A number of ex-Seattle P-I employees have put together a new local news site, I don’t know if you’ve heard of it – the Seattle PostGlobe.
They raise an interesting point or two about ORCA this morning, but I think the piece overall has a lot of needless hand-wringing. From the article:
But bus drivers predict they’ll cause delays and problems collecting fares.
And maybe even accidents.
Seriously? Most of their complaint is that if a rider boards a two-zone bus and wants to only ride for one zone, the driver must change the ORCA reader to one zone. They’ll have to know to do that, or they’ll be charged the two zone fare, and perhaps demand the poor driver reverse the transaction.
For starters, if I’m not mistaken, most people boarding two zone buses are either free ride, or planning to cross a zone boundary. I don’t think this is going to be a big deal – everyone who makes this mistake will have a $1 wake-up call. For most people, this will happen once.
ORCA is largely opt-in. If you get a pass from your employer in the form of an ORCA, you won’t be doing anything differently than you do with a pugetpass today. ORCA e-purse users will be largely opt-in, and will be repeat riders. I expect the overlap between ORCA users and inexperienced riders to be quite small. It seems to me that if someone knows to tap in, they’ll also know to check for the number of zones first.
I know several drivers read here – do any of you expect big issues? How hard is it to cancel a transaction? Is it a pain in the butt to set the fare default?