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New Metro Transit vending machine at Third and Pine will offer a no-hassle way to pay your fare

Summary

Beginning Dec. 1, riders boarding King County Metro buses on Third Avenue between Pine and Stewart streets by Macy’s in downtown Seattle will have another option - buying their ticket before they even board the bus.

Story

So how many times has this happened? You board the bus and realize you don’t have enough cash to pay the fare. Now what do you do?

Beginning Dec. 1, riders boarding King County Metro buses on Third Avenue between Pine and Stewart streets by Macy’s in downtown Seattle will have another option - buying their ticket before they even board the bus.

Metro estimates about ten percent of riders who board at this stop currently use cash to pay their fare.

Crews began installing the ticket vending machine at the northbound stop on Third Avenue Tuesday. The machine is part of a new pilot project designed to side-step the onboard farebox to test the concept of pre-paying for tickets.

The idea behind the new vending machine is simple. Before the bus even arrives, you can buy a ticket from the machine with either cash or by using your credit or debit card. Metro thinks this off-board payment option will offer more convenience and help riders who don’t have ORCA cards board more quickly. Metro also wants to assess whether the machine has the potential to cut down on schedule delays that can occur while buses wait for riders as they dig for change at the farebox.

The new machine is being installed with help of Seattle Department of Transportation crews. Metro has been working closely with the city for more than a year to improve the pedestrian and transit rider experience on Third Avenue. A Federal Transit Administration-funded conceptual design for those improvements should be completed in early 2015, with initial projects constructed over the next two years. Amenities will continue to be added along this vital downtown transit corridor in future years as funding becomes available.

The ticket vending machine will be easy to use. Just choose the type of fare you need and pay with cash or a credit/debit card and the machine will issue you a ticket to show the bus driver when you board. Tickets are good for two hours—you can ride Metro as much as you like during that time – no need to get a paper transfer. (Note the machine will not be able to make change.)

The tickets are only good on Metro buses and are not valid on other transit systems.

Following a six-month testing period, Metro will assess the pilot project and look at equipment performance, usage and potential benefits to bus schedules before deciding whether to expand the program. Riders can help by participating in a survey to assess how well the ticket vending machine served their needs.

Click on this Metro Online link to learn more about our pilot ticket vending machine.

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