All in all a bad bad idea. By taking away the free ride area you are alienating those that may have insufficient funds to pay for public transportation. Many people have figured out a way to survive by using the free ride system and now you force them out of the system completely. Also by implementing an enter in the back and exit in the rear system you are not speeding up boarding but on really full buses causing more congestion.
This is the only way some elderly low income people can get to appointments for medical care and social services. Keeps downtown freer of traffic and pollution. This service probably pays for itself! Please try to find a way to keep the downtown ride-free zone!
with a ride free area downtown businesses get more of my support. by cutting out the ride free area there are more losses than you may know. downtown consumer;kent willson
Imposing four regressive, anti-environment fare increases in four years was enough. Switching to userunfriendly ORCA cards that cost $5 and don't reach everyone who needs free ones through human service agencies was more than enough. Eliminating the RFA is gratuitous, unnecessary, political, regressive, cynical, and kicks our most vulnerable neighbors when they're already reeling from budget cuts at all levels of government. Getting around downtown is not so easy if you have a mental or physical disability, if you're a senior citizen, if you have kids in tow, or if you have to carry all your belongings with you everywhere you go. The cold, rain, wind, and even summertime heat can be nasty to walk through downtown, and with our balkanized, uncoordinated, disjointed social safety net; the housing and various housing, medical, social, and other services people need are scattered among many offices in Belltown, downtown, Pioneer Square, First Hill, the International District, and more. Public transit does not exist just to be efficient--to turn a profit. It exists because it is a public good. King County recognized this when it included social equity as one of the three primary criteria to be used in allocating transit service. Eliminating the RFA is utterly inexcusable and indefensible; it should be reinstated at the earliest possible opportunity. However, if it's a foregone conclusion, Metro must mitigate the loss of the RFA as strongly and fully as possible. By far the best idea I've heard toward this end is the creation of one or more free "circulator" transit routes downtown. These routes must cover the area now comprising the Ride Free Area. They must serve key trip origins and destinations used by homeless and other vulnerable Seattleites, such as Belltown, Pioneer Square, and Harborview Medical Center. The circulators must run frequently--at least every 15 minutes. And they must operate at least from 6am to 7pm--the current RFA hours. Late night service, with longer headways, would be preferable. So would the use of quiet, clean electric trolleys on existing overhead wires. The County Council betrayed its neediest constituents by ending the Ride Free Area. I hope Metro will soften that blow with the most robust mitigation possible. Thank you.
I believe that homeless or low-income people who live in or receive services in the area covered by the free ride zone should have a special pass or something so they can still use the free-ride zone for free. They will now have more barriers to receiving stabilizing services. I also believe that there should be a free shuttle from 3rd and James up to Harborview Medical Center. There are many very lowincome who need services there and at the Cherry Street food bank and that hill is prohibitive for people to climb.
Great idea to eliminate the ride free area; maybe this will help generate a little more income, even though I see riders never paying for their fare, regardless of where they get on or off the bus.