Amtrak Cascades Introduces Free Travel for Youth in Washington State

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OLYMPIA – Train travel has become more accessible and appealing for families and young adults with the introduction of free fares for passengers 18 years old and under on Amtrak Cascades trains in western Washington. This initiative allows young passengers to travel for free between any of the 12 train stations in the region.

The program, a first in Amtrak’s national system, is funded through the Move Ahead Washington transportation package and the state’s Climate Commitment Act. It aligns with efforts by Washington State Ferries and other transit agencies across the state to offer free fares to qualifying youth.

The objective is to encourage families and young people to experience the benefits of train travel. With youth comprising over 20% of Washington’s population, this program makes train travel more affordable for a significant portion of the state’s residents.

“We’re hoping to inspire an entire generation to consider trains as a viable choice when traveling along the Interstate-5 corridor,” said Jason Biggs, director of WSDOT’s Rail, Freight, and Ports Division. “With scenic views from comfortable seats and onboard food and beverage choices, train travel is enjoyable for parents and kids alike. It’s a great option for families and people who don’t or can’t drive. Plus, it’s much better for the environment than driving.”

Adult fares between Seattle and Vancouver, Washington start at $27, making this a cost-effective travel option when combined with free fares for youth. All passengers on Amtrak Cascades must have a ticket, and the zero fare will be automatically applied for those 18 and under traveling within Washington state when purchasing tickets.

Children under 16 must travel with an adult to be eligible for the free fare. Unaccompanied minors aged 13 to 15 are not eligible. Free fare tickets must be obtained in advance and are not available onboard trains or at ticket kiosks.

The free fares are exclusive to Amtrak Cascades trains and buses for trips within Washington state. Travelers going beyond state borders must purchase separate tickets for each segment of their journey to take advantage of the free fares within Washington.

Tickets can be purchased at www.Amtrak.com, by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL, or from an Amtrak ticket agent at staffed stations. The youth fare program tickets will be available on the Amtrak Cascades and Amtrak Oregon websites in the coming weeks.

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