On Thursday, Oct. 1, Metro will resume collecting fares for all transit services: water taxi (Vashon Island and West Seattle), buses, Access paratransit, Seattle Streetcar (First Hill and South Lake Union), Vanpool, and flexible services like Via to Transit. Fare collection is already taking place on Sound Transit Express bus and Sound Transit light rail.
In anticipation of growing ridership, Metro and its Marine Division have safety enhancements in place so fares can be safely collected with minimal contact between passengers and crew members:
- Water taxi’s fare collection carts have been modified to include a transparent shield
- Each vessel is disinfected twice a day
- The passenger ferry terminal is disinfected daily
- There is plenty of space aboard for social distancing with ridership below 50% of current COVID-19 reduced capacity limits
Metro is encouraging riders to use a contactless payment option — such as an ORCA card or the TransitGoTicket mobile App — to speed up the boarding process, and further protect both themselves and the operator. Here’s how to get started:
- Visit the “Where to buy” page to learn how to acquire an ORCA card online or in-person. Metro’s Pass Sales Office recently reopened to assist customers in getting ORCA cards and reloading their E-purses.
- You can also acquire Transit GO Tickets through your mobile device.
- For those who qualify, ORCA LIFT is available to help reduce the cost of riding Metro.
- Youth and seniors are also eligible for reduced fares.
Metro suspended fares on March 21 to protect passengers and crew members from the potential spread of COVID-19. The suspension of fare collection has cost Metro a significant amount of revenue, yet as King County gradually reopens, the need for Metro service, and the funding to support it, will only increase.
Metro continues to encourage passengers to support the health of other passengers and our frontline essential workers – the captains, crews, terminal agents, and engineering staff—by:
- Wearing a mask
- Staying home when sick
- Maintaining physical distance
- Avoiding closed areas
- Signing up for Transit Alerts
- Paying with your ORCA card
Visit the Healthier Metro page for the latest information on how Metro is protecting passengers and operators, and how riders can help protect themselves and others when riding transit.
Both the West Seattle and Vashon Island routes of the water taxi will remain on their current commuter schedules throughout the winter. Sailing schedules are here.