Mobile ticketing provides another option to avoid annoying your fellow passengers by fumbling cash. Perhaps it should be cheaper than paying with cash.

Part of the low-hanging fruit that could help transit move more smoothly when Convention Center Annex construction and other projects reduce throughput in the Central Business District would be streamlining the fare collection process on all buses.

Among the causes of longer dwell times are:

  • zone resets
  • fare disputes
  • passenger questions
  • failure to fully use rear doors
  • all the change fumbling, change fumbling, change fumbling, change fumbling, change fumbling
  • .
    Both Metro and the monorail are collecting input on fare change proposals. Metro’s is focused on moving to a flat fare.

    This author has long been a proponent of express fares based roughly on distance. However the likelihood that there will be no express bus routes entering downtown from the north end or I-90 after Lynnwood Link and East Link open changes the calculus. If only South King County express routes are left, trying to charge premium express fares to the portion of the county with the lowest average income seems pretty pointless. Moreover, with One Center City bus re-reroutes right around the corner, drastic actions have to be taken to keep buses moving. Fare simplification is overdue, and now desperately needed.

    The current fares for the myriad downtown transit services require multiple cheat sheets. But for purposes of this analysis, we’ll ignore ferries and Sounder.

    Agency Service Full Adult LIFT youth RRFP..
    City of Seattle Monorail (cash only) $2.25 n/a $1.00 $1.00
    City of Seattle Streetcars $2.25 $1.50 $1.50 $1.00
    Community Transit commuter south/Everett $4.25 n/a $3.00 $2.00
    Community Transit commuter north/east $5.50 n/a $4.00 $2.50
    King County Metro off-peak $2.50 $1.50 $1.50 $1.00
    King County Metro 1-zone peak $2.75 $1.50 $1.50 $1.00
    King County Metro 2-zone peak $3.25 $1.50 $1.50 $1.00
    Sound Transit Link Light Rail $2.25-$3.25 $1.50 $1.50 $1.00
    Sound Transit ST Express intra-county $2.75 $1.50 $1.50 $1.00
    Sound Transit ST Express inter-county $3.75 $2.75 $2.75 $1.75
    Agency Service RRFP.. Youth LIFT… Full Adult

    Imagine if fares on the most common services were all aligned, and riders got some small per-ride incentive to pay electronically so fare collection time could be minimized. The fare chart could look more like this.

    Service Fare Medium Full Adult Youth, LIFT*, & RRFP
    King County Metro
    Monorail
    ST Express intra-county
    Cash $3.00 $1.50*
    King County Metro
    Link Light Rail
    Monorail
    Seattle Streetcars
    ST Express Intra-County
    ORCA /
    Mobile Ticket
    $2.75 $1.25
    Cmty Transit commuter
    ST inter-county express
    Cash $5.00 $2.50*
    Cmty Transit commuter
    ST inter-county express
    ORCA /
    Mobile Ticket
    $4.75 $2.25
    Service Fare Medium Full Adult Youth, LIFT*, & RRFP

    * No LIFT cash fare is available. Cardholders have to use loaded ORCA product in order to get the discount.

    This presumes the monorail joins the ORCA pod, and Community Transit starts accepting ORCA LIFT for a discount fare, even if efforts to distribute ORCA LIFT in Snohomish County are limited to what has been set up by Sound Transit.

    It also presumes Sound Transit switches to charging intra-county fares on routes 512, 532, 535, 574, and 578, recognizing that they are not express routes.

    Other ways to speed up fare collection while boarding the bus include:

  • getting rid of paper transfers
  • eliminating the $5 ORCA card fee as the county council is urging
  • requiring electronic payment at bus stops closest to ORCA vending machines
  • providing monthly ORCA-based passes to very-low-income riders, especially people experiencing homelessness.
  • 70 Replies to “One Center City Fare?”

    1. However, as you say, this wouldn’t really hold until Lynnwood Link and East Link are complete – and, sadly, that won’t be till well after the Convention Center construction’s started.

