News on reservations and fare systems

An article in the Islands’ Sounder provides updates on the state of the ferry reservation system and options for new ways to pay fares. In the article, the vehicle reservation system is being touted as a way to manage demand and avoid building new terminals:

“The vehicle-reservation system manages demand cheaply and saves the state a projected $280 million, WSF officials reveal.  WSF officials had previously thought it would need hefty funding to expand terminals and build new holding areas to meet future demand.  Instead, they have turned to a demand-management model intended to streamline the ferry-riding process.”

However, ferry officials have not yet revealed how the reservation system will work at terminals that cannot be expanded to meet the requirements of additional holding lanes, such as at the Lopez Island landing.

The article continues, discussing the presentation to the Joint Transportation Committee on the Fare Media Study at the JTC’s January 4th meeting:

“The study recommends that the ferry system replace its current prepaid Wave2Go payment option with an account-based system where patrons would be able to use different payment options through Good To Go! and One Regional Card for All (ORCA) cards….

“Before the account-based system is implemented, the study recommends that the ferry system create an interface that allows the ORCA and the Wave2Go systems to work integrate. The study recommends that Washington State Ferries allow passengers to purchase and load their multi-ride cards, which they can purchase through Wave2Go, on their ORCA cards.”

The final Fare Media Study report is due out next week. We will have the study available on this website page as soon as it is available. Previous documents are available on our Documents page under the WSF Fare Media Study heading.

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