Safety should come first regarding Sound Transit fares

Regarding the recent editorial regarding fares on Sound Transit’s light rail (“Sound Transit’s lax fare policy just isn’t fair,” The Herald, June 2): While I can understand this perspective, I would like to point out a few things from my time as a Metro King County transit operator.

I drove for Metro Transit in an era where fare enforcement was the expected norm, and drivers were the designated frontline personnel on the issue. While it may have been completely safe to confront nonpayment at some point, after a significant rise in assaults on drivers the policy was changed. We were required to only ask once for fare and ignore any nonpayment. This was to protect drivers and avoid impacting other passengers.

Years after I left Metro, the policy was changed yet again. Drivers were still being assaulted, so the policy became completely non-confrontational.

It’s not about being friendly. It’s not about having a “lax fare policy.”

It’s about being safe.

Julie Schick

Bothell

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