      1. My hope is that fare changes are in place on or before the March 2018 service change. September of 2018 needs to be dedicated to educating riders about all the re-routes.

        All the SR 520 routes might be re-routed to UW Station in September of 2018. The north-end Metro expresses may be gone or nearly gone after Northgate Station opens in 2021. I forgot to mention that survey in the post.

        And then the fares they would be paying when switching to Link would be what they are already used to paying, under the Table 2 plan.

        Lynnwood riders would be looking forward to ditching the higher express bus fares for lower Link fares. If the Link fares end up being slightly higher than the bus fares, that could have some expensive consequences for Community Transit.

      2. “The north-end Metro expresses may be gone or nearly gone after Northgate Station opens in 2021. I forgot to mention that survey in the post.”

        The article links to the 520 routes/UW Station survey. Is there another survey about North Seattle/Shoreline routes and Northgate Station?

        1. Sorry for the confusing prose. The SR 520 survey is indeed the route survey I was talking about.

    2. I’d actually say on my routes the biggest source of delays are:

      1) Passengers not having their ORCA cards ready to tap
      2) Passengers not tapping their ORCA cards correctly

      Could be worse, though. The Link card readers are a joke.

        1. From another perspective: Over the 8 years that ORCA has been in place I’ve lived in Mad Park. Each year gets better in terms of ORCA use to the point that there now many morning and mid-day trips where card use is almost or actually universal east of 23rd. With the arrival of 15 minute service mid-day a couple of years ago, travel time TO the CBD seems to have decreased by about 5 minutes, unless we get stalled at 19th, or 17th with change fumblers. Eastward has seen little improvement in travel time, thought the jog from Pine to Pike on 8th seems to be a bit faster. Lack of use of the back doors west of MLK is a major slowdown eastbound.

        2. My regular commute is probably the exception to the rule, but more often than not nobody pays cash in the AM. Lots of government/corporate workers so ORCA market share is probably well above average.

          In the PM there is a broader mix of riders, but I’d say on average 1-2 people pay cash. In comparison, typically 2-3 people foul-up tapping their ORCA cards repeatedly and 2-3 more don’t have their cards ready.

        3. It’s great that you’re already reaping the benefits of few cash fumblers, and can focus on much smaller problems. But systemwide, cash fare is still common (around 20% I think) and the average cash fare takes ~4X as long as the average ORCA fare. That some ORCA fare payments take longer than would be ideal shouldn’t distract from the central problem here.

        4. I board at a stop served by the 372 and 522. The 522 consistently takes longer to board than the 372, even when there’s the same number of people boarding each bus. I suspect it’s that because of U-Pass, the fraction of 372 riders paying cash is much lower than on the 522. If the 522 is in front of the 372, it slows down both buses.

          The sooner we go cashless, the better.

        5. Cash fares are the biggest slowdown on pierce transit buses. All of our buses have vending machine-styled cash readers, and 9 out of 10 cash payers are trying to shove a wadded up dollar bill into the machine. Luckily, as of late I’ve seen more people getting orca cards, and I’ve yet to see an orca card user fail to tap their card correctly

      1. I’ve found that my ORCA works just fine through my wallet. Matter of fact it works better as I know touching my wallet to the reader consistently taps it. Only issue I have is one credit card sends a similar signal to the reader. Easy fix: don’t bring the credit card.

        On the 41, there’s always at least 3-4 cash fumblers in the tunnel. The annoying part for me that the geometry of the ORCA reader, the fumbler, and the fare box means that its rare that you can touch the ORCA and bypass the fumbler. And if you have 2 fumblers, one after the other, along with a questioner that comes into the bus, then the line is really held up.

        My thought in the survey was to position the ORCA reader and the fare box so that riders can form two lines. At least figure out where the fumbler can fumble and not completely block the ORCA reader.

        1. I carry an extra ORCA card setup w ePurse in case I am traveling with someone who does not have an ORCA card or one of my kids forget theirs. I also occasionally use it to rescue a passenger who is not able to pay the fare for whatever reason if the driver is not giving them a pass.

