Tacoma — Fare Subsidy Accepted
As reported by Progressive Railroading, the board of Sound Transit accepted an offer by the downtown Tacoma Business Improvement Area to maintain fare-free service on the Tacoma Link streetcar line. The group offered $29,000 for each of the next two years to cover an estimate of what fare collections would have yielded.
The line has operated fare free since it opened, but Sound Transit policy allows fare free service only when the cost of collecting fares would be higher than likely fare revenue. As ridership has grown so that estimated revenue would exceed costs, collection of fares was scheduled to begin in autumn 2014.
The Business Improvement Area wants to maintain the fare-free policy as long as possible to help attract riders to the downtown area.