Wednesday, December 1, 2010

May I See Your Swift Ticket Please?

By Mario Rojas
Community Transit Swift Ambassador

Neither cold winter nights nor hot summer afternoons nor rainy spring days nor freezing fall mornings prevented us from performing our daily endeavors as proud members of the Community Transit family during this past year. However, you may ask yourselves, what exactly does a Swift Ambassador do?

As Swift Ambassadors we boarded more than 8,100 Swift coaches this past year and we conducted over 75,700 individual fare inspections. Each fare inspection began with a warm greeting to each Swift passenger followed by a request that each rider present to us their individual valid Swift tickets, tapped ORCA cards, acceptable coupons or current passes.

Approximately 70,100 riders presented a valid form of bus fare during our fare inspections. We issued and documented 890 verbal or written warnings to invalid fare holders; however, each and every individual Swift passenger was treated with the utmost respect and courtesy. For our many passengers, the role of the Swift Ambassador in assisting with and verifying fare payment is much appreciated. We have answered many questions concerning ticket purchases, fare price variations, ORCA card purchases and “tap” process and ticket vending machine procedures.

We have also assisted the members of the Community Transit Police/Snohomish County Sheriff‘s Office during our shared ambassador and police fare inspections. Also, we created and updated daily a shared database that has been a successful source of information for both agencies.

Each of our passengers is unique and their travel experiences while on-board Swift are equally unique as well.

For example, for students, the Swift service represented a quick and affordable form of transportation while maintaining a balance with educational expenses. For parents, Swift meant a savings in transportation needs that in turn can be used for groceries and other family-related expenses. For the “green” minded commuter, this mode of hybrid transportation is a way to sustain and contribute to a positive ecological environment that will no doubt benefit future generations. For the disabled and senior passenger, Swift was symbolic of self-reliance, freedom and mobility.

Many of our passengers relied on the members of the Swift Ambassador team for directions to correct rider destinations; accurate information regarding Swift station stops; transferring or connector points for inner and outer bus agency routes; Spanish information assistance; directions to popular landmarks such as major department stores, government agencies and eating establishments; and we also conducted on-the-spot trip planning via the Community Transit “Bus Plus” schedule and map book.

This was a very successful year for all members of the overall Swift service team and it was a most valuable hands-on education and experience for the Swift Ambassadors as well; thus, we look forward to the ever-present challenges and opportunities of the next forthcoming year and remember… as Swift Ambassadors, we are here to insure that your ride on-board Swift is your best bus rapid transit experience ever!!!

Many thanks for reading and for riding.

The Swift Ambassador Team


  1. Swift Ambassadors are so much nicer than the brusque folks they have doing fare inspections on Central Link light rail. I appreciate that they are friendly and not so officious. It's good that they realize that no job is so important that it can't be done without a smile and some courtesy. I also appreciate that they keep clear of the doors when people are trying to get on and off so that we can all keep moving.

  2. Swift Ambassadors are much nicer than Securitas [RapidRide fare inspectors, Sounder station security, Link security, ST security], aren't Swift Ambassadors actual deputies?

    1. Hi, David! Our Swift Ambassadors are not deputies-- just law abiding bus riders like the rest of us. We'll pass along your compliment to our Ambassadors; it will be much appreciated.