toward ST)” – but believe me, people that don’t pay fares do pay sales tax, property tax, car tabs, etc. They might pay less than you – but that is the reality of a progressive tax system.

        You raise a good point that 40% is not trivial. You’re right that it isn’t. But that doesn’t really address the thorny problem that fare enforcement still doesn’t get people to pay. Maybe gates are the solution. It would certainly prevent the less-determined from riding without paying. Although in Boston I’ve slipped through fare gates on a whim without much problem at all.

  5. Couple the increased ‘information’ via the fare ambassador program with a turn style system a la the New York subway, to be implemented in a year or so, and now we’ve got a winner.

  6. There needs to be some staff with the appearance of authority on Link trains. They deter on-board crimes like robbery or assault of other passengers.

    The role of these ambassadors will hopefully be important as the first line of protection. How much authority will they have to kick people off trains or hold people for arrest? Will they ever be carrying firearms?

    There is much more to their job than merely dealing with fares. They are important eyes in the train.

    And I would gladly pay a fare to help make sure I won’t get robbed or assaulted. Unlike a sidewalk where you can avoid a bit of danger, your are stuck on a train car and can’t escape. Without regular staff on trains, crime becomes a greatly increased risk.

    1. I think it’s important to distinguish the situation from a bus. Bus drivers see every person getting on and can monitor things happening — doing things like refusing to open doors and pulling over between stops until the police arrive.

      Four-car trains don’t have this level of monitoring. Even with cameras, a train driver still can’t monitor trains like a bus driver can. Plus, once both 1 and 2 Lines begin operating in 2023, even holding trains becomes an operations problem if it’s done for any longer than a few minutes.

      With years of train commuting, I’ve witnessed many crimes and assaults and threats. This is not some fringe occurrence.

      1. Al,

        No Bus Driver, EVER, is tasked with “monitoring” the users of any bus!
        Nor, EVER should they be.

        Their job is to……(wait for it)…..DRIVE THE BUS!

        But Yes, Al, you are correct, Seattle does indeed have its share of Bad persons.

        That FACT, Al….is the HUMAN CONDITION!

        The existence of Bad persons is NOT a Sound Transit Lightrail condition.

        Simply, NEVER use our Public Transportation system Al.
        Give serious consideration to never going outside of your home!

        Good Bye, Al.
        Have a great day, Al.

      2. Monitoring is not enforcement, Brian.

        Please don’t personally attack me. I have commuted on subway trains for 33 years in my life in three different cities. I have plenty of experience.

    2. Al,

      Please do NOT, EVER, use OUR Public Transportation system.

      There ya go. I solved your fictitious, pretentious fear mongering issue for you!

      Good bye!
      Go away!
      Have a great day!

      1. Please don’t attack me personally. This blog is for discussion and not verbal assaults. Personal attacks deter the mostly insightful posts that many make — and none of us deserve these general assaults.

    3. You do know that the criminal is stuck in the train car also and the train is on a rails. It’s not like the crime is gonna happen in the train right after the car leaves the station; it happens right before the car gets to the station.

      1. Baselle,

        You are correct!

        That is what happened when I was attacked!

        Yet, even having been attacked, by actually two of Seattle’s “Bad Persons”, while using our Lightrail, I never would, nor ever will, give consideration to not using our Lightrail.

        My situation was handled, in as far as I experienced, perfectly, by the Transit security person who assisted me.

        In as much as I am aware, the Train driver did absolutely nothing to assist me, when I was in need of help.
        I am okay with that, because their job was, and is, to drive the train.

        I was further violently assaulted by the two responding King County Sheriffs Department Deputies.
        Even that, has nothing at all to do with the Bad Persons who attacked me on the train.

        The issue is very simple:
        Bad Persons exist!
        Bad Persons, do Bad things!

        Bad Persons will always exist!
        Bad Persons will always do Bad things!
        – Fact & Reality!!

  7. There are a myriad of ways in which anyone can get a reduced fare permit who needs one.

    But you are right in the sense that as long as ST is charging a fare, and as long as I’m expected to pay, and am paying a fare, I don’t want people getting on the bus or train who can afford to pay not paying. And forgoing all enforcement is going to lead to exactly that.

    My idea to bring back the turnstiles is to avoid that point of contention – whether it is between an ‘ambassador’/fare enforcement officer and someone who hasn’t paid, or between myself and the people I observe not paying, because I will be able to assume that anyone beyond the turnstile will have either paid or used their valid reduced, or free-fare permit.

    My other problem with this is that allowing people to board and choose whether or not to ‘donate’ to ST is anarchy, and that doesn’t work for me.

    On the other hand I’m also fine with ST saying no fares at all, because that also eliminates the point of contention and consternation I’m talking about. As long as ST can afford it.

    Yet to Al’s point if ST eliminated fares I would also keep the ambassadors, or a security presence for the sake of safety because yes, there are bad people out there.

    1. Based on ST’s assumptions and farebox recovery goals, eliminating fares would reduce frequency and coverage by 40%, or raise fares 40%. This would in part depend on the subarea. For example, East King Co. — arguably the least transit dependent subarea — would likely have the funding to replace or eliminate some fares (which based on past ridership would mostly benefit employers who subsidize eastside employee Orca cards to commute to work). Other subareas would likely see a greater reduction than 40%.

