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To help ensure the safety, security, comfort and convenience of all those who use our services, the King County Council passed an ordinance to regulate conduct on Metro Transit property. In simple terms, it's best described as the way to "ride right". When you ride right, you treat others as you would like to be treated. And you show respect for your fellow passengers and the transit vehicles and facilities you use.

Everyone benefits when you ride right.

Transit passengers enjoy a safe, secure, comfortable and inviting atmosphere, and the overall efficiency of the transportation system improves.

Specifically, the Code of Conduct ordinance applies to all activities that occur in or on:

  • Metro transit buses and vehicles
  • Transit centers
  • Park and ride lots
  • Bus shelters
  • Streetcar platforms
  • Tunnel facilities
  • Other passenger facilities

It only takes one person to ruin a good experience on Metro. That's why we take this Code of Conduct very seriously. The rules listed are enforceable by law. Those in violation will be asked to leave the vehicle or facility immediately. In addition, Metro Police and local law enforcement agencies can and will cite those in violation of this code.

Metro's Code of Conduct can be summed up with the following common-sense guidelines:

  • Pay the right fare
  • Respect other passengers' privacy
  • Do not cause safety problems
  • Use headphones
  • No eating, smoking or littering
  • No alcoholic beverages
  • Do not harass driver or other riders
  • Do not lie down on the seats
  • Respect transit property
  • Use Metro services and facilities for transportation purposes only

Anyone in violation of the actions below may be asked to leave the Metro vehicle or facility, and risk suspension of their privileges to use Metro transit or enter transit property.

We appreciate your help in abiding by these rules. And we thank you for doing your part to "ride right".

  • If you see a problem on the bus, tell the driver. Please remember that safety and security problems are treated with higher priority. See "Role of the Driver" below for more information on the decision-making process that drivers follow when responding to problems.
  • It situations prevent you from alerting the driver and you see a serious crime being committed or a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 to report the problem when it's safe to do so.
  • BE PREPARED to give the bus route number and direction the bus was traveling. The "coach number" also helps identify the bus. Inside the bus, the coach number appears in the right front corner, opposite the driver. On the outside of the bus, the coach number appears on the outer corners. It is a three or four-digit number.

We appreciate your help in abiding by these rules, and thank you for doing your part to "ride right."

The Metro Code of Conduct is detailed in the following two lists which are organized by civil penalties and criminal penalties.

Infractions can result in a citation and fine up to $250.

  1. Allowing any animal to occupy a seat on transit property, to run at large without a leash, to unreasonably disturb others, or obstruct flow of passenger or bus traffic. An animal may occupy a passenger's lap while in a transit vehicle or facility.
  2. Allowing his or her animal to leave waste on transit property.
  3. Roller-skating, roller-blading or skate-boarding.
  4. Riding a bicycle, motorcycle or other vehicle except for the purpose of entering or leaving passenger facilities on roadways designed for that use. In tunnel facilities bicycles must be walked at all times and may not be transported on escalators (excludes police and authorized county employees).
  5. Eating or drinking, with the following exceptions. Consuming food and drinking nonalcoholic beverages is permitted on the mezzanine and exterior plaza levels of tunnel stations and the exterior areas of other passenger facilities. Also, drinking a nonalcoholic beverage from a container designed to prevent spillage is permitted on transit property and the bus.
  6. Bringing onto a transit passenger vehicle any package or other object which blocks an aisle or stairway or occupies a seat if to do so would, in the operator's sole discretion, cause a danger to, or displace, passengers or expected passengers.
  7. Operating, stopping, standing or parking a vehicle in any roadway or location restricted for use only by transit vehicles or otherwise restricted.
  8. Engaging in public communications activities or commercial activities except as authorized under King County Code 28.96.020 through 28.96.210
  9. Riding transit vehicles or using benches, floors or other areas in tunnel and other passenger facilities for the purpose of sleeping rather than for their intended transportation-related purposes.
  10. Camping in or on transit property; storing personal property on benches, floors or other areas of transit property.
  11. Entering or crossing the transit tunnel roadway or transit vehicle roadways in and about other passenger facilities, except in marked crosswalks or at the direction of county or public safety personnel.
  12. Extending an object or a portion of one's body through the door or window of a transit vehicle while it is in motion.
  13. Hanging or swinging on bars or stanchions, with feet off the floor, inside a transit vehicle or other transit property; hanging onto or otherwise attaching oneself at any time to the exterior of a transit vehicle or other transit property.
  14. Engaging in any sport or recreational activities on transit property.
  15. Parking a vehicle in an approved parking area on transit property for more than seventy-two consecutive hours.
  16. Using a transit facility for residential or commercial parking purposes.
  17. Performing any non-emergency repairs or cleaning of a vehicle parked on transit property.
  18. Conducting driver training on transit property.