          As a result, I can never tap my wallet because the reader detects both cards and gives the “only one card can be used at a time” error.

        2. The readers seem to be set for wallets. With bare cards you have to hold it in front of the reader at a slight distance. That’s what slows down first-time ORCA users who think tap means tap. But what works for me is to hold it in front of the reader, and if it doesn’t beep to move it around slowly until it does.

        3. There’s a (pretty tall) guy who often gets on a stop after me who’s mastered the wallet-swipe without taking it out his pocket. He just gets on his toes and swings his butt by the reader as he boards. It’s lovely.

        4. If you have two rfid cards in your wallet, you can create a Faraday cage between them with a piece of aluminum foil. This prevents the signal from the card on the other side of the foil from being read by the reader and confusing it. Then you can tap one side of the wallet for card 1 and the other side for card 2. I used to do this when I carried an ORCA and a Car2Go card (back before Car2Go allowed you to use your phone as your card).

    3. I like the direction but let’s take it further. Eliminate cash fares entirely. Eliminate the $5 ORCA card fee.

      Then, for the case where someone doesn’t have an ORCA and aren’t near a vending machine sell them directly on busses by the bus drivers. Do a flat $6 price, which would leave $3.25 on the cards. The way it would work is the person comes in, puts $6 in the fare box, and the driver hands them the pre-loaded card.

      I suppose there’s a small risk that someone would try to steal the cards themselves (since the driver has access to them), but besides being illegal, I assume there’s a way to deactivate a card (as long as the card #s on each coach are kept in a database somewhere).

        1. Yeah, you’re right, people with literally nothing but cash, who ride for the first time and need an ORCA card just for this first time will have to fumble cash. That is why I propose an Instant Cash Pocket Teleportation System®, which is very user friendly, but unfortunately not possible. Alternatively, we could utilize the Dump People Off The Bus Unless They Already Have An Orca Card® system (also known as Keep People In Their Cars Because The Bus Is Too Darn Complicated For New Riders® system), with the advantage being that it is possible, but it’s not user-friendly.

          However, I think even cash fumbling for just first-time users will significantly speed up boarding as is. I think many people still using cash are repeat customers that only use Metro, and with paper transfers (sometimes generously given for up to 4 hours, at least anecdotally), they see no advantage (or even a disadvantage) to switching to ORCA.

      1. Why not have a vending machine on the bus / light rail. takes up no room and is super efficient. People wait in line while the bus moves. Visit Europe and it’s common place and much more efficient than anything here.

        We have the most inefficient systems of the modern world.

        1. For trains, we have an off-board payment system, with random checks on the train. Though I have my complaints with how passholders are treated by FOEs when they forget to tap or double-tap, I think the system works pretty well, and gives on-board security something to do. We also have open-air stations where passengers can easily jump over fences to avoid turnstiles.

          For both buses and trains, we run pretty close to capacity, by American standards, on lots of runs. (By Asian standards, not so much.) We don’t really have room on either for those huge ORCA vending machines, especially with the way seats dominate the floor space. Those machines also cost way to much to put on each bus.

        2. Brent,

          Thanks for the response. My first question would be, “why are the Sound Transit vending machines so large?” Second question is, “why do the vending machines onboard and offboard need to be the same?”

          Here are a couple examples of vending machines on European transit. They are small, compact and have only what you need to get a ticket.

          http://www.ztm.waw.pl/download/inlineZdjecia/ab_6_320.jpg

          https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YX4wKdVb1HY/VyTU2RqBGRI/AAAAAAABBTY/wTvYjP6LKRMIs8ManL14OK7enzHalM_6gCLcB/s1600/image795.JPG

          https://www.vvo-online.de/img/Ticketkauf_imTram_215x155px.jpg

          Another thing they do is they don’t have an electronic wallet/purse like our Orca. They either have a monthly pass, or buy, say a ticket for 4 rides. That ticket has 4 spots to be validated. There is a simple machine the size of or a thick tablet where you put in the ticket and it stamps a date and time on it. Simple, simple, simple. We tend to over complicate things with electronics to make things fancy. This also leads to inefficiencies.

