King County Metro’s and Sound Transit’s first priority is the health and well-being of our customers and employees. Your entire transit experience should be safe and welcoming.

Guided by community and employee engagement, we are committed to providing a more visible presence across the transit network. In recent years, we’ve added—and continue to add—more transit security officers, we’ve expanded their hours and locations, and we’re partnering with neighborhood organizations to provide support to community members in need.

While fentanyl use has increased in our region, smoking and all substance use have always been illegal under the Rider Code of Conduct. Riders in violation are subject to removal and fines. If you see substance use, please report it. Knowing when and where problems exist on our system are invaluable as we continually update our approach and our deployments.

Additionally, Metro, Sound Transit and other area transit agencies are participating in a University of Washington study to assess air quality on transit. While drug incidents on Metro are not common, our goal remains zero. When an incident does happen, not enough is known about air flow and whether substances linger.

This research, with the support of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) leadership, will increase scientific knowledge and potentially inform improvements to air flow, cleaning protocols and filters in support of employee and rider health. According to the University of Washington, this is the first study of its kind on transit.

Work to collect air and surface samples and assess airflow patterns is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks onboard Metro and Sound Transit Link light rail. Other research partners include Community Transit, Everett Transit and TriMet in Portland.

This study is being conducted while Metro and other transit agencies simultaneously work internally, with partners and with law enforcement to more effectively prevent all substance use on transit.