Photo by Atomic Taco

This is an open thread.

103 Replies to “News Roundup: Smartphone Optimized”

      1. Raw milk from Sea Breeze at the the Ballard Farmer’s Market is $16/gal if I remember correctly. Oh, not what you meant?

      2. Is raw milk even legal? Probably not – that’s what the underground market does to prices. We should legalize raw milk, sell it at state liquor stores (to make sure we keep the dangerous stuff away from our kids), and charge a 1000% tax.

        I think I just solved our state’s budget problems.

    1. What are you talking about? This is not dementia. This is typical Kemper Freeman. He has no more dementia than anyone writing for/reading this blog.

      1. OK, but his disconnect is increased since moving to the apartment building with the Sky Bridge to BelSquare.

      1. Why is he a “great man”? Because he inherited a shopping mall from his dad? That’s nice and all, but it’s not like he’s Dr. Jonas Salk.

        Being rich does not equal being great.

      2. He’s saving freeways from the invisible fist of the free market. He’s a revolutionary hero.

        !Hasta la victoria, siempre!

  1. Regarding increased bike trips, the Sounder Northline is seeing plenty more bikes aboard the trains, to the point where its kind of crowded. I sure would like to see new racks installed where the bikes hang instead of being crushed together. Could possibly take less space as well.

  2. It makes perfict sense that the First Hill streetcars will be compatible with the SLUT rolling stock. I wonder however if there’s going to be enough demand for streetcars in the US to support competing manufacturers in Seattle and Portland.

    1. Right now, there are about 31 proposals for streetcars. Atlanta went with Siemens, Tucson, Az and Portland, Or went with OIW/Skoda and Seattle will remain with Inekon.

      Will there be room for two manufactures within 150 miles of each other? That, is left to be seen.

      1. The interesting part is that they are very similar vehicles, one basically being an offshoot of the other. I think the propulsion package is identical in both types as well. I seem to recall the OIW effort was with Skoda, while it appears Inkeon is on their own with Pacifica. Of course if you trace the lineage of these cars back, they are descendants of the popular T3 tram, which itself was a descendant of the PCC

      1. Strikes me as similar to the laws requiring our ferries be built by a WA company (of which only one still exists). Buy local/USA is a good concept when you’re talking about interchangeable goods; literally apples to apples. Start with the most expensive mode, and jack up the price with R&D on an unproven system which will likely have no spares/replacement market sounds like a recipe for disaster.

  3. First Hill has dense residential towers and several hospitals and research facilities, a university, and is a short walk from downtown. Why does the neighborhood seem so dead? It seems like there are few shops and restaurants for such a dense neighborhood.

    1. Because there are few shops and restaurants. If we’d had better building codes, we would have required storefront retail in the area.

      1. Meanwhile we have such an overabundance of mandated storefront retail in other parts of town that it sits perpetually vacant.

      2. Rarely used does not equate with perpetually vacant. Obviously, those businesses are making a profit somehow, which indicates people are patronizing them.

      3. The Denny Triangle. It’s because the area is decaying and not many people walk there.

        University Way also has a number of empty storefronts, because of, um, the economy.

      4. Why is the Triangle decaying? If SLU is going to become an extension of downtown, the Triangle can’t be a hole between the Convention Center, Downtown, Belltown, the Seattle Center area, and SLU.

      1. I’ve walked, bussed, and driven through many times. Take a look at all of the setbacks and parking. It’s boring as hell to walk through.

        That said, it’s certainly possible I’m missing some central hub of First Hill. Where do you recommend walking?

      2. No, First Hill really doesn’t have much there. Madison businesses are completely oriented around serving the employees and patients at hospitals, and since the M Street Grocery left there isn’t even a grocery store to speak of. The problem is that given the density of medical facilities it will generally make sense for them to dominate and for food and retail to serve their needs rather than residents. It seems like most First Hill residents are functionally residents of Capitol Hill, since they have to go there to access businesses. This was one reason so many people on First Hill wanted the streetcar to go into the center of the neighborhood, and it also means the 60 is a very important bus route that should stick around.

    2. To me, this is the key: “Hospitals, typically and defensibly, are so focused on their core “business,” the treatment of patients, often forgetting that the experience, safety, and quality of the neighborhood around them is central to that “business.” It can improve patient well-being, while helping to attract and retain the best docs and staff from around the country. ”
      http://www.carfreeinbigd.com/2011/01/parkland.html

      First Hill has lot blank walls and artificial institutional boundaries rather than being a permeable urban area. I work in SLU with a few folks relocated from Harborview, who say that the integration of retail and residential in SLU is amazing (not that SLU is perfect or anything).

