Bus downtown
Courtesy Ned Ahrens, King County

The Ride Free Area for buses in downtown Seattle is scheduled to be eliminated on Sept. 29, 2012. At the same time, riders will begin paying when entering the bus for all trips.

These changes will help us save money and preserve bus service. Sound Transit and Community Transit are also preparing to act on similar changes for their bus operations in King County.

We are partnering with these agencies and the city of Seattle to host an open house to update the community and get feedback:

Thursday, March 29
4-6:30 p.m.
Union Station Great Hall
401 S. Jackson St., Seattle

We are currently working with Sound Transit, Community Transit, and Seattle on an implementation plan for the Ride Free Area changes. This includes options to address transportation needs of low or no-income people who use the Ride Free Area to travel to essential services in the downtown area.

The Sound Transit Board is scheduled to vote in June on charging fares for ST Express bus trips within the downtown area, consistent with current policy for Link light rail.

If you’re not able to make it to the open house, you can get more information and comment on the plan by visiting: www.kingcounty.gov/metro/howtoride. Comments can also be emailed to community.relations@kingcounty.gov; or submitted by phone: 206-296-7643; 206-263-9988 (Spanish); or 206-263-9674 (Vietnamese).

The comment period on the plan ends April 6.