        3. That’s how Toronto’s new streetcars work. You either have a monthly pass or transfer, or you pay your fare on-board using machines in the middle of the streetcar. There is no paying while boarding to slow it down by anybody. It speeds boarding tremendously.

        4. GK: in Germany there’s a clever system called the “Streifenkarte” which is basically a paper ticket with ten blanks representing individual fares – you fold the strip back to reveal one of the blanks, then insert it into a machine which validates the fare by stamping it with the current date and time. It’s a little cheaper than buying individual tickets. You have to use the blanks in order, so you can pay a higher fare for a longer trip by simply skipping one of the blanks and validating the next one instead.

          It’s been a while now, so I may be misremembering this, but I think it was also possible to buy a little tearaway book of Streifenkartes, much as you’d put $100 on your ORCA e-purse.

          Very nice system. Wish we had it here, instead of the overcomplicated ORCA.

    4. Not so “One…Fare” when you list a number of different fares based on demographics. This is one of the biggest failures of the system, fare based on income.

      1. The federal government requires that the fare for seniors and riders with disabilities be no more than half the adult fare. We can’t get rid of that discount fare. The pie chart on page 12 of this document shows that the Regional Reduced Fare Permit accounts for the largest share of fare discounts, followed by the youth discount, and then the difference between what Metro is allowed to charge for paratransit (Access) and what it charges for paratransit.

        1. Thanks for a link to the presentation. I agree with youth, Senior and disability fares. I appreciate German systems (and many other European systems) where everyone (with the exception of disabled and youth) pays the same, regardless of income.

        2. Germany has a better social safety net, so people aren’t going around with two dollars in their pocket trying to decide whether to go without transit, food, medicine, or children’s shoes each day.

          ORCA LIFT was necessary because the regular fare had reached the level of being a significant burden to poor people, yet it had to be raised to keep up with inflation and rising demand and costs. There was a broadening public revolt against raising the regular fare without a broad-based discount for low-income people who are ineligible for the federally-mandated federally-required Regional Reduced Fare Permit (which is only for elderly and disabled). Transit agencies also have to generally prove that their fare and route policies don’t disproportionally impact minorities.

      2. Easy one, GK. See to it everybody gets paid enough to earn a living, and a lot of this kind of thing will immediately straighten itself out.

        Mark

    5. I welcome this simplification. Right now it’s kind of crazy that your fare from point A to B within King County can depend on which Agency’s bus happens to come first, or where you transfer, or whether it is bus or rail. A single consistent fare, and a small discount for using Orca is a huge win for almost everyone and should speed service

      In return for eliminating paper transfers, I’d love to see an in-county all day pass. It can happen automatically for orca users when they pay the second time in a day. Optionally drivers can sell it for $6 cash, too. Or the farebox can print it… There are quite a few transit systems where the farebox generates a daypass

    6. This would change Link into a flat fare too for ORCA users? Wouldn’t this mess up Link’s future-proofing the fare scheme for extensions as Federal Way-Lynnwood and Federal Way-Redmond trips become possible? Since Link payment is already off-board, and people with ORCA don’t have to pay close attention to fares as long as they have enough for the maximum fare, what’s the point? Would tapping out be eliminated too?

      1. The tapping out could still be incentivized by charging $3 for the trip, and then giving a 25-cent rebate for tapping out. Granted, $108 monthly passholders wouldn’t care, but if all the regular fares were $2.75, who would have a $108 pass? Both monthly passholders and E-purse users would keep an extra 25 cents on their pass, providing a disincentive to tossing the card.

        Link’s fare is already $3 from downtown to the airport. I’m guessing it will be close to $4 to Federal Way. I certainly don’t want a higher Link fare to become the tipping point in deciding how much express bus service is retained when Federal Way Link opens. Of course, the distance-based fare could be rejiggered so as to make the current trips flat for now, and start increasing for longer trips.

        If Link ends up serving more shorter trips and fewer long-distance trips, charging less than the minimum Metro fare could be hurting ST’s fare recovery. Indeed, I suspect that is already happening with all the Capitol Hill trips.

