In my post on ORCA2 a few weeks ago, I used target dates from documents included in Sound Transit’s contractor request, which according to ST staff, were incorrect. Current ST plans have ORCA2 starting to go live in 2020, not 2019. New equipment will begin appearing in late 2019, not 2018. The old system will be turned off by 2021, not 2020. ST’s Geoff Patrick told me that “we’re still very early in the program, and it’s possible the dates may change.”

The original post has been corrected with the changes marked.

8 Replies to “Correction: ORCA2 Timeline”

  1. This is why it’s so important to get these things right. We’re stuck with the current system for another five years. And then we’ll be stuck with that system for at least ten years.

    1. Big, well-justified worry: I this project too tightly “Design-Build” for us, the both transit staff and users, to help correct a contractor’s mistake before it’s permanently installed?

      And before the work even starts, is what assurance have we got that anyone on the design team has ever had to deal with fare-decisions under pressure, either as station staff or passengers?

      Considering the percentage of our passenger-handling difficulties resulting form exactly these deficiencies, I think that if ATU Local 584 doesn’t insist on a respected and long-term employee advisory committee, I think that ST and KCM should risk a grievance and make them do it.

      With added inducement of “detailing” them. Meaning regular wage for temporary assignments other than their regular duties.

      And as with our DSTT group- key management as well. With a few experienced passengers as well. The LINK elevators and escalators for six years. The whole Breda fleet for thirty. Information and fare systems? Take a poll. We’ve earned a break.

      Mark Dublin

  2. It really is amazing how long these systems take to roll out. By the time ORCA2 is available, NFC will be a term we use in the past tense and there’ll be something new that’s all the rage.

    1. That’s my worry, too. These seem like over-engineered systems doomed to be outdated before they’re even implemented.

  3. I think there are a few questions to ask.

    1) What should we be looking for in a new payment system? I am a bit tired of multiple proprietary cards for each city I go to and would rather use something like Paypal through smartphone NFC or an RFID Credit Card. Many do worry about people stealing information off RFID cards but I do wonder if there can be limits placed on those cards or to specific retailer transactions (i.e. limit it to Metro or ST or wherever).

    2) If options like RFID credit cards and phones are accepted do you do what London does and give them the credit like they have an Oyster Card? I am curious as to the transaction cost per day vs handling the payment system themselves.

    3) Do you have people who use cash use TVMs and load a proprietary card still?

    This will be interesting to see what happens.

    1. Charging a third-party credit card is most expensive because the credit card company wants a big transaction fee.

  4. ” The current website, which many people here can attest to its poor usability and attractiveness, is controlled by the vendor and changing it can be slow and expensive.”

    The one software seller I deal with-by any definition a monopoly – is the only business I’ve ever dealt with that threatens me with legal action for breach of rules about something that I own!

    Not only should my attorneys get to tell this outfit to put itself in a bag, public agencies should be forbidden by law to sign a contract giving the seller control of anything they’ve bought.

    Hearts, flowers, and really out-of-tune violins over having to hire maintenance technicians themselves. People in wheelchairs trapped for hours in broken elevators on a hot day can generate a lot of legal fees.

    Would be good if people fined $124 over a card they’ve paid for that hasn’t been activated yet would cost transit’s legal department some more.

    The nationwide “fix” is very simple: a single Federal court ruling that once someone been paid for something he’s sold,he’s entitled to no authority over it whatsoever.
    The fix is very simple: a single Federal court ruling that once someone been paid for something he’s sold,he’s entitled to no authority over it whatsoever.

    “Vendors”- and why do I always think of popcorn and a trained monkey?- who can’t live with that can teach their monkey some more tricks and turn up the volume on their electronic accordion.

    Like any monopoly that gets regulated away, there’ll be no lack of new businesses that can live on the receiving end of the new rules just fine.


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