Sunday, April 26, 2009


On Friday my new Orca Card arrived. ORCA (One Card for All) is very much like Translink in the Bay Area. ORCA is for the Puget Sound Area Transit and Ferries. The cards contain a chip that readers at the entrances of buses, streetcars, subway cars and subway entrances read and deduct fare, like it was a transit debit card. You can load fare online or over the phone. In SF you can load at a machine as well. The card has a chip in it, with a loop that goes around the edge of the card, but the card is a harder plastic, so its somewhat durable. This card makes boarding faster, no fumbling with change, you can even store a monthly pass on it. You also don't even have to remove it from your wallet to tag. Supposedly it remembers transfers as well, it will give you 2 hours to transfer for free, which in turn made the Puget Sound Area agencies decide to dump transfers this fall as a result. If you want to pay cash, it will be just like Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, North County (San Diego) Transit District, VTA, and Eugene, you will have to pay the adult fare EVERY time you board a vehicle. I do wish, however, that as a result, The PS agencies need to look at what the other ones i mentioned are doing, offer a cash day pass. The ultimate goal will be to get everyone on board with the card, which is free right now, but will cost $5 in the coming future. Next time I go to Seattle, which will be soon I hope, I will give it a try. I have a Translink card, and it is nice to use, and easy!

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