Posted by: Mary | September 12, 2012

Goodbye Free Transit in Portland and Seattle

Since 1973, Seattle has offered free public transit in its “Ride Free Area” and Portland has done the same in its “Fareless Square” area of downtown for nearly as long.  As of September, 1st, TriMet raised fares and eliminated the “Free Rail Zone” in Fareless Square in order to make up budget shortfalls.  Seattle will follow suit within a month.  Sadly, this free public transit is a loss to the many tourists who use it to visit the major sites in the downtown areas of these two cities, and to visit shops and restaurants (not to mention the employees of companies in the area who use it to get to lunch or run errands).  

If you’re a frequent visitor to either city, take note of this change and be sure to purchase a ticket or you may face a fine. One of the great cost benefits of Portland’s TriMet public transportation still in existence is that a 2 hour ticket for an “Honored Citizen” (65+) is still only $1 and a day pass is only $2.  That’s a bargain for honored citizens and visitors alike!


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