November 23, 2009
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ORCA Regional Smart Card Shifts to Electronic Transfers
The ORCA (One Regional Card for All) smart card, which serves six public transit agencies throughout the Puget Sound region of Washington State, is preparing to shift from paper transfers to electronic transfers on Jan. 1, 2010, for trips that involve transferring between agencies.
While King County Metro Transit in Seattle and Pierce Transit in Lakewood will continue to offer paper transfers for use within their own systems, Community Transit in Snohomish County and Sound Transit in Seattle plan to switch to all-electronic transfers. Everett Transit in Everett and Kitsap Transit in Bremerton have already phased out paper transfers on their systems. Transfer policies for Washington State Ferries, the seventh ORCA partner agency, will remain unchanged with no transfers between ferries and buses or trains.
All ORCA partners will continue to accept cash, but beginning Jan. 1, riders using cash instead of the card to transfer between different agencies’ systems will pay the full fare for each leg of their ride.
ORCA automatically credits a rider’s first trip when he or she transfers within two hours. With each trip, the card automatically deducts the correct fare, including any transfer value, or riders can load their ORCA card with a monthly pass good for unlimited rides.