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Metro Transit wants your input on ways to simplify fare payment. Please tell us what you think by April 7.

678 registered responses


During a typical week, how often do you ride the following types of transit?

King County Metro Transit buses
Response Percent Response Count
never 2.2% 15
less than once a week 19.0% 129
one or two days a week 17.8% 121
three or four days a week 18.0% 122
five or more days a week 42.5% 288
Sound Transit Link light rail service
Response Percent Response Count
never 18.9% 128
less than once a week 47.6% 323
one or two days a week 14.3% 97
three or four days a week 8.7% 59
five or more days a week 6.5% 44
Sound Transit Sounder service
Response Percent Response Count
never 70.8% 480
less than once a week 17.6% 119
one or two days a week 1.8% 12
three or four days a week 0.9% 6
five or more days a week 2.4% 16
Sound Transit Regional Express bus service
Response Percent Response Count
never 44.2% 300
less than once a week 31.0% 210
one or two days a week 8.6% 58
three or four days a week 4.3% 29
five or more days a week 6.2% 42
Bus service provided in a county that borders King County (e.g. Community Transit, Pierce Transit, or Kitsap Transit)
Response Percent Response Count
never 69.3% 470
less than once a week 19.5% 132
one or two days a week 2.2% 15
three or four days a week 1.3% 9
five or more days a week 1.9% 13
King County Water Taxi
Response Percent Response Count
never 71.2% 483
less than once a week 20.8% 141
one or two days a week 1.0% 7
three or four days a week 0.1% 1
five or more days a week 0.4% 3
Washington State Ferries
Response Percent Response Count
never 33.5% 227
less than once a week 58.6% 397
one or two days a week 1.8% 12
three or four days a week 0.7% 5
five or more days a week 0.4% 3
Seattle Streetcar
Response Percent Response Count
never 50.3% 341
less than once a week 36.7% 249
one or two days a week 5.5% 37
three or four days a week 0.9% 6
five or more days a week 0.9% 6
Metro Access paratransit
Response Percent Response Count
never 92.2% 625
less than once a week 0.9% 6
one or two days a week 0.3% 2
three or four days a week 0.1% 1
five or more days a week 0.1% 1
Metro Vanpool or Vanshare
Response Percent Response Count
never 92.5% 627
less than once a week 0.9% 6
three or four days a week 0.1% 1
five or more days a week 0.3% 2
Private employer-provided shuttle (example: Microsoft Connector)
Response Percent Response Count
never 86.4% 586
less than once a week 3.8% 26
one or two days a week 0.7% 5
three or four days a week 0.6% 4
five or more days a week 1.2% 8

If you use transit, for what purpose(s) do you ride public transportation? (Check all that apply)

Response Percent Response Count
To/from work 72.2% 489
To/from school 7.8% 53
To/from volunteering 23.6% 160
To/from shopping or errands 59.5% 403
To/from appointments 59.2% 401
To/from recreation, social, religious, or cultural events 65.4% 443
To/from special events 57.2% 387
To/from airport 56.1% 380
Not applicable, do not ride public transportation 0.6% 4
Other 3.8% 26

When you use public transportation how do you pay your fare:

Response Percent Response Count
ORCA card 79.8% 541
Regional Reduced Fare Permit 8.0% 54
U-Pass 6.5% 44
Cash 4.7% 32
Transit Go mobile ticket 0.3% 2
Metro Access monthly pass 0.4% 3
Human service ticket 0.1% 1
Not applicable, do not ride public transportation 0.1% 1

What type of ORCA product do you have?

Response Percent Response Count
ORCA Monthly Pass that I pay for 14.8% 80
ORCA E-purse that I pay for 38.3% 207
ORCA employer-provided pass 35.2% 190
ORCA employer-provided E-purse 2.4% 13
ORCA pass provided by my college or university 0.7% 4
ORCA school-provided pass (high school and middle school students) 0.4% 2
ORCA LIFT Monthly Pass 1.9% 10
ORCA LIFT E-purse 2.0% 11
ORCA Regional Day Pass 0.2% 1
I use multiple products depending on my trip purpose 4.1% 22

How do you usually purchase your pass or put money in your e-purse?

