Link riders confound Seattle Times

Traveling on my own rail adventure today, I was amused by the headline in this morning’s Seattle Times, “Link’s ticket system confounds riders“, which included the following teaser on the front page of their website:

Sound Transit’s unfamiliar payment system is forcing thousands of riders to make an extra effort to pay, yet deliberate fare dodging appears to be low.

Oh no! Faced with an unfamiliar payment system on a brand new light rail line, riders are making an extra effort to pay! Meanwhile, there appears to be little deliberate fare dodging!

Um… and the problem is?


  1. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Thank God we have a daily newspaper staffed by dozens of reporters and editors, backed by a $150 million printing plant, to tell us all the important things we don’t know.

  2. 3

    EvergreenRailfan spews:

    The machines are easy to use. Just pick your station of destination, put in the money(or credit card), and it prints the ticket. These even print SOUNDER tickets if one is going to transfer. I would prefer the Distance Based fare system be adopted by Metro Buses as well. The South Lake Union Streetcar, since it is a flat fare(the 1-zone Peak Fare is in effect all day), is much simpler to work, just punch the adult fare button, and pay.

    Now with an ORCA card, it is much easier, just tap it on the reader when entering the platform, and tap it again at the station of destination. Took me about 2 minutes to get used to how it worked.

  3. 4

    Emily spews:

    I didn’t see where the ORCA card reader was. I thought it’d be on the train itself. So I rode without tapping on my trip to the airport. But I learned from the Times this AM that I wouldn’t have had to pay anyway, because I took a Metro bus downtown to get on the Link.

    You live and learn.

  4. 5

    EvergreenRailfan spews:

    It’s on the platform, the yellow box, it looks different than the ones on buses. I have still seen some people try to pay the fare to drivers on the South Lake Union Streetcar, not knowing that the fare collection is basically self-service.

  5. 7

    czechsaaz spews:

    Good thing LINK doesn’t sell crowbars or someone who can’t figure out a basic GUI interface might take matters into their own hands…

  6. 8

    EvergreenRailfan spews:

    No, rail is permanent, in some cases in the old days, they just paved them over. A few years ago, I was buying a ticket on Greyhound to Portland(to go down for a little visit to see MAX In action), and as I was walking to the Greyhound terminal(coincidentally, the former terminal for the Seattle-Everett Interurban), the city was repaving the street there and the original roadbed was visible, and you could see the tracks in between the bricks.

    As for the fare payment, and the lack of use of Faregates, maybe they will go in eventually. On all Metrorail lines in LA, they don’t use them, but there is momentum to install them on the Red and Purple lines(which are Heavy Rail, akin to subway operations like NYC, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.), but there is some talk of putting them on the Blue, Green, and Silver lines(Light Rail/Light Rapid Transit) as well. Vancouver has had fare cheats on SkyTrain, there was a small controversy when a mayoral candidate admitting to cheating the fare once.(He still won).

  7. 9

    EvergreenRailfan spews:

    Portland TriMet has voted to do the absolute reverse of what Sound Transit is doing on LINK with their Ride Free Area. LINK is not fare free but buses are when the RFA is in effect. In Portland, buses in the Fareless Square will start charging, while MAX and Streetcar will stay fare free within the square.

  8. 10

    MarkS spews:

    My favorite version of this story was Kirby Wilbur sending “spies” out last week to count Link riders – his producer got kicked off the train for not having proof of payment. Kirby Wilbur blamed Sound Transit, naturally, saying his super-smart production team was “unable to find the ticket vending machines.”

  9. 11



  10. 12


    Wait. On second thought, Goldy kinda sucks at doing original reporting. When he goes out and does a story from scratch, what do we get? “Here’s a picture from my mom’s balcony.” “Here’s a picture of a train station.”

    Maybe he should just stick to sitting in his bathrobe in his basement, and bitching about what he reads in newspapers.

  11. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @11 Every time I think Troll has set a new standard for idiocy that will never be equaled he outdoes himself again.

  12. 15

    rhp6033 spews:

    Troll likes to criticize others for their efforts, despite never making the slightest attempt to do anything substantial himself.

  13. 17

    DoneDeal spews:

    Um, Troll is a nihilist.

    Isn’t nothingness his goal in life?

    ‘Substantial’ is a dirty word for that antisocial kook…

  14. 18

    correctnotright spews:

    The true troll comes out:

    Fucking god-damned nigger bitch.

    Well, we knew troll was stupid but now we know she is racist and sexist too.

    This explains quite a bit about ignorant troll.

    Where is Puddy to repudiate this?

    Oh yeah, MIA.

  15. 19

    DoneDeal spews:

    Here’s why Troll HATES Goldy’s media critiques: only Troll does the media critique thing, you fools!

    Can you say “psycho?”

  16. 20

    Steve spews:

    @13 Sixteen minutes later he tops himself again.

    @18 “MIA”

    Every damned time. Hell, Troll’s probably one of his 27 sockpuppets.

    @19 “psycho”

    Just Troll? Hell, it goes for the whole damned lot of them. How’d we end up with the dumbest and the freakiest deviants on the planet parading as HA trolls? And, hell, that’s not even to mention Marvelous Marvin and that poor, hapless goat of his. A sad and strange story, that one is. He forces us to put a lower case “d” in deviant when talking about the rest of the freaks here.