Ferry Cards Everywhere: Be an orca today
October 7th, marks an important day for commuters in Seattle, but what does this mean for you? Seattle has been undergoing extensive remodeling and upgrading and this is only the next step. Starting October 7th, Seattle commuters will be able to use their Orca cards for the ferry, and for the Monorail as well. The Monorail is very accessible to those who ride the ferry; in fact, the station in Pioneer Square is only a ten minute walk from the Seattle ferry dock. Since the Monorail’s track is quite extensive, commuters can easily jump on and ride down to fifth avenue or even go between Westlake Center and Seattle Center but transitioning to Orca cards wasn’t a spur of the moment idea.
In 2018 alone over two million riders use the orca card. Compared to the 1.7 million riders who opted to use First Hill and Southlake Union Streetcars, this is impressive. In fact, according to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, during the first five days of the World’s fair, 136,000 people rode the Monorail. The City of Seattle owns the Monorail, which means it receives all funding from the Federal Transit Administration and the private company Seattle Monorail is able to direct the funds. Usually one ride costs $3 for adults aged 19-64 while those 6-19 currently pay $1.50, and children under five are free. Three dollars a ride isn’t too expensive to begin with, but if you commute to and from work everyday paying $6 a day isn’t logical for many. Orca cards will provide a cost friendly alternative. Instead of dishing out $6 a day for Monorail costs in addition to ferry costs, commuters will have access to another solution: the orca card. This card has a number of rides and purchasing it ahead of time can save you a lot of money. Commuting to work shouldn’t be difficult and Orca cards make it even easier.
Being able to use Orca cards on the Monorail especially improves commuting and traveling for Bainbridge Islanders. With the countless events in Seattle everyday, many Bainbridge Islanders often opt to leave their cars on Bainbridge. The Orca card then gives commuters and travelers an affordable alternative to Uber and other Rideshare apps that are not only costly but contribute to poor environmental conditions. Rising environmental concerns and protests are demanding reform among cities alike. The Orca card is a solution to this because it makes using sustainable transit affordable and accessible to a wider variety of people. However, the Monorail has been struggling to receive additional funding as their initiatives keep getting rejected. My parents commute and being able to use their Orca cards will make the travel to and from work that much easier but they are also concerned about the lack of support for the Monorail. If the Monorail doesn’t receive funding, it can’t expand to reach more places. The Orca card is only the beginning, and with more funding, the opportunities to reach various destinations can be unlimited and environmentally friendly with the Monorail.