I keep having a reoccurring problem. My Orca Card – Seattle’s version of the public transportation pass – seems to run out of money a very inopportune times. On my way to an important meeting downtown. Balance $0.00. Getting on the bus to go home later at night. Balance $0.00.
To keep in better control of my finances I choose to not have it automatically refilled each month, so I am at the mercy of knowing how much is on my card at any one time and if more money is needed, I must take time out of my day to go put more on it. We have learned the majority of cards in circulation are not automatically refilled.
I either have to go online and pay, which takes 24 hours to process. Or I have to walk to a physical location around town and make a payment at a kiosk. It sucks.
Why can’t I just pay on the fly and put money back on the card?
Why can’t I be notified if my balance is getting low?
Others around Seattle have this problem, I know this because that is how we were pointed toward initiating talks with Sound Transit. I have to believe others in additional metro areas around this country are frustrated by the same inconvenience. That is why we are now starting to work with Sound Transit on a solution involving mobile payment in Seconds and a pilot is set to roll out in the coming months.
Below is a video of how it works. Pretty smooth, eh?