19 Replies to “Reminder: Metro Schedule Changes Tomorrow”

  1. Question about Metro’s family plan. It says in the schedule that on Sunday and Holidays, up to four kids aged 17 and under can ride free with a person paying $2.00. But on a Sunday, the adult fare is $1.75. Is this a mistake in the schedule’s What To Pay section, or do they really expect an adult to overpay by .25 cents in order for their kids to ride for free?

    1. So you’re upset about paying a quarter for 4 more riders? Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

      1. Shaking down honest parents for an extra quarter doesn’t make sense to me. If Metro really cares about revenue, perhaps they’d do something about the proliferation of fake yearly passes. These are actually being sold on the street downtown. They are quite valuable, because a real yearly pass from Metro costs about $1000. But people are selling them on the street for $20. They are photocopied real yearly passes glue onto the front of Gameworks cards, then slipped into wallets behind (preferably) tinted plastic, then used as flash passes. (Metro no longer requires people to swipe swipable cards because a couple people complained it’s too much of a hassle to take their card out of their wallet). The result? Hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost revenue. But thank God their getting an extra quarter out of mothers on Sunday!

      2. I’ve already started to see people trying to “flash” their Orca card which means nothing to me since I can’t read the chip. When requested, the passenger scanned the card, which had no funds. He then proceeded down the, “Hey man, can’t I just ride…” path.

        ORCA isn’t going to fix the problem of fare evasion. From my perspective as a driver, ORCA simply moves fare evasion further out of my mind since we aren’t given much information when the pass isn’t valid. For the most part, it’s still up to the passenger to pay the correct fare. ORCA will help those who want to pay the correct fare and think about it ahead of time. But for those who really don’t want to pay, they’ll find a way.

        One example: A fake police badge – I’ve seen two suspicious badges that don’t look real in the last week. I’ve been meaning to ask for ID, which Police are supposed to be happy to produce, but just haven’t gotten around to it. Even if I “catch” somebody evading fare in this way, I then have to file paperwork and the Police need to follow up.

        ORCA can be a valuable tool used to combat fare evasion but only when proof of payment is required and backed up by frequent random fare inspections. So far, I haven’t heard of any plans to do this for the bus system.

      3. Portland tried POP with self-service on their entire bus system in the 1980s. The results were not too positive because of weak enforcement and they went back to pay as you board. They continue to have regular fare inspectors on buses which is unique in the US but most of their enforcement effort is focused on the MAX.

        Vancouver, BC went to a proof-of-payment system on all transit vehicles. I don’t have any info on how they’re performing.

        I think Metro is planning on using POP on RapidRide to check for valid fares.

      4. Ottawa, ON uses POP on all their 60′ buses. Fare inspection is rare — was checked 2-3 times/year riding almost every day — and evasion is rampant. However, Ottawa cranks over 200 buses/hour through their downtown core, on a street similar to Seattle’s 3rd Ave. Without three-door boarding and POP, there’s no way they could achieve that.

      5. The only problem with people who will be “caught” by inspectors here? The King County Prosecutor’s office doesn’t deal with transit fare evaders. Too mickey mouse for them. They don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars in manpower to punish someone over a 2 dollar theft of services charge. Police know this, so they don’t arrest people even when they are caught. It’s a catch and release thing.

      6. Sam,

        It’s a ticket, just like a traffic ticket. It’s generates revenue, not the reverse.

      7. Seems as though you possess a lot of knowledge about these scams, Sam.
        There will always be fare evaders, there will always be scammers. We can have 100 or 1000 cpps and cameras on the streets and the trains and and buses or we can accept that a certain % of riders are aboard due to fare evasion – a byproduct of our relatively “open” society. As a retailer, I can assure you that most shoplifting isn’t done by the kids who hang out on 3rd avenue, but by upper middles class folks many whose zip codes start with 980 and who can afford to purchase the goods they are stealing! I’d be surprised if that was not the case w/ transit scammers as well.

      8. With ORCA the scam is to order a card online (they’re free for a while longer), don’t register it, then once you get it, don’t add value to it. Instead, disable the RFID chip with a couple of taps with a hammer. Then whenever you get on a bus, rather than it saying insufficient funds, it will say nothing at all. Tell the driver “it works on all the other buses,” take your seat, and … free rides for life!

      9. That’s just what I heard someone’s done. I don’t do it, and I don’t support others doing it. I always pay my fare.

      10. Federal Way’s zip code is 98003. There are some pretty crappy parts of Federal Way, and well, I’ll stop there. Auburn, where I grew up, is 98001.

    2. The Family Plan used to be four kids ride free with any person paying the adult fare. In February with the fare increase, they bumped it up to $2. Seems to me that another inconsistency in the fares would be more annoyance than the extra revenue is worth… but if that’s what makes them hit the fare recovery target, I guess it’s here to stay.

  2. It’s just like how the weekend all day pass is more than 2x the fare.

    All somebody has to do is go to the nearest Sounder TVM and have a fare matrix in front of them and pick the origin-destination pair that generates the pass they want, and presto, all day pass for 2x the one way fare :D

    1. For any day of the week, might I add. Come July, you can buy Link “roundtrip day passes” in addition to one way tickets. A $1.75 trip pass cost $4, from a test TVM I played with. I don’t know if it means unlimited rides or not.

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