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King County Metro To Charge Flat Rate Bus Fare

Jennifer Wing

King County Metro Transit fares are being simplified. Beginning in July 2018, bus riders will pay a flat adult rate of $2.75. The new fare system eliminates different fares for peak times and for traveling between zones.Although you won’t have to pay more if you ride the bus during peak commute times, the streamlined system will cost off-peak riders more. The current off-peak adult fare is $2.50 and will go up to $2.75.

The Metro Transit changes were approved unanimously Monday by the King County Council.

The new fare was proposed by King County Executive Dow Constantine as a way to improve what he called one of “the most complex fare structures” in the U.S.

King County officials estimate the vast majority of riders won’t really be affected by the changes. The fare won’t change for Metro riders who qualify for youth, senior or disabled discounts.

And for employers who provide ORCA cards for their employees, there will only be a slight increase in cost.

Fares cover about 25 percent of Metro's operating costs. Sales tax and Seattle car tab fees cover the yearly operating budget of $800 million.

Paula is a former host, reporter and producer who retired from KNKX in 2021. She joined the station in 1989 as All Things Considered host and covered the Law and Justice beat for 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.