We’ve recently learned that Sound Transit is planning to put a handful of spare Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) at major locations around the region to spare transit users a trip to a Sounder or Link station.
The only location that we’ve heard is sure right now is the Bellevue Transit Center, and that TVM should come in April. Sound Transit has up to four TVMs to spare, so they’ll be having a regional discussion about where to put the other three in the next couple of months.
Most regional trips do start, transfer or end near a TVM already, but commuters to places like Federal Way and Northgate have to order an ORCA online or by phone if their employer doesn’t provide one. This will make ORCA a little easier.
While we’d like to see more TVMs in the future, they’re apparently quite expensive – Community Transit CEO Joyce Eleanor informed us at the Swift opening that they were $700,000 – hence Swift’s use of $20,000 Parkeon ticket vending machines that can’t dispense ORCA.
I suspect that the $700,000 number includes administrative, back-end, and maintenance costs, but it hasn’t been examined deeply. TriMet in Portland and TransLink in Vancouver BC use nearly identical systems.