Ditch $4-per-gallon gas on Dump the Pump Day

June 20, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. June 20, 2012

Regional public transit agencies joined forces to encourage commuters to forgo $4-per-gallon gasoline Thursday for Dump the Pump Day.

Sound Transit, King County Metro Transit and other agencies asked commuters to board buses, trains and ferries for the national event. Organizers said more than 560,000 riders already use regional public transportation services.

Metro is reaching out to riders on Facebook to ask how they plan to dump the pump. In addition, 10 people can win a Dump the Pump T-shirt and a regional ORCA card loaded with $10. Organizers plan to select participants in a random drawing June 25.

Commuters can use the American Public Transportation Association’s monthly transit savings calculator to determine the costs of driving versus using public transit. Read more

Leaders call for increased access to regional transit card

April 24, 2012

King County Council members requested increased access to regional transit by expanding the One Regional Card for All, or ORCA smart card, in a unanimous decision March 26.

The council called for mass transit officials to analyze options to lead to a broader distribution and increased use of ORCA.

Before the program launched in 2009, King County sold transit fare through numerous retail stores. Through ORCA, the network limited to the Internet and direct distribution facilities. King County Metro Transit then received complaints about the reduction in purchase locations.

ORCA is a collaboration among the transit systems in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

“ORCA cards have proven to be a fast and easy way to for local riders to pay for their transit fares,” council Vice Chairwoman Jane Hague said in a statement. “However, we need to find a way to expand access to these cards. Studies have shown that if you make paying for transit easy, more riders will use it.”

Transit agencies welcome commuters for Dump the Pump Day

June 15, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. June 15, 2011

Puget Sound public transit agencies encourage commuters to climb aboard Thursday for National Dump the Pump Day.

National Dump the Pump Day is sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association to encourage people to use public transportation systems available in local communities across the nation. The goal is to encourage people to save money, help the environment and increase the nation’s energy independence.

“Puget Sound residents have so many great alternatives to driving — buses, light rail, streetcars, trains, vanpools and ferries. Dump the Pump Day is a great time to try out a new ride and save some money,” Kevin Desmond, King County Metro Transit general manager, said in a news release.

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QFC offers ORCA regional transit cards

May 10, 2011

Transit commuters can now pick up ORCA passes when they get their milk and eggs.

QFC, including the Issaquah-area stores, recently joined the retail locations offering ORCA, or One Regional Card for All.

ORCA is a collaboration among the transit systems in King, Kitsap, Snohomish and Pierce counties.

Commuters use ORCA cards on more than 250,000 trips each weekday and 49 percent of all transit trips in the region. The smart card has replaced about 300 transportation passes, tickets and transfers.

Customers can also order ORCA cards online at www.orcacard.com, by calling 1-888-988-6722 toll free, by visiting a transit agency customer service office or get them at a fare vending machine.

Transit agencies extend free ORCA card offer

January 26, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 26, 2010

ORCA transit smart cards will be available for free through Feb. 28.

Starting March 1, a standard adult or youth ORCA card will cost $5. The free-card promotion had been scheduled to end Jan. 31.

ORCA — for One Regional Card for All — is a collaboration between Metro Transit and transit systems in King, Kitsap, Snohomish and Pierce counties. The plastic card contains a microprocessor; cards come equipped with a so-called e-purse function to allow riders to preload fares onto the card. Customers can also purchase a pass product, like a monthly PugetPass, and then load it onto the smart card.

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