        On top of that, we’ll never be able to raise RRFP Link fares without raising the minimum regular fare. The hole in ST’s fare recovery due to the RRFP discount will grow and grow and grow.

    7. Brent, I’d like you to explain what your problem is with treating bus fares exactly like drivers’ license fees and car tab fees:

      Paying once for the right to use the whole system, however it suits you any given month, week, day, or minute. The way more and more of us live our lives, including travel.

      I also see no reason whatsoever for cash transactions aboard any transit vehicle. We certainly don’t do it on airliners.

      And as for getting my wrist slapped for too many taps with a paid-up monthly pass, time’s approaching when ST’s instead of a $124 fine, ST’s going to get a character defamation suit for calling me a “Fare Evader.”

      It amounts to the system standing there with enough money in its pocket to buy a month’s fares- whether I use them or not- and calling me a thief. If my taxes and pass price doesn’t cover Sound Transit’s accounting- raise both by whatever required.

      I wonder if we’re not getting our fare philosophy from the same company responsible for our elevators and escalators.

      Mark Dublin

      1. We already have the “driver’s license” option, Mark. It’s called a monthly pass. It just happens to cost more than a driver’s license or ID card (which is about to become more expensive). Over the course of a year, it costs more than the vast majority of car tabs. That actually seems about right, thought the LIFT/youth passes seem unnecessarily high, especially compared to the RRFP passes. The passes are also much easier to get than a driver’s license or ID card.

        I still resent the idea that I should have to pay as much for an ID card as for a driver’s license. Charge me enough to cover my share of road usage, but don’t make me subsidize the administrative cost of performing driving tests.

        The state should not be in the business of incentivizing getting a driver’s license over getting an ID card.

    8. 100% with you on the cash surcharge and that there’s no reason the streetcar fare or the base Link fare should be less than the off-peak Metro fare. Three items that I think would cause issues:

      (1) You’re asking riders of the remaining ST inter-county expresses to pony up another $1 or 25% just for the sake of bringing it to fare parity of the arguably much less efficient CT express buses. I doubt that will happen.

      (2) You’re asking riders of the south CT expresses to increase their fare, while reducing the fare of the much longer, one seat rides of north CT expresses, again for the sake of fare parity. That extra $1.25 for north CT express, is for the inefficiency of a one seat ride to Seattle from the far reaches of Snohomish County. More likely than (1), but may result in funding gaps for CT.

      (3) Metro should expunge the concept of a catch all peak fare (raise non peak $0.25 if they need to). However, I think that what is considered today a 2-zone, peak fare should remain, in some capacity, because a lot of the buses the 2-zone peak fare applies to are inefficient, one way, peak only express buses. The extra $0.50 is to subsidize the convenience of a single seat ride that skips a lot of stops for the sake or speed. I would look at excluding the obvious 2-zone, all day milk runs from the surcharge that one would not call expresses (e.g., 101, 106, 120, 150, RR-E).

      1. The CT expresses will be gone in 2023 when Link reaches Lynnwood. That’s just six years from now.

      2. (1, 2) The inter-county fares are just a sample of what fare consolidation could look like. Substitute whatever numbers you want to see if there is a better price point.

        The main point is the local fares, and the need to get the fare system’s complexities, extra button pushes, long Q&As while the bus is dwelling, fare disputes, and cash fumbling out of the way of the bus.

        Can you recite, off the top of your head, the rule for which runs charge an off-peak fare and which ones charge a peak fare?

        1. I would tell someone that if you board a bus between 6 – 9 AM and 3 to 6 PM to expect to pay “peak”. Add $0.50 if your bus crosses the City limits during peak.

          However, I know it’s actually not cut and dry and depends on various factors, like what time you board or whether the bus is leaving downtown vs. arriving downtown; I’ll admit I’d have to look at Metro’s website. Metro just can’t make anything simple!

          Again, for Metro, I would have a standard fare and then a “commuter fare”, which would be for select, longer, peak only routes.