      Of course, the topography of First Hill can’t help either.

      1. So, what are hospitals supposed to do to be more TOD-compliant? … put retail on the first floor and the emergency room pullup circle on the second?

      2. Prime and secondary streets would be a great start. Build retail on two sides of the building, leaving one side for hospital entrances and one side for other services (garbage, etc.). Retail actually works pretty well with hospitals – there are many small businesses that tend to locate near hospitals anyway (glasses shops, orthepedic shoe fitters, etc.).

      3. Arguably, the biggest problem with hospital districts is the land use monoculture. There are lots of reasons why it’s bad to have all the hospitals in one place. (Would you put all of a city’s fire stations in one neighborhood?)

        Ballard is still a walkable neighborhood despite Swedish, and 15th Ave E is still walkable despite Group Health.

    3. Many of the institutional and residential buildings present a blank wall to the street and lack ground-floor retail. It is sad it doesn’t match Broadway, Pike/Pine, 12th, or Belltown for street life and activity.

      1. Why should a district of hospitals and assisted-living centers be expected to have the same “street life” as Broadway or Belltown?

  4. I walked the new MTS trail a couple of weeks ago, and I can confirm the trail itself is great, and will be awesome for biking. I would also echo the complaint that the south terminus where you’re dumped out Lander is terrible: it’s on a blind curve, the road is terrible with no bike infrastructure and crappy sidewalks.

    1. Yeah, the only plus to coming out on Holgate if you’re on a bike is that it’s steep enough you can keep up with car traffic. Which is handy considering it’s a narrow two lanes on the street and the sidewalk drops into a set of stairs.

      On the plus side it’s so bad that I can’t imagine there won’t be some sort of improvements in the next 3 years.

    2. The really bad part about that trail is coming up Beacon on the Holgate bridge, no shoulder to ride on, and a blind curve where you need to make a left hand turn to get onto the trail.

      Note: Google maps has the trail on it! (recent photo!)
      http://g.co/maps/7hg3x

      If you look to the South, it looks like the trail could continue if they went up Beacon a bit and over/under it. And then put a pass under I-5 at Forest.

      1. Gary,
        If you continue south, you can intersect the old bayview stairs up to Beacon Hill, abandoned when I-5 was built. The path under I-5 to Bayview is passable now on foot, though the headroom is a bit low for biking.

        I wish WSDOT was a bit more supportive about re-enabling old pedestrian paths.

      2. I think the idea is there will eventually be a crossing of I-5 near Atlantic or Massachusetts, and the rest of the trail will eventually become an extention of the Sealth trail.

      3. Looking at power point slide show, it had an underpass for Beacon hill to get on the trail from the West side. I can’t see it on the google maps, so maybe phase 2. Until then, you won’t find me grinding up that hill to get on the trail there. I’d rather ride up Airport way to Dearborn and pick it up there.

  5. An interesting sidelight in the commercial real estate article: Wright-Runstadt could start on its Spring District project next year. In case you don’t know what that means, it’s in Bellevue’s Bel-Red rezone and is a potential East Link station site.

  6. Does anyone know why ST bought non-hybrid coaches for its routes with Metro? Just seems kind of odd to have straight diesels when the remainder of the fleet seems to be going hybrid when possible. Thanks.

    1. This is a total guess but if the routes that those coaches operate on are mostly freeway routes, the additional cost of the hybrids may not pay off? Some KC metro routes are similar but because they use the tunnel they need to be hybrid.

      1. Adam’s guess is basically correct. Freeway-running routes don’t really save much fuel when operated by hybrids, but the operating cost is slightly lower for hybrids due to reduced wear on the drivetrain; however, over the lifecycle of the bus, it is not enough to offset the additional purchase cost. The reason ST sometimes buys hybrids is because there are pots of federal grant money that exist solely for the purpose of defraying the additional purchase cost of hybrid vs diesel buses. Periodically, the federal gods smile on ST and throw them some money, and when they do, ST buys a batch of hybrids.

        The situation is different for Metro, who save lots of fuel and money with hybrids due to the different nature of most of their routes. There is also the tunnel issue. The new hybrid Orions are also really, really quiet compared to the D40LFs and Gilligs.

