This has already been linked in the comments, but I highly recommend this UW website about some pros and cons involving ORCA.

As this is likely to affect a large number of us, and there some privacy issues, it’s worth paying attention to.

I’m one of those people who are willing to trade a little bit of privacy for a few bucks and a lot of convenience, so I’m not unduly alarmed. However, it is nice to know exactly what I’m giving up.

6 Replies to “More ORCA”

  1. I think it’s too bad. I was looking forward to the ORCA card. I liked the idea of just tapping my wallet to the ORCA box and it registers my fare, without having to get my card out. I also liked how if I lost my card and I called in to report it lost, they could deactivate it so no one else could use it.

  2. I don’t mind giving up my rights occasionnally, but I feel like this is another “big brother chance” especially now that we have cameras on nearly every bus.

  3. Speaking of cameras on buses, you do realize that no one is looking at the bus camera images in real time, don’t you? No one is even looking at the recorded images of them. The only time someone accesses the video is when some sort of serious incident happens, and a report is written. Example, let’s say you file a complaint and say the driver grabbed your arm, only then will they look at the video to see what happened.

    My complaint about camera buses … they are assigned randomly to all routes. In other words, they are being assigned to very quiet, non-eventful suburban routes where nothing ever happens as much as they are being assigned to inner city routes with a high level incidents and assaults. This means that often times, the routes that could use the camera buses the most often have to go without because the bus or buses with the cameras is assigned for that day to a route that doesn’t need it.

    What makes more sense to me is … let’s say 20% of all Metro buses have cameras on them. Metro should then assign or dedicate those buses to those routes which statistically have the highest number of serious incidents.

    Just my two cents.

  4. I specifically mentioned rider tracking as something I didn’t like about ORCA on my post-test-period assessment form.

    The other problem with ORCA was that the readers were not always present, and when they were present they weren’t always on, and when they were on, they weren’t always working. I can show the driver my monthly pass, with fare amount displayed, if his farebox goes on the fritz. Not so with ORCA.

  5. I have an ongoing complaint about the ORCA card. When I had not used the card in over 30 days, ORCA deactivated my card and my $25 residing in my “e-purse”, which I never used, is gone. Zero balance it says. I contacted ORCA about this and was assured via email on 8/4/09 that the funds would be restored within 10 days. As of today, 8/17/09, I still do not have access to my funds and thus cannot use the card. I am awaiting a response to yet another complaint.

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