On June 9, 2014, the Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners held a hearing (See pages 3-4.) on a proposal to eliminate paper transfers and, as a replacement, institute a day pass, available seven days a week. Chris Karnes at the Tacoma Transit blog delves into the process that led to this proposal.
Pierce Transit currently sells paper day passes on weekends and holidays, at a cost of twice the single-ride fare ($2 for adults and 75 cents for seniors, youth 6-18, and riders with disabilities). The passes are purchased at first boarding and provided by the operator.
Pierce Transit plans to change from paper to magnetic-strip cards and ORCA-based day passes. Using a $2 million federal grant, Pierce Transit plans to replace all its fareboxes with ones that can read the date on the new magnetic-strip cards. The proposal, which is scheduled for a vote on July 14, would also set the cost of the day pass at $5 for adults, and $2.50 for seniors, youth, and riders with disabilities, which is $1 more than the current weekend day pass rates.
In addition to the magnetic-strip card option, Pierce Transit plans to make the day pass available on ORCA, through advance purchase.
In contrast to the multi-agency $9 ORCA day pass pilot program, going on through September 2014, in which Pierce Transit is participating, the Pierce Transit day pass would only be accepted on Pierce Transit buses. Rollout of the Pierce Transit day pass is scheduled for November 1, 2014.