      2. But don’t buses without back doors have higher operating costs, since it takes longer to board and deboard?

        More annoyingly, some of those one-door models are not ADA-compliant. Why isn’t that a baseline requirement?

      3. If you’re talking about the MCI over-the-road coaches, they have a lift, which makes them ADA compliant but it takes forever to load a wheelchair on these things. Personally I prefer double-deck buses because they have the same features but with higher capacity and better accessibility.

    2. Also last I heard, the hybrids got worse fuel mileage, and being more complex had more parts failures. But they were still tuning them. Anyone with current data?

    3. Just like with hybrid cars, hybrid buses only get better mileage at low speeds and stop-start situations. Express buses on freeways don’t really gain much.

      1. Someone tell that to my middle aged Prius which gets BETTER mileage at higher speeds (up to a point) e.g. it gets better mileage at 40-45 mph on highway (few stops) (48 mpg) versus 25-30 (with many stops) (39 mpg) and found there’s a sweetspot for mileage around 69 mph. (51mpg) If I go faster, mileage reduces.

      2. Hybrids get efficiency boosts from two factors: engine size and energy storage. Energy storage doesn’t matter much when you’re near that sweet spot on the freeway. You aren’t storing energy going down hills or slowing down, and using that stored energy to go up hills or speeding up.

        The one factor that does (potentially) make a hybrid better on the freeway is the smaller engine. An engine can be sized smaller since you have the additional boost of an electric motor.

        [zef] meant you get comparatively better mileage than a standard car. I’ve driven a rental car (I believe a Ford) with one of those electronic MPG estimaters, and MPG goes down near zero when going up hills or accelerating. Your Prius is using a smaller motor and stored energy at that point.

  7. I convinced my dad to vote against I-1125. He didn’t know it would kill light rail, and as soon as I told him that he was like, oh, that’s just no good. Tim should’a separated the issues out instead of running them on the same item. He’s fine with voting for the tolling restrictions, but not at all ok with killing East Link.

    1. If the initiative fails, Eyman can just go back to his sugar-daddy Kemper for money to run a light-rail-specific initiative next year.

    2. You don’t understand. If the initiative fails it will likely be because of an overwhelming NO vote from the City of Seattle. This Timmy can use to fan the flames of fury amongst his base so he can run new initiatives next election. If it passes it will be thrown out by the courts which will fan the flames of fury amongst his base so he can run new initiatives next election. If it passes and is adopted he has to A) either come up with something new (People educated with State funds can only be used for highway purposes?) or B) get a real job. Both are way more work than just turning the crank on the initiative machine.

      1. I’m not willing to let Timmy cripple the State any further. I also think when the vote is said and done, many Eastside voters who approved Light Rail will show up to defeat this initiative.

    3. Many people believe that voting for I-1125 will limit the amount that people have to pay in tolls. This is simply not the case.
      By forcing the state to implement a flat-rate toll, which generates less revenue than a variable-rate toll, the flat toll rate will have to be increased, and there will no longer be an incentive for people to travel at off-peak periods. In other words, people who want to travel at off-peak times to pay a reduced toll will no longer be able to do so, because their toll will have to be raised to the new, higher, flat-rate toll to make up for the lost revenue in peak-periods.
      In addition to the revenue impacts, this initiative is terrible from a policy standpoint. We have limited capacity on our roads and no money to build new capacity. A variable-rate toll allows the state to manage demand during peak periods and increase usage during off-peak periods, effectively maximizing the utility of our existing system.
      Don’t be fooled — this initiative is not designed to protect taxpayers as Tim Eyman would lead you to believe. It does anything but protect the public.

  8. Does anyone know much about OBA’s reliability? I’ve just started using it. It seems to work OK near the U District and in Fremont. I don’t really use it when I’m downtown currently for various reasons. But in Kirkland, where I work, it’s a total mess. Sometimes buses show up when OBA shows nothing within 10 minutes; other times OBA shows “phantom buses” approaching, arriving at, and leaving my stop without any actual bus coming by. I have some ideas why that might happen (OBA may be making assumptions about how buses are dispatched that don’t always hold, especially on long routes that cross 520)… but does anyone know anything more specific, or know other places where OBA gives bad information?

