For every two passengers who pay for their light rail trips in Seattle, at least one more skips the fare.

Fare dodging happens for all to see post-pandemic, in a gateless system that relies on the willingness of riders to buy fare cards or tickets, along with sporadic spot checks by inspectors. Sound Transit’s governing board has balked at reviving strict enforcement where security guards issue citations, in favor of gentler tactics.

Many riders just feel insulted if they pay, and someone else is freeloading. Even former CEO Peter Rogoff griped about Mariners fans who drink $13 beers but won’t pay $2.75 for a ride home.




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