Downtown Transit Corridor Gets ORCA Reading Kiosks

Work begins Saturday, October 12, on a project to install ORCA card reading electronic kiosks along the Third Avenue downtown bus corridor. The Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) bus kiosks are going in at nine RapidRide stops along Third Avenue, a major downtown transit corridor that carries numerous Metro routes, including both traditional bus options and RapidRide lines. The Seattle Department of Transportation is doing the work in partnership with King County Metro, the Federal Transit Administration, and Seattle City Light.

ITS kiosks include electronic information signs that will provide bus riders with actual bus arrival times from The kiosks also include ORCA card readers, which will allow RapidRide passengers to pay for their rides before the bus arrives, thereby reducing the time required for boarding.  In the future, riders of non-RapidRide routes might also be able to use the ORCA readers.  More than 42,000 people climb aboard Metro buses every day on Third Avenue, and the City has made it a priority to improve the Third Avenue experience for bus riders and others.

Installation of the ITS kiosks requires cutting into sidewalks to install wires and power conduits, and restoration of sidewalks – plus room to safely locate the equipment and staff needed to get the job done. To minimize impacts to the traveling public, construction will be done in three phases, with each phase taking about two weeks to complete. (click map to view larger version)

3rd_Ave_Kiosk_mapOct7Phase 1: Estimated schedule – 10/12/13 to 10/25/13

  • Between Cherry & Columbia streets – East and west sides of Third Avenue
  • Between Pike & Pine streets – West side of Third Avenue

Phase 2: Estimated schedule – 10/26/13 to 11/8/13

  • Between Pike & Pine streets – East side of Third Avenue
  • Between Spring & Seneca streets – East and west sides of Third Avenue
  • Between Yesler Way & Fourth Avenue – West side of Prefontaine Place South

Phase 3: Estimated schedule – 11/9/13 to 11/22/13

  • Between Second & Third avenues – North and south sides of Seneca Street
  • Between Second & Third avenues – North side of Columbia Street

Crews will work Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and some weekends as needed. There will be temporary lane, loading zone and turn restrictions with each installation, with prior notice and signage to direct travelers.

The kiosk installations are part of the larger Third Avenue Transit Corridor project. Goals include improving transit and pedestrian functionality, urban design, safety, and security, while also integrating Metro’s RapidRide C, D, and E Lines and addressing impacts from Metro’s recent shift to pay on entry.

Enhancing mobility and access on this busiest transit corridor in all of Seattle, keeps both people and the economy moving forward. Look for more information on the overarching initiative soon, including opportunities for public input to better integrate the system into the urban design.

Share Button


    • pegNielsen says

      The driver does not know. The ORCA readers will only be for use on RapidRide lines, and RapidRide lines have fare enforcement officers that randomly check ORCA cards. Fare enforcement officers have hand-held devices that determine whether ORCA cards have recently been scanned.

  1. Joseph Singer says

    How does the driver know that you’ve paid if you don’t come in through the front door and put your ORCA card next to the meter?

    • pegNielsen says

      If the rider has an ORCA card and tapped to pay at a Rapid Ride off-board location in order to ride Rapid Ride, a fare enforcement officer, when randomly checking, will scan the card and it will show when it was last used. If paying cash on Rapid Ride, riders should get a transfer slip as proof of payment. Rapid Ride requires proof of payment. Other Metro buses require payment on entry and boarding at the front.

    • pegNielsen says

      We believe you meant to type: “RTIS” – Real Time Information Sign (or system).

      The answer is yes – the signs will display info for all routes that serve a stop.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *