Until there’s a biometric option…

Sound Transit or Metro? Peak or off peak? One zone or two? Pay as you enter or as you leave? If you hate keeping track of this stuff (or carrying extra change in your wallet to supplement your pass), you’ll be happy to know that Metro, Sound Transit, and several other regional transit agencies are in the process of testing that smart-card-based, regional fare system I mentioned back in August. (In fact, I think the test was scheduled to end on 12/22.) Though I don’t regularly ride any of the participating routes, I’ve seen a few of the card readers in the course of my travels. Here’s one:

Orca smart-card reader

Apparently, they keep track of the time (peak or off peak) and location (ride free or fare), and (I assume, since I’ve never ridden with anyone who actually has one) automatically deduct the proper amount from a rider’s “e-purse.” Nice.

Last month, a few of you wrote to say that you planned to participate in this test. How did it go?