Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sic Transit Bruce

Just a pun, I haven't 'passed over', but I am going to avail myself of an impressively integrated set of transit systems here. Seattle and its surrounding Metro area are served by a complex mix of buses, trollies, light rail, heavy rail and of course passenger-auto ferries operated by an equally complex set of transit agencies. But last year they introduced an electronic fare card that allows seamless transfers between systems or just within a selected one. For example I had my ORCA card loaded with an Everett Transit Pass plus a few extra cash dollars in case I needed to take a countywide Community Transit bus. In which latter case I was credited with the first 75 cents of the fare. In October I have been in transition between Everett and Seattle and just paid via the cash stored on my card, with credit for transfers within the window. Starting tomorrow I have an unlimited $2.25 card meaning I can take any number of trips per day and have the first $2.25 covered.

For example I plan to go to my old stomping grounds every Sunday to pick up mail and watch some football with Everett friends. Today that will cost me $2.00 on Seattle-Metro to get to the transfer point to the Everett Express but only $1.00 more to cover the $3.00 normal fare to Everett. And the same back for a total of $6. But next week, with the November pass enabled, the whole round trip will cost $4.25 with no extra cost if I stop somewhere in Seattle on the way back, or take a trip downtown before. Anyway once the monthly pass is paid for it is a positive incentive to play tourist, the marginal cost of visiting a new neighborhood or park within the city being zero. And ditto for the digital camera, for the price of a couple of AAs and my existing internet plans I am good to go.

Above picture also from the Pike Place Market yesterday.

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