Response Percent Response Count
My employer, school or social service agency does it for me 39.1% 211
Online 24.9% 134
Auto-load 18.2% 98
At a retailer 2.8% 15
Ticket vending machine 13.5% 73
Metro Customer Service Office 1.5% 8

Do you pay by:

Response Percent Response Count
Cash 7.4% 4
Monthly Pass 29.6% 16
E-purse 63.0% 34

Why do you pay your fare with cash? (check all that apply)

Response Percent Response Count
I don’t ride often enough 56.3% 18
It's easier to pay with cash/ticket 28.1% 9
I don’t have a debit/credit card 3.1% 1
There are no convenient locations where I can get or add value to an ORCA card 31.3% 10
I'm concerned about losing an ORCA card 12.5% 4
I can’t afford the fee to purchase an ORCA card 6.3% 2
I don’t want to pay the fee to purchase an ORCA card 34.4% 11
I haven’t gotten around to getting an ORCA card 21.9% 7
Other 25.0% 8

How easy to understand are Metro’s fares?

Response Percent Response Count
Very easy 16.4% 111
Easy 45.8% 309
Difficult 28.1% 190
Very difficult 5.2% 35
Not applicable 4.4% 30

How easy is it to pay your fare?

Response Percent Response Count
Very easy 60.0% 406
Easy 32.1% 217
Difficult 4.9% 33
Very difficult 1.9% 13
Not applicable 1.2% 8

How satisfied are you with your ability to pay your fare when transferring between different agency’s services?

Response Percent Response Count
Very Satisfied 32.7% 220
Satisfied 27.4% 184
Neutral 17.3% 116
Dissatisfied 7.0% 47
Very dissatisfied 2.7% 18
Not applicable 12.9% 87

How confident are you that you are paying your fare in a way that is most affordable to you?

Response Percent Response Count
Very confident 52.3% 354
Somewhat confident 32.3% 219
Not confident 12.4% 84
Not applicable 3.0% 20

Is the cost to ride affordable for you?

Response Percent Response Count
Yes 82.5% 558
No 4.3% 29
Sometimes 13.2% 89

Why?

Answered
412
Skipped
266

How aware are you of the following Metro reduced fare options and programs?

Regional Reduced Fare Permit for people 65 and older or people with disabilities
Response Percent Response Count
very aware 40.6% 275
somewhat aware 36.3% 246
somewhat unaware 4.9% 33
very unaware 4.7% 32
not applicable 12.9% 87
Youth fare for children ages 6-18 (children age 5 and under ride for free)
Response Percent Response Count
very aware 38.1% 258
somewhat aware 34.9% 236
somewhat unaware 5.2% 35
very unaware 4.6% 31
not applicable 15.5% 105
ORCA LIFT reduced fare for income-qualified adults
Response Percent Response Count
very aware 27.9% 189
somewhat aware 32.3% 219
somewhat unaware 10.3% 70
very unaware 13.0% 88
not applicable 14.2% 96
Metro’s Human Service Ticket Program, which sells discounted bus tickets to participating human and social service agencies to provide to their clients
Response Percent Response Count
very aware 13.9% 94
somewhat aware 23.0% 156
somewhat unaware 16.1% 109
very unaware 30.3% 205
not applicable 14.8% 100

What one thing would you suggest to improve Metro’s fare payment system?

Answered
462
Skipped
216

Which of these policies do you think are most important? You've got 10 dots to 'spend' on the options below.

Response Percent Response Count
Make Metro’s fares easier to understand and pay. 11.1% 753
Make Metro’s fares more consistent with those for Sound Transit buses, Link light rail, and Seattle Streetcar. 10.6% 719
Meet Metro’s farebox recovery target to fund bus service 4.7% 317
Make boarding faster. 13.6% 918
Reduce fare collection costs. 5.8% 391
Improve safety for bus drivers and customers. 12.1% 820
Charge more for more-expensive services. 3.1% 208
Increase ridership. 13.6% 921
Improve affordability for low-income customers. 14.3% 968
Other 5.6% 378

How did you hear about this survey? (check all that apply)

