Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Can You Bag My ORCA Card?"

This spring local retail stores began selling ORCA cards. Since ORCA started in 2009, retailers have been able to load fare value on existing cards, but this is the first time they started selling cards.

That was a huge step for the ORCA program as it quadrupled the number of locations where you could buy an ORCA card if you didn’t already have one.

People who qualify for reduced fare, such as seniors, disabled or youth, still must buy their ORCA card in person at a transit agency customer service center because proof of eligibility is required. But the vast majority of transit riders use the standard “adult” ORCA card and that can now be bought at Safeways, QFCs, Roger’s MarketPlace and other convenient locations.

When you visit one of these retailers, there is often an ORCA sign, usually at the Customer Service desk. A new ORCA card costs $5, plus the cost of a monthly pass or whatever E-purse fare you want to put on the card. The hope is that expanding the locations where you can buy an ORCA card will encourage more people to use transit.

At community fairs this summer, we've been asked a lot of questions about ORCA, and many people don't know how convenient it is for paying fares. Now we can point down the street and say, "You can get one there!"

Where did you get your first ORCA card?

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