Link Transit Will Remain Free to Ride
The Link Transit Board renewed their zero-fare policy during their July 21 meeting, meaning bus fare will remain free of charge.
In March of 2020, Link Transit introduced the zero-fare pilot program after seeing a severe dip in ridership.
Link Transit initially did not charge fares when they started in 1991 but later implemented fares after Initiative 695, which resulted in a 45% loss of funding, passed in 1999.
According to their calculations, bus fare only accounted for less than 4.7% of operating costs since 2019. They also found that 46% of their riders did not even pay a fee, whether that be from zero-fare services, free ridership for those under the age of 12, or to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
Link Transit will join other state transit services who are permanently adding a zero-fare policy, including those in Whidbey Island, Shelton, Olympia, Walla Walla and Port Townsend.