Metro has been ramping up its promotional campaign for Route 245, most recently offering free ORCA cards for Eastside residents to try the service. The promo branches off of the route-specific marketing that Metro was doing for the 245 last year, called ‘Connect the Dots.’ According to Metro’s website, the full offer is valued at $15, which includes a free ORCA card along with a $10 E-purse voucher:
We’ll send you one free ORCA card, valued at $5, plus a $10 voucher to load on your new card. That equals two round-trip bus rides on Route 245 or any other Eastside route. Plus, you can get on and off along the way with the free ORCA two-hour transfer. The ORCA card is yours to keep and reload for all the regional buses, trains and ferries in the area.
More below the jump.
Aside from just promoting wider ORCA usage and Route 245, the promo is also structured to gain information internally for Metro about the travel preferences of those who sign up. The registration process includes a short survey which asks questions about the number of cars/drivers there are in the household, and the general modal split of travel of the individual signing up.
The promo would mark Metro’s first major free ORCA giveaway since the card’s inception in 2009. As tempting as the offer sounds for non-Eastsiders, there are restrictions on who can sign up:
- Good for one ORCA card per household.
- For residents in Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond only.
- Must be 18 years or older.
While the promo specifically targets potential 245 users on the Eastside, riders technically aren’t precluded from using the free card on other routes or modes as ORCA doesn’t have the technical capability to restrict use in that manner. Nonetheless, marketing the offer to a specific geographic area will probably curtail abuse of the free giveaway from non-Eastside riders who have no interest whatsoever in taking the 245.
If you do happen to fit within the marketed audience and are ORCA-less, the offer ends on May 31, 2011.