Tell Sound Transit, divorce fare enforcement from policing and courts

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Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times (link in text)

At their September and October meetings, Sound Transit’s board will be considering some proposed reforms to the agency’s fare enforcement program, including adding an extra warning and lowering the amount of the fine. While these are positive steps, the proposals don’t go nearly far enough.

Continuing incidents of police brutality and the uprisings in defense of Black lives demonstrate more clearly than ever that interactions with law enforcement can escalate situations and cause harm, trauma, injury and death. This is especially true for Black and Indigenous people, people of color and people with low incomes and without homes. Court-issued fines, debt collection and criminal charges trap marginalized communities in cycles of poverty and lead to unnecessary stress and harm, as well as costs to taxpayers.

Fare non-payment should never be an entry to the criminal-legal system or lead to interactions with law enforcement. Please take a moment to email the Sound Transit leadership and board, urging them to divorce fare enforcement entirely from policing and the court system.

More information:

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/sound-transit-seeks-to-lower-124-fare-evasion-fine-but-stops-short-of-more-dramatic-changes/

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/faced-with-racial-disparities-sound-transit-debates-changes-to-fare-enforcement/

https://transitcenter.org/why-decriminalize-fare-evasion/

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