Notes:

  • "Transit vehicles" = transit passenger vehicles including buses, paratransit vans, trolleys and other revenue service vehicles.
  • "Transit Property" = all vehicles and facilities used in the transit system including transit vehicles, tunnel facilities and other passenger facilities.

Misdemeanors can result in a citation and fine up to $1,000, and/or arrest and imprisonment in the county jail for not more than ninety (90) days.

  1. Smoking or carrying a lighted or smoldering pipe, cigar or cigarette while in a transit vehicle or on the platform or mezzanine areas of the tunnel.
  2. Discarding litter other than in designated receptacles.
  3. Playing a radio, tape recorder, audible game device or any other sound producing equipment, except when the equipment is connected to earphones that limit the sound to the individual listener. However, the use of communication devices by county employees, county contractors or public safety officers in the line of duty is permitted, as is the use of private communication devices used to summon, notify or communicate with other individuals ("pagers", "portable telephones".)
  4. Spitting, expectorating, urinating or defecating except in restroom facilities.
  5. Carrying flammable liquids, flammable or nonflammable explosives, acid or any other article or material of a type or in a manner that is likely to cause harm to others. However, cigarette, cigar or pipe lighters, firearms, weapons, and ammunition may be carried if in a form or manner that is not otherwise prohibited by law or ordinance.
  6. Intentionally obstructing or impeding the flow of transit vehicle or passenger movement, hindering or preventing access to transit property, causing unreasonable delays in boarding or deboarding, reclining or occupying more than one seat, or in any way interfering with the provision or use of transit services.
  7. Unreasonably disturbing others by engaging in loud, raucous, unruly, harmful, abusive or harassing behavior.
  8. Defacing, destroying or otherwise vandalizing transit property or any signs, notices or advertisements on transit property.
  9. Drinking an alcoholic beverage or possessing an open container of an alcoholic beverage. However, possessing and drinking an alcoholic beverage is not prohibited in the tunnel facilities if authorized as part of a scheduled special event for which all required permits have been obtained and when said facilities are not in use for transit purposes.
  10. Entering nonpublic areas, including but not limited to tunnel staging areas and equipment rooms, except when authorized by the director or when instructed to by county or public safety personnel.
  11. Dumping any materials whatsoever on transit property, including but not limited to chemicals and automotive fluids.
  12. Throwing an object at transit property or at any person on transit property.
  13. Failing to present a valid, unexpired pass, transfer or ticket or otherwise failing to pay the appropriate fare as required under county ordinance.
  14. Possessing an unissued transfer or tendering an unissued transfer as proof of fare payment.
  15. Falsely representing oneself as eligible for a special or reduced fare or obtaining any permit or pass related to the transit system by making a false representation.
  16. Falsely claiming to be a transit operator or other transit employee; or through words, actions and/or the use of clothes, insignia or equipment resembling department-issued uniforms and equipment, creating a false impression that he or she is a transit operator or other transit employee.
  17. Bringing onto transit property odors which unreasonably disturb others or interfere with their use of the transit system, whether such odors arise from one's person, clothes, articles, accompanying animal or any other source.
  18. Engaging in gambling or any game of chance for the winning of money or anything of value.
  19. Discharging a laser-emitting device on a transit vehicle, directing such a device from a transit vehicle toward any other moving vehicle or directing such a device toward any transit operator or passenger.

Notes:

  • "Transit vehicles" = transit passenger vehicles including buses, paratransit vans, trolleys and other revenue service vehicles.
  • "Transit Property" = all vehicles and facilities used in the transit system including transit vehicles, tunnel facilities and other passenger facilities.

The bus driver's primary job is to operate the bus safely. If problems arise on the bus, the bus driver's first priority is to determine if a passenger's safety or security is at stake. The driver will assess the severity of the problem and resources available, and respond accordingly. The bus driver, at his/her discretion, may choose to talk to the passenger, call for assistance, submit a report on the incident at the end of their shift, or take no immediate action. In the case of minor infractions of the code of conduct, Metro's general guideline for the driver would be to continue on the route rather than inconvenience other riders by delaying service.

The role of the bus driver is that of a peacekeeper, not an enforcer. Enforcement of the code of conduct is handled through a network of professionals that can be called upon by the bus driver, if and when needed.

Description Phone Number
Emergency Call 911
Transit Police (206) 477-0900
Graffiti hotline (206) 684-1800
Unsanitary or damaged facilities (206) 553-3000
Complaints/observations (206) 553-3000
TDD: (206) 684-2029

Download the Ride Right brochure which includes all of this information.

The complete Transit Code of Conduct (KCC 28.96.010) is available:

Transit Police

The Transit Police, through a variety of means, enforce the Metro Transit Code of Conduct along with local and state laws.

To contact the Transit Police:

Customer services offices
Lost & found
Comment forms