Response Percent Response Count
News media 8.9% 60
Metro Matters blog 1.6% 11
Metro email or text alert 63.8% 431
Twitter 3.8% 26
Facebook 7.8% 53
Friend or family member 2.2% 15
My employer 3.4% 23
My elected official or city 4.6% 31
An organization I'm involved with 2.4% 16
Other 11.7% 79

The notice to learn more and participate was clear and welcoming:

Response Percent Response Count
Strongly agree 54.3% 366
Somewhat agree 31.0% 209
Neutral / no opinion 13.5% 91
Somewhat disagree 0.7% 5
Strongly disagree 0.4% 3

Do you feel you were notified in time to provide meaningful feedback?

Response Percent Response Count
Yes 93.2% 628
No 1.3% 9
Not sure 5.5% 37

Please share any additional feedback you have about our outreach.

Answered
136
Skipped
542
Jon Morgan inside District 2
April 7, 2017, 11:45 PM
  • During a typical week, how often do you ride the following types of transit?
    • King County Metro Transit buses - five or more days a week
    • Sound Transit Link light rail service - three or four days a week
    • Sound Transit Sounder service - never
    • Sound Transit Regional Express bus service - never
    • Bus service provided in a county that borders King County (e.g. Community Transit, Pierce Transit, or Kitsap Transit) - never
    • King County Water Taxi - never
    • Washington State Ferries - never
    • Seattle Streetcar - less than once a week
    • Metro Access paratransit - never
    • Metro Vanpool or Vanshare - never
    • Private employer-provided shuttle (example: Microsoft Connector) - never
  • If you use transit, for what purpose(s) do you ride public transportation? (Check all that apply)
    • To/from work
    • To/from volunteering
    • To/from shopping or errands
    • To/from appointments
    • To/from special events
  • When you use public transportation how do you pay your fare:
    • ORCA card
  • What type of ORCA product do you have?
    • ORCA Monthly Pass that I pay for
  • How do you usually purchase your pass or put money in your e-purse?
    • Ticket vending machine
  • How easy to understand are Metro’s fares?
    • Difficult
  • How easy is it to pay your fare?
    • Very easy
  • How satisfied are you with your ability to pay your fare when transferring between different agency’s services?
    • Satisfied
  • How confident are you that you are paying your fare in a way that is most affordable to you?
    • Very confident
  • Is the cost to ride affordable for you?
    • Yes
  • Why?

    I have an RRFP.

  • How aware are you of the following Metro reduced fare options and programs?
    • Regional Reduced Fare Permit for people 65 and older or people with disabilities - very aware
    • Youth fare for children ages 6-18 (children age 5 and under ride for free) - very aware
    • ORCA LIFT reduced fare for income-qualified adults - very aware
    • Metro’s Human Service Ticket Program, which sells discounted bus tickets to participating human and social service agencies to provide to their clients - very aware
  • What one thing would you suggest to improve Metro’s fare payment system?

    integration between agencies

  • Which of these policies do you think are most important? You've got 10 dots to 'spend' on the options below.
    • Make Metro’s fares easier to understand and pay. (1)
    • Make Metro’s fares more consistent with those for Sound Transit buses, Link light rail, and Seattle Streetcar. (3)
    • Make boarding faster. (1)
    • Increase ridership. (1)
    • Improve affordability for low-income customers. (4)
  • How did you hear about this survey? (check all that apply)
    • Facebook
    • An organization I'm involved with
  • The notice to learn more and participate was clear and welcoming:
    • Somewhat agree
  • Do you feel you were notified in time to provide meaningful feedback?
    • Yes
  • Please share any additional feedback you have about our outreach.