    1. Metro is converting to a GPS based system of bus tracking from its current version of beacon reporting. Reliability should improve in the next year or so. ;-)

    2. I always have difficulty catching the 592 at 512 because apparently there’s a dead spot. OBA always seems to insist the bus is long gone as I’m watching it pull in to pick me up

    3. (dang hit Post too quickly)

      99% of the time I have no troubles with Pierce and Intercity who both use true real time instead of Metro’s odometer readings. Community Transit only shows scheduled arrivals. Not sure about Everett Transit.

    4. I’ve had a pretty good experience with OBA. I use it mostly in Downtown, Wallingford, Capitol Hill, and Fremont and the buses show up as predicted (slightly more variance from OBA times Downtown compared to other areas).

    5. My understanding: Metro currently tracks buses at a set of fixed points. A bus transmits a radio frequency signal to a reciever as it passes, and that it recorded and eventually makes its way to OBA.

      OBA uses that data point along with the route’s schedule to estimate where the bus actually is. However, if something has gone wrong between the time the bus passed the sensor and the time it reaches your stop, OBA will be wrong. This is also why OBA becomes really goofy when Metro goes into snow routes.

      If your stop happens to be, say, 10 minutes after a sensor, it will seem to be very accurate. If the sensor is 30 minutes away you’ll see a lot more variation. And if the sensor is only 1 minute away, say at the start of a line, everything acts goofy. A driver sleeping in would cause a scheduled bus to appear to be 10 minutes away, 9, 8… 2, 1, 1 (1 min delay), 1 (2 min delay), 1 (3 min delay), 1, 1, 1, 1 WHERE THE HELL IS MY BUS?!

    6. At Rainier and Henderson, the 106 confuses OBA. I suspect because it triggers a beacon when it is going in the opposite direction. The MLK to Rainier segment is completely unreliable on OBA imo.

    7. OBA seems a lot less reliable on the Eastside after the last service change. It used the be spot on, but since the switch it has been way off for the B line and the 245 at the stops I use (OTC and 156th/Northup). The real-time display for the B seems reasonably accurate.

  9. Federal Way tries again to have a dense downtown.

    This is nuts. The Columbia Tower, Smith Tower and the PacMed building are all empty because they are too far from downtown. Skippy thinks that if someone installs concrete and glass Federal Way will have a dense “downtown”? Unless the investors missed the memo about the real estate bubble they are buying this property at a song with huge tax incentives and will end up building; nothing, auto dealerships or a casino. My money is on the casino.

    1. Actually, the calculation for businesses might be totally different in Federal Way. Low demand for downtown Seattle doesn’t really have a bearing on this effort. Many firms probably avoid downtown Seattle because they place a higher value on easy transportation access or on lower real estate costs.

    2. It is probably nuts, but there is a lot of residential in the project too. And Columbia Tower and the PacMed building are mostly empty because Amazon moved out. They’ll get renovated and be occupied again in the next few years, not as soon as the leasors would like of course but it will happen.

      1. They could do something radical and allow residential in both of those buildings. I think PacMed would be a great residential make over. Having residential in Columbia tower would be akin to the residential floors in the Hancock building in Chicago. Surprisingly, it works.

      2. A residential conversion for the Smith Tower was proposed by the building owner at one point. I’m not sure if that would be the best thing in the long run as the market for downtown office space will pick up at some point.

        A residential conversion for the PacMed building might be the best bet for that site though.

      3. The Smith Tower is largely vacant because of the plan to convert it to residential. The owners didn’t try to market the space and it really doesn’t have the ability to attract typical tenants of class A office space. But now the economy won’t support condo development and it’s way too expensive to be viable as apartments. Even the Columbia Tower is somewhat at a disadvantage because of the relatively small number of people it can house on each floor and the weird floor plan. But mostly it’s just away from the hub of activity which is now from DT north. The PacMed building is really going to be a hard sell. I’ve read that it might be good for a bio-tech company because of the high ceilings and floor layout being conducive to lab space. But find a company like that that wants to relocate is easier said than done. Anyone know why the Juvi Jail and court idea fell through?

  10. I don’t think road diets have worked well for the most part in Seattle’s case since the buses generally use the same roads as the cars and without right of way, get struck with the cars in traffic, e.g., the traffic mess on 1st Ave S and Spokane en route to the West Seattle low bridge.

    Road Diets work when public transit has right of way under or over the cars, e.g., link in various stretches .

    1. I’m a big fan of road diets and most of the ones I’m personally familiar with have worked out pretty well in terms of accommodating traffic flow and increasing pedestrian safety.

