"IDS TVM", by Oran

One of the happier things to be revealed in the 2011 draft Sound Transit budget was that more Ticket Vending Machines are on the way. From Page 75:

The Proposed 2011 Budget includes funding for the installation of TVMs and ORCA readers for the Federal Way Transit Center, Bellevue Transit Center, and Tacoma Link.

And there was much rejoicing.

22 Replies to “More TVMs Coming in 2011”

    1. They apparently are going to start charging a $1 fare. Now, the qquestion is, how many $1 fares must they collect to pay for those TVMs? Of course, they can also be used for ORCA transactions for use on PT and ST Express.

      1. Origonally they opted not to charge fares because the cost of fare collection outweighed the revenue it would generate. This is probally more of a security measure than anything. as a side note, when are we going to get daypasses. I’m in LA and the systems use Cubic fareboxes and mifare cards, and i was able to get a daypass easily at the customer service center (which you’d think LA would have more than one window open at LA union station…. but that wasent to be) for my visit. probally more money spent than i need to but a great piece of mind.

  1. “And there was much rejoicing.”

    Really? A whole three location, one of which sound transit kind of has to install them because of a fare change.

    1. They’re finally getting around to it, but a year late. People were supposed to buy ORCAs in January 2010, and they’re installing the first non-Link, non-Sounder TVMs sometime in 2011? (It don’t even say when) What is wrong with this picture? I feel worst for the people in Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties who have to go to Seattle or a Sounder station or online to get one because their local buses don’t have paper transfers any more.

  2. “Bellevue Transit Center”

    Hallelujah! I hated telling passengers on the 550 who wanted to transfer that they could buy an ORCA card downtown but not at BTC. It was a pretty frequent question when I was driving it last shakeup.

    Any word on how well these machines are standing up to abuse and/or vandalism? I haven’t seen any that have been defaced but I suspect it has happened.

    1. And theres a transit shop of some sort too at BTC if i remember correctly as well. Very inconsitant avilability of ORCA and related product across all 3 agencys, very bad for the riding public.

    2. TVMs along Link seem to be surviving OK. Since there is security and surveillance at all the additional locations, It would seem that similar expectations would be likely.

      I am looking forward to ORCA being more prominent on all TVMs. Many tourists and event patrons on Link do not seem to know that ORCA exists. Adding more of a financial incentive to use ORCA (seen in many other transit markets) and eventually we will see the operational benefits from more widespread use (quicker bus loading – and no more leaving rail passengers behind because I can’t wait the 3 minutes for their ticket to print! Signal dwell time at MLK stations is only 39 seconds after-all.)

      1. I will say i’m starting to get sold on this new farecard technology after my trip to LA, it’s just too bad its not ORCA. The cubic mifare system seems quite superior in my short visit. First, The card was only $2. Second, they had DAY PASSES (Even though it’s a recent thing to be added to the card, they also vend them from TVMs in paper form as well). Third, i could store multiple DAY PASSES on my TAP card and use them at my will. Fourth, being cubic, everthing was intergrated with the farebox, which was smaller than the Cents-a-bills we use up here, not to mention had an intergrated tap reader. No extra expensive equipment here. My only complain was more of a fare policy complaint, i had to pay a freeway zone charge on the 439 becuase it used the freeway for a bit, an extra 70 cents. Although, mabye thats something Metro could look at for their expresses to bring in more revenue. Also the machines seemed to process the farecard faster than ORCA machines (a second faster but neverless) and the systems were fairly standardized when it came to equipment type and placement (onboard the buses, and stand alone equipment at the rail and BRT stations(Exception being Silver line which hadent yet had the amenities installed))

      2. LA has had freeway surcharges for decades. Only if it’s a real freeway express: not if it just gets on the freeway for one or two exits because there’s no other way.

  3. Bummer that a paper ticket from a TVM purchased on those buses won’t be good on all transit agencies for the day. Sucks for a tourist in Bellevue who doesn’t know our bus system very well. Hop on the 550 to downtown, then decide to get on the 36 or 1/2, no dice unless they want to drop an extra $5 spot on an ORCA.

    TVM at Northgate and Lynnwood would be great ideas as well. HUGE park and rides that will get Link service someday so the investment won’t be lost.

    As for the Tacoma Link, ST should take a lesson from CommTrans and the SLUT; use the cheap parking meters as TVMs.

    Something for another day: a booth at Airport Station for tourists. Sell ORCA cards, tell them how our system “works”. Act as an ambassador for public transit in the region.

    1. Until they come out with a paper ORCA ticket anyway. San Francisco already has theirs, when can we get ours? They charge 25¢ for a paper ticket and it is good for 90 days but it is limited to two rides+90 min transfer per ride and valid only on Muni.

      1. Is the Muni paper ticket a mag stripe card? Would something like that work with our fare collection systems?

      2. No, the Muni paper ticket is a cheap limited version of the Clipper Card. It replaced mag stripe passes and turnstiles that took coins. It works just like a Clipper (ORCA) card but with limited functionality and life. I wrote an article earlier this year that ORCA was supposed to have these paper tickets from the start but it was postponed due to security concerns.

    2. Why are ORCA readers needed at non-Link-RapidRide-Swift-or-Sounder stations anyway, and why do TVMs need to dispense paper tickets?

      Which would be better, a booth at the station, or a booth in the airport’s Baggage Claim area? Or would it make any practical difference?

      1. A TVM at a place like Bellevue Transit Center would not need to issue paper tickets, but it would be useful for issuing ORCA cards or adding value to an ORCA E-Purse. I’m not sure why an ORCA reader would be needed, but maybe that was in reference to Tacoma Link only.

    3. Can the cheap parking meters do the calculations necessary to dispense several denominations of ORCA cards with E-purses, and to display the balance of people’s existing cards. Probably not.

      1. Nope, but in the case of the South Lake Union Trolley and Tacoma LINK you could install the equipment onboard the vehicle and save the high fixed cost of installing and maintaining the stand alone equipment.

    4. I like how ST is standardising their equipment. I expect the TVMs at SWIFT, SLUT and RapidRide stations will someday be upgraded to these machines.

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