    9. The problem with fare machines on buses isn’t so much the size of the buses, but the queues that will form around them. Circulation of passengers in the bus could also be impeded. Passengers could claim that they’re buying fares and shouldn’t be subject to fare enforcement.

      London’s gone cashless with the Oyster Card by blanketing the city with hundreds and hundreds of sales outlets, so that everybody can easily get one. That’s certainly not the case–for people without credit cards at least–on many American transit systems. A system can also reduce its percentage of cash fares with this approach, without having to do a quick cold turkey. It can also offer more choices on the card.

      1. I seem to remember that in Vancouver BC, you could get transit passes at every convenience store. We should certainly do that, especially for places open all night.

        Now that Howard Schultz is taking a stand against the New National Order where political correctness has now shifted to being being racist and repressive, good bet he’ll sign on for selling transit passes at Starbucks.

        One in the eye for EPA chiefs who don’t believe in Climate Change. I’ll even start patronizing. Though just buying orange juice, tea, and everything else that isn’t coffee.

        Mark

      2. >>The problem with fare machines on buses isn’t so much the size of the buses, but the queues that will form around them. Circulation of passengers in the bus could also be impeded. Passengers could claim that they’re buying fares and shouldn’t be subject to fare enforcement.<<

        If you use flash passes for monthly passes like Toronto, a huge percentage of riders don't need to tap their pass, and can just keep their pass in their wallets unless checked by a FEO. It's better for riders, because they don't need to take out their wallet, take their card out of their wallet, tap their card, put their card back in their wallet, and put their wallet back in their pocket. It's especially better if your hands are full as it is. And it largely fixes the problem of passenger queues forming.

        Everybody wins: https://theurbangeographer.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/metropass_may2012.jpg

        1. With smart cards, you can’t tell who has a pass without the fare inspector tapping the card. Still, what you suggest, plus the inspector tapping, would work beautifully except that several agencies divvy up the ORCA income, and they need those taps to do the divvying. They aren’t willing to just trust each others’ ridership numbers.

        2. Reason # 4391 why having 7 different local transit agencies in the Puget Sound region is a stupid idea,

        3. Metropolitan regions in Germany and Switzerland have multiple operators but they figured out how to work together under a single zone-based fare system (without smart cards), as well as offer integrated timetables and networks.

        4. I was impressed at how TPG, the regional operator in Geneva, managed to do a unified fare structure in a system spanning two nations using two currencies. It’s made me impatient with the whinging we hear from our transit operators about how hard it is to coordinate fares and schedules.

        5. I have a lot of familiarity with Geneva as I have family there. TPG is a quite impressive system in a lot of respects, particularly given Geneva’s small size. But it would be a lot easier to build something like it if we had Switzerland’s general willingness to impose solutions.

      3. It’s also worth reminding people that it took ten years of disincentivizing cash usage, expanding Oyster availability to get cash usage on buses from ~25% down to 1% (which was probably needed to make the cash phase out politically viable). It probably didn’t hurt that Contactless Credit/Debit card payment came online in this period too. Before going completely cashless they added an Oyster feature to allow _one_ more journey on buses even if your (positive) balance is too low, or you have a recently expired pass. They also provided more training to drivers to ensure that vulnerable riders would be treated consistently.

        TfL claimed that in 2015, it cost them UKP 24M to accept cash on buses.

    10. This may be a semantic misunderstanding on my part, but I cannot imagine that Metro will cancel the northend city peak expresses (the 5X, 15X, 18X, 26X, and 28X) when Link starts. Those are certainly classic “expresses” in that they deadhead back to the starting point or just run a single tripper. But they serve the central city and the “express” portion is relatively short.

      1. I took northend to mean routes like the 301, 312, 316… routes that could conceivably be truncated at Northgate in 2021. However, Brent may have meant the 520 bridge routes because I don’t see any survey on the Metro Matters blog about north end routes.

      2. I meant all the buses that spend time on I-90 or I-5, including those on SR 520 that also spend time on I-5. The SR 520 route survey is the only active route survey I know of.