    2. Err, Link was not a road diet — that’s one of the reasons its was expensive compared to other light rail systems of similar vintage: rather than just taking two lanes of MLK, ST agreed to rebuild and widen MLK from curb to curb in order to make all the people whining about traffic in the RV shut up. Of course, now they have an Aurora-width street with high traffic speeds dividing the RV.

      1. Likewise, Highway 99 S has become a scarier place to cross, since the state decided having HOV lanes required adding them.

        Check out the intersection of Kent-Des Moines Rd and Pacific Highway S, and see what unpassable rivers face anyone alighting at the future Des Moines Station.

    3. The highest and best use of a roadway from gutter to gutter is the one that moves the greatest number of people in the safest and quickest manner.
      That said, removing parked cars (some on only three wheels!) is the greatest road diet I can think of. There are usually plenty of opportunities for small scale off street parking to accommodate business needs, and the public’s ‘right’ to a free city owned parking spot is not in the Bill of Rights, last time I checked.
      Rainier is a great example of lousy allocation of street resources. Lanes are so narrow that buses usually ‘split the lanes’, effectively making a four lane road into a two lane road. This is accepted practice to avoid hitting the car door opening up into the oncoming bus, causing the driver to get nailed with a preventable accident even though the idiot driver didn’t even look before flinging their door wide open.
      Even bike lanes along Rainier would be better than parked cars, as the buses could remain in the right lane and still give plenty of clearance for the cyclists.
      I tried driving the 7 one day down the length of Rainier one day, remaining completely in the right lane. It was more stressful than flying a combat mission over VietNam, which I’ve done also.

      1. Yes, parked cars aren’t a terribly great version of road diet. They make it harder for oncoming cars to see jaywalkers. They create all sorts of safety issues when a driver-side door opens.

        However, creating more car lanes doesn’t necessarily move more people. If the outer lanes aren’t dedicated to bikes or buses and HOV, then the street will be more dangerous, and move fewer people than if it had non-SOV outer lanes. I include the fewer pedestrian crossings in the category of fewer people moved.

        Of course, the rules of thumb vary from road to road.

      2. Moving the most people quickly isn’t necessarily the best and highest use of a roadway. I’ll take two approaches at this.

        First, consider the stretch of Wallingford where they’re doing the greenway. To move the most people quickly they could get rid of all the street parking, remove the roundabouts, remove the speed limits, and draw a double-yellow down the middle. Alternately they could do what they’re doing, which is emphasizing the street as a low-speed parallel to 45th for people walking and on bikes. What they’re doing improves the neighborhood. This case maybe misses the mark, because you are really thinking about arterial roads. But 45th through the same area might be an interesting case, too. 45th could be turned into a four-lane road (it used to be one if I understand correctly). People that have to travel through Wallingford would love it, and people that live in Wallingford or have businesses there would largely hate it.

        Second, fast-moving traffic encourages sprawl, long commutes, and lots of travel. Our society has a moral obligation to drastically reduce its environmental impact. The more we travel, the worse chance we have to get there. What’s the difference, you might ask, between a fast trip over a long distance and a slow trip over a short distance? For the slow trip, biking and even walking are more competitive. When the environmental costs of burning fossil fuels and destroying natural habitats are included in their prices, then maximize efficiency.

    4. The road diets on Stone, Nickerson, and Dexter don’t seem to have interfered with transit operations. Quite the opposite actually.

  11. Go to YouTube for some great footage of freight-hauling streetcar equipment. Type in Car-Go-Tram, Dresden. Big blue trainset, Wikipedia says it hauls VW parts. You can see it working along with passenger streetcars.

    Would really like not only to see the Waterfront line restored, but also to see trains like that as common sights on the rails- and to see the new Waterfront include the kind of industries such a line would serve.

    Mark Dublin

    1. +1 for the return of the Waterfront street car. Heck we own the cars, most of the track is still there, the overhead wire, the stations. We need like a maintenance shed and put some track back, or reroute it to avoid tunnel construction but is has to be the least cost/mile street car we could get running.

  12. Totally random question: at some of the Link stations there are arched lights spaced along the platform. Directly above each lamp there is a bundle of wires, or string, or something or other. What’s the purpose of those wires?

  13. Google Cars Drive Themselves, in Traffic

    During a half-hour drive beginning on Google’s campus 35 miles south of San Francisco last Wednesday, a Prius equipped with a variety of sensors and following a route programmed into the GPS navigation system nimbly accelerated in the entrance lane and merged into fast-moving traffic on Highway 101, the freeway through Silicon Valley.