      I am afraid Brian P. is mistaken if he thinks “trillions” are lost due to mismanagement by ST and Metro. The entire ST budget through 2044 after the realignment is $131 billion, a $35 billion increase, which if you understand those kinds of figures is staggering, and beyond the comprehension of most.

      The real issue was the scope of light rail, and its cost to build in a three county area that does not have the ridership or population density for most of the spine (along with ST concealing that true cost — where was Brian P. when ST was claiming in ST 3 DSTT2 would cost $2.2 billion). Paraphrasing Joni Earl, ST 2 and 3 were optimism on steroids. A pandemic was no help.

      Spending $131 billion for what we got, with a 40% farebox recovery goal — which of course determines fares unless some other source of income is found — was unwise if providing transit to those who need it most was the goal. Every other social need in the region will lose out when $131 billion is sucked out of the system (and my guess is $131 billion still does not build DSTT2 or WSBLE, or cover operations), and still fares one way on Link will be around $4 by 2025. Hardly transit for the poor.

      At the same time it is a vicious circle. Make transit free and the folks who will end up using it drive away the folks who can pay for it, and I would posit that is a very dangerous thing to do during a pandemic when it isn’t clear those employees will end up returning to transit, unless they want to, and transit in this region has been very arrogant towards riders for many years, and so has very little good will. Transit will never match the car for convenience and safety, unless there is congestion or the cost to park is too high (and not subsidized by employers which is around the same cost per stall as one monthly Orca pass)

      Brian P. may get his dream and transit will have no fares, but he might be waiting a very, very long time at the station — or forever — for the train to arrive. With WFH the vast majority of residents on the eastside probably wouldn’t even notice Brian P. waiting at the station day after day for a train or bus, or care.

      We saw no fares with the free Metro zone in downtown Seattle that not only hurt transit ridership, but downtown businesses because staff would not take transit to work once it reached the free zone.

      The Metro restructure on the eastside, at least for me, is more honest about ridership on East Link than ST 2 or ST. But it is Sept. 2021, we are in the middle of a pandemic, and all these routes and frequencies assume ridership will rebound (at least those who pay fares). My guess is this restructure, like the realignment, will be revisited in the next few years, because I am getting a feeling Covid will be around much longer than we think, especially if we will need booster shots for years.

      At the same time, the issues for the eastside, since it has the capital budget (too much capital budget) will be to raise fares, cut service, or vote for more general fund tax increases to cover lost farebox recovery. Knowing the eastside probably better than Brian P. I would not hope for number three.

      In the end the fundamental issue is ST designed stations that do not restrict access to those with a ticket, like just about every other system. No one walks onto a plane and has a fare inspector check their ticket once in the air. No one is suppose to board a bus without the driver seeing a fare paid.

      It is ridiculous to ask the police to enforce fares, and just as silly to dress up fare “ambassadors” like clowns and ask them to demand money for fares from the general public, when those who know damn well they were suppose to pay the fare, and have a fear of the police for good reason, are the most likely to become violent or object. You DON’T WANT people who refuse to pay a fare riding transit with you.

      Sam is correct: it will very, very difficult for ST, and its fare ambassador program, to put the genie back in the bottle and lower the number of riders who ride ST for free once riders assume they can ride for free without consequence. It is not unlike camping in a park or on a street although Seattle’s ordinances make that a gross misdemeanor.

      The ambassadors are too limited in number, and have been given a job the police should do, a terrible indictment of ST’s fare enforcement program and open stations. I mean, what was ST thinking, and is it really surprised folks ride for free if they can board a train for free?

      Let’s face it, within a few years we will see a “realignment” for reduced farebox recovery for operations, and likely a countywide levy for Metro, although I don’t think a county wide Metro levy will pass. Did anyone really think the capital budgets would be billion underwater but the operations budgets would be on budget?

      Maybe Seattle can pass levies, and The Urbanist has an article about Seattle passing its own levy to fund not only ST 3 in N. King Co. but all of Seattle Subway’s plans. Fortunately for them, The Urbanist like many transit advocates does not understand big money, and sees little difference between millions, billions, and trillions, so everything is affordable, even Seattle Subway, because they want it and don’t assume they will pay for it.

      1. Fares or not, I think that the “ambassadors” are going to be viewed as security guards or police by many.

        And I think fare enforcement is a good tool to keep a segment of the “bad people” off trains. Threatening removing someone is an incentive to behave. That even goes for verbal attacks related to sexism, racism and other things.

        Finally, we may have overcrowding like many subway systems do. There may not be room for a surge of bew free-riding riders.

        Now I certainly agree that the ST fare enforcement system was convoluted and unnecessarily costly to violators. They have made changes for the better. Moving forward, it’s a tradeoff of whether to add free riders or keep safety and quality in place for those that pay or have their employers pay.

      2. The real issue was the scope of light rail, and its cost to build in a three county area that does not have the ridership or population density for most of the spine

        You will find exactly zero people on this blog who disagree with you. Yet you lump all of us except Tlsgwm in your scorned cohort of “Urbanists”. You make good points but OVER and OVER and OVER you taint them with your supercilious view of people who care for quality transit.

      3. And you even proudly proclaim “I don’t use transit”. Well why are you wasting your time here if it is not just to flatter your own ego and “Own the Libs”. That’s pretty infantile behavior for an Officer of the Court.

  8. They are there to help the fare thieves get away with it. Because the Sound Transit Board and Executives think the thieves are better people than honest riders.

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