    11. Also: Stop making it so hard to get a kids’ ORCA card. Physically showing up at one of very limited # of offices during business hours with physical proof of the kids age…

      This is a sledgehammer approach to solve a theoretical problem that can already be enforced by bus drivers, fare enforcement checks, etc.

      Because as we all know, families with kids who choose to, or worse have no financial option but to, use transit have so much spare time during business hours to go down the to the Metro office.

      1. While I agree that the process is cumbersome, it does no one any good to exaggerate just how difficult it is. In particular, it works just fine requesting the things by mail (as long as you have a birth certificate for the child — a copy is perfectly acceptable) Also, it’s worth pointing out that far more transit friendly cities have similar requirements, at least for teens.

        1. In my case I was trying to get cards right away and got very frustrated by how hard it is.

          Regardless anything that is a barrier to families taking transit should be removed. The goal should be promoting transit use not making it difficult.

        2. I am more upset by the fact that I’ve been told point blank by drivers that they aren’t allowed to give you a child discount on a regular Orca (even when a child is clearly paying), even though they sell them cash tickets without ID.

        3. It’s probably due to the programming, which only allows fare increments to be deducted. If you don’t have a reduced fare card, you have to pay cash. When I was in Seattle last year with my senior mom she did not use an ORCA card and just paid cash.

    12. You’re right about this one, Glen. Though based on the way three-year-olds demand to be the one to push the elevator buttons with their fingertips while stretching up on tiptoe, and insist on walking down steps half their height…..

      You could have a problem with them throwing temper-tantrums if they don’t get a REAL pass!

      Double-carding problem has a couple of solutions. One is that you can put the card in a little leather holder, and clip it to your belt. But the way I keep losing debit cards lately, I think there need to be “mitten clips” for cards.

      Like we used to have on the sleeves of our snow-suits.

      Mark

      1. I hadn’t thought about the mobile app as a backup. Can I buy a youth fare with that? Or do I need to go through the ridiculous ORCA carbon dating of child process?

    13. Another thing about Orca cards is that they cause interference with other contactless cards in your wallet, which could be anything from a credit card to a Car2Go membership card to an access card for your apartment’s parking garage. Anytime someone can’t tap because of the interference and has to hold up the line to physically take the card out, it eats up time.

      1. I have Car2Go, ReachNow, ZipCar in my wallet. None of them have problems. Neither does ORCA when I only have one ORCA card. I think when people have problems it is more a result of their wallet than the other cards in it.

        1. Definitely not my experience. I have to be seriously careful about where I place my building badge, Car to Go and Orca cards to ensure trouble free taps.

    14. This is useful, but misses the point.

      all the systems should be trying to incentivize ridership.
      The only way to do that is to come up with simpler monthly passes, and actually have monthly pass options for reduced fare users.
      Its fine to make to simplify the current mish mash of fares, but more useful to allow more people to have monthly passes.
      Don’t recreate the problems of the bus tickets – give people a pass, and let them ride.

      1. I was unaware that monthly passes weren’t being offered for some of the discount fares. Which medium is not offering them?

    15. If the Metro fare zone is Seattle city limits as Metro insists up and down that it is, then why are there different northbound and southbound fare zones?

      1. If a route has stops along the boundary street, it’s one zone from both sides. The 124 treats the entire Boeing Plant 2/Museum of Flight area that way. That could be because it used to be part of Seattle until Boeing lobbied to unannex it to get out of paying Seattle taxes. So it could have a special relationship to Seattle, or be an area Seattle Transit operated in when it was absorbed into Metro, or to avoid splitting the business district with part in and part out, or simply because Boeing is a major employer. Other splits like that may be for logic, to avoid ridiculous draconian situations. Are there other examples of splits you think are excessive?

    16. Another option is to not build the convention center expansion. It is the most wasteful, and cumbersome building project in the construction pipeline. Attendance has declined since the last expansion, but tax subsidies going directly to the convention center have increased. They’re doing less with more. Stop letting the WSCC dictate transportation policies.

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