    The premises on which current fares are based are either outdated or have become less important than other priorities over the years. For a long time I was a strong supporter of distance-based fares like Sounder and Link have. But our demographics have shifted. In the US today, suburbs are now poorer than cities. What's happening in the Seattle area is that, since people can't buy their way out of long, unreliable trips directly (except for the few roadways with tolls like 520); they are doing it through housing choices. Those with money are buying expensive homes in places with good transit and walkability--and which give them better commutes to work in particular. The suburbs are comprised largely of lower income people forced there by skyrocketing rents and home prices in the urban core. The premise of distance-based fares is that you charge more for those using more service, and incentivize people to choose shorter trips. From a transportation perspective, that makes sense. But the people taking longer trips mostly don't have much alternative anymore. So the effect of distance-based fares today is not to rationalize transportation behavior, but to impose greater costs on poorer people. The same is true of peak surcharges. It's wealthier, professional workers who have options like alternative locations, schedules (shifted hours or days), and telecommuting; lower paid workers have less choice over when and where they work. Peak surcharges don't affect their choices; they just impose more costs on people less able to afford them. At the same time, it's those white collar workers who are most likely to have their fares partly or totally subsidized by their employers, so they don't pay attention to fares or feel their effects. That also undermines the premise of using incentives and disincentives in the fare structure to influence behavior.

    I have both an ORCA Lift card and an RRFP. It seems clear to me that the real purposes of senior, youth, and disability fares--like ORCA Lift--are social justice and economic fairness. Age and disability aren't really the issue; they're used as proxies for poverty or other disadvantages. So in the interests of simplification, I suggest eliminating the peak and zone surcharges along with senior, disabled, and youth fares. We can and should switch entirely to a fare structure based on income. Income and wealth inequality and stratification have exploded in the US over the last 45 years, and that is the big, important difference between riders. ORCA Lift already has a good infrastructure in place for verifying incomes with the upper limit of 200% of the federal poverty line. With the Affordable Care Act, we also have the data on people with incomes up to 400% of the poverty line, because that is the upper limit for receiving subsidies to buy health insurance on the exchanges. Furthermore, it is already King County running both transit service and the health department. Let's build on what we already have. We can establish a few simple income bands and apply fares progressively to each. Everyone has to tap their ORCA card (which need to be free or at least use a fully refundable fee), but they're charged different amounts based on their income category. Let people below the poverty line ride free. People 100-200% of FPL pay $1. People 200-300% of FPL pay $2. People 300-400% FPL pay $3. People above 400% FPL, or who haven't verified their incomes, pay $4. Transfers remain free and good for 2 hours (payment method shouldn't matter). This would be much simpler AND much fairer than the current fare structure.

    We also need a day pass with a far more realistic price and terms, and we need some combination of 3, 7, and 10-day unlimited passes for tourists and others. Simplifying the underlying fare structure should also result in simpler fares for monthly passes, which are way too confusing for tourists now (one asked me recently at Westlake and couldn't figure out what to buy, nor could I adequately help her).

    The existing balkanization between agencies, services/modes, and geographies is confusing, inconsistent, and unnecessary. As a transit junkie, it has been a real obstacle to getting people to try transit in the region. I know Metro, PT, CT, ET, and ST are different agencies with different service areas, political constituencies, histories, priorities, and governments. But the rider experience must be as seamless as possible, and we should be able to have a single unified fare structure across 3-4 counties. Paris manages to do it even though the RATP and SNCF run different services. That division is transparent to riders; they are the model to emulate.

    I understand and support the shifts from cash/paper to smart cards, and to off-board payment or proof of payment. We should continue that. But the various surcharges and fare categories just don't make sense anymore, and we can finally simplify transit fares while making them fairer at the same time.

    “Distance-based fares make sense from a commuter rail point of view where you are thinking about length of service and paying more for traveling further,” Orcutt said. “But if you’re really trying to get everybody to use transit, and you also are facing a dynamic where cities are becoming more European-like, where the richer people are living closer to the center, [a flat fare] is really something to think about in any city.” http://wamu.org/story/17/04/04/can-2-flat-fare-save-metro/#.WOSVy6LYOIU.facebook

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Your personal transit use

never
less than once a week
one or two days a week
three or four days a week
five or more days a week
King County Metro Transit buses
Sound Transit Link light rail service
Sound Transit Sounder service
Sound Transit Regional Express bus service
Bus service provided in a county that borders King County (e.g. Community Transit, Pierce Transit, or Kitsap Transit)
King County Water Taxi
Washington State Ferries
Seattle Streetcar
Metro Access paratransit
Metro Vanpool or Vanshare
Private employer-provided shuttle (example: Microsoft Connector)

Personal fare payment

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