Proposed Policy Change Seeks to Simplify Fare Structure in Preparation for New Payment Technology

Aug 4, 2017

Snohomish County, Wash. – Community Transit is proposing a policy change that would simplify the fare structure on commuter routes. If approved, this simplified fare structure would take effect in summer 2018.
A customer swipes his ORCA card at a Swift Station.
Community Transit, along with other Puget Sound transit agencies, is working to develop a new electronic fare payment system that will eventually replace the current One Regional Card for All (ORCA) smart-card system which has been in place since 2009. The new system, called the Next Generation ORCA Project (ngORCA), is planned to replace the aging ORCA system in 2021.

To simplify the fare structure, Community Transit is considering removal of zone-based fares. This change would eliminate fare overrides on the 400 and 800 series commuter routes.

For example, under the Proposed Fare Policy Change:

  • Whether you ride Route 421 from Marysville to Seattle or from Lynnwood to Seattle, customers will always pay the “Commuter – North/East” fare.
  • If a customer rides Route 416 from the Edmonds Ferry to Highway 99 or all the way to Seattle, they will always pay the “Commuter – South/Everett” fare.

Customers who use the override feature have lower fare alternatives on other local and commuter routes.  For example:

  • Instead of taking Route 421 from Marysville to Lynnwood, a customer can take Routes 201 or 202 to make the same trip at the “Local” Fare.
  • Instead of taking Route 416 from the Edmonds Ferry to Highway 99, a customer can take Route 130 at the “Local” fare.

More information about this proposal and additional examples of how the proposal would affect routes is available at here.

Public Comment

The public is invited to comment on this Fare Change Proposal August 4 - September 11, 2017.

Comments may be made in-person during the Public Hearing held at the Board of Directors Meeting on Thursday, September 7 at 3 p.m. The meeting takes place in the Community Transit Board Room located at 7100 Hardeson Rd., Everett 98203.

Public comment may also be made by:

Community Transit is responsible for providing bus and paratransit service, vanpool and alternative commute options in Snohomish County. The agency is building a network of Swift bus rapid transit lines with Swift Blue Line along Highway 99 and the Swift Green Line between Canyon Park/Bothell and Boeing/Paine Field coming in 2019.