    It drove at the speed limit, which it knew because the limit for every road is included in its database, and left the freeway several exits later. The device atop the car produced a detailed map of the environment.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/10/science/10google.html

    1. 1 year later…

      Google’s Self-Driving Car Challenge: 1 Million Miles, By Itself

      Google’s next challenge for its autonomous, self-driving cars: drive a million miles without driver intervention.

      In a roundtable with reporters at the Web 2.0 Summit Thursday, Google co-founder Sergey Brin reported that his teams have already driven more than 1,000 miles without the need for a driver to manually take control of the vehicle.

      In August, Google actually said that its cars had traveled more than 160,000 miles without incident – not without driver intervention, but without an accident. Video confirmed that one of Google’s self-driving cars had been involved in a fender-bender, that Google blamed on the Google human driver in the car, rather than the vehicle’s autonomous systems. (Google has also released videos of its autonomous vehicles in action.)

      http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2395049,00.asp#fbid=WivdcPUcmOL

      1. Will Self Driving Cars be on the Road by 2012

        If General Motors’ vice president of global research and development, Alan Taub, is to be believed, vehicles capable of partially driving themselves will be ready by the middle part of this decade, with fully autonomous cars developed by the end of the decade. Taub made his prediction at this month’s Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress meeting in Orlando, FL.

        Many of the building blocks for self-driving cars already exist, and technology like adaptive cruise control and lane departure correction is finding its way into even moderately priced cars. Still, advances in GPS systems, mapping technology and vehicle to vehicle communications will be essential to progress the current technology to the autonomous driving stage.

        http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1067728_will-self-driving-cars-be-on-the-road-by-2020

  14. Just used light rail for the first time to get home from the airport after a trip.

    –As I walked the half-mile to Link, I was longing for the good ol’ days when you could catch a 174 or 194 from a stop that was much closer to the terminal.
    –I was on a group trip, and I clearly had the least luggage of anyone. None of them took light rail to or from the airport.
    –The ORCA reader is at ground level, and then you have to catch the escalator. The train could leave before you get up there, but you have already initiated the 2-hour transfer window.
    — There isn’t enough space for 2 people to put luggage under their seat without endangering leg room. I can’t imagine what light rail is like at peak airport travel times.
    –At SODO station, the security inspectors came aboard the checked everyone’s pass. Mine was apparently dead or something. I know I last used it September 23rd, and I worried and worried about the fact that my card might deactivate with 30 days of no use, but I figured I was taking it too seriously, and yet my card is dead. He took a photo of my ID and said that if the record shows that nobody has talked to me about my ORCA tapping, then nothing will happen. He also said I can call ORCA and have the money on there transferred to a new card – what? I need to spend $5 on a new card?
    –The whole inspection deal makes me feel like a criminal. I know that there are fare inspections on trains in Europe, but this just feels wrong in many ways. Why not have the fare inspectors be able to initiate a TAP?
    –The seats are really hard.
    –On the bright side, I boarded the Metro bus, tried to use ORCA (didn’t work), and just paid literally what I had on me – $2 – and the driver was OK with it, so I guess I got a $2 ride home from the airport. Saved 75 cents for my trouble.
    –I think I’m going to find another way to and from the airport in the future. If the Airporter is $15 or so, it might be worth it to have a comfortable ride, closer to the terminal, where they don’t treat you like a fare-evader.
    Thanks for this forum! I read it quite a bit.

    1. – i believe when using link … the transfer time only starts when you tap out
      – showing proof that you paid is not being treated like a criminal or evader … it is simply proving that you paid … and in your case …
      – if your orca card wasn’t working … well technically you WERE evading the fare / breaking the law …

      – if your Orca card is non-functional … just go to the Metro Customer Service office … they’ll replace your card for free if it indeed is non-functional

  15. I realize, in hindsight, that apparently I did not successfully TAP on at the ground level. I ran the card across the reader, didn’t hear any unpleasant sound as though it didn’t work, and I just moved on upstairs. That part is mine to carry, but I still don’t know why the card wasn’t working when I have $18 on there. I will call Monday morning and find out.

    1. Just to follow up, I just logged into my ORCA account on the Internet, and I did Tap In at 8:44 p.m. on Saturday at SEATAC. I guess it was alive at 8:44 and dead at 9:10 or so.

      1. I guess he could have theoretically given me a $100+ ticket right then and there. I’m glad for small benevolences.

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