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Sale of Metro Transit ticketbooks ends June 30

Summary

King County Metro Transit is reminding customers that paper ticketbooks will no longer be sold after June 30. That means ORCA cards and cash will be the primary forms of fare payment on Metro.

Story

ORCA cards now the preferred choice for paying fare

King County Metro Transit is reminding customers that paper ticketbooks will no longer be sold after June 30. That means ORCA cards and cash will be the primary forms of fare payment on Metro.

The change will not affect tickets provided through the human services ticket program.

Ticketbooks – once a popular form of fare payment – have steadily been outpaced in popularity by their more flexible cousin, the ORCA card.  Not only is an ORCA card smaller and more convenient to handle, it can be easily replaced if lost, stolen or damaged. And the best part is, the card can be used for travel on all transit systems in central Puget Sound – not just Metro.

After ORCA was introduced back in 2009, sales of Metro ticketbooks plummeted from an average of about 25,000 per month to about 3,000 per month. More than 60 percent of all transit trips in the region are now taken using ORCA.

The elimination of ticketbooks will also save money. Metro estimates it will save about $80,000 a year in printing and supply costs alone. The savings will be important as Metro continues to look for opportunities to operate more efficiently. Metro projects its annual revenue will fall $75 million short of what is necessary to maintain current service after temporary funding runs out in mid-2014. Without new funding, Metro must cut service by up to 17 percent beginning in fall 2014.

Ticketbooks will be available for sale at third-party retail locations through June 30 and at Metro Pass Sales Offices through June 28.  Phone orders, mail orders and ticket purchases through Metro Online will be accepted through June 25. Ticketbooks do not have an expiration date and will remain valid for trips taken on Metro. For details, visit the ticketbook sales page on Metro Online.

And remember, transitioning to ORCA has never been easier. Just go to www.orcacard.com to locate the nearest ORCA customer service office, vending machine or retailer near you.