June 7, 2024

Tapping In: ORCA Monthly News for May 2024


ORCA Regional Product Team Spotlight
This month’s ORCA Team Spotlight is highlighting the Regional Product Team (RPT). Led by Technical Product Manager Scott Corbridge, this 5-person team’s key focus is project delivery, including future-phase major projects like open payments and mobile payment options. The RPT also manages new features and enhancements, new integrations, and system lifecycle planning.
Currently, the team is working closely with the region’s system integrator to move into the next system implementation phase. They are also working with ORCA partner agencies to prioritize what comes next for the ORCA system.
We asked RPT team members to answer some questions about their work on the ORCA system:
What is your favorite part of the new system that you worked on so far?
Bringing instant value loading to ORCA cards with the new system. Allowing customers to add value that is available for use immediately and not having to wait a day or more has been a great benefit for our customers. – Owen Woldeit, Senior Systems Engineer
The ability to purchase ORCA cards off the rack and immediately add value to them like a gift card at retail locations throughout the region is such a cool new feature! It allows us to reach more customers in locations they already frequent. The new ORCA cards also make great gifts to encourage friends and family to use transit, too! – Tondi Rainey, Project Manager
What challenges do you wish customers knew more about?
Building a payment system that meets the needs of seven diverse transit agencies and their boards is no simple task. It takes time to make changes to the new system, and it takes a lot of work to ensure those changes are equitable, fair, and cost-effective. – Chris Jefferies, Technical Program Manager
What do you enjoy most about your role with ORCA?
The unique composition of the system presents an interesting set of challenges to provide solutions for our passengers and local businesses that provide transit services for their employees with consideration of budgets, resources, and security constraints. We get to work on a variety of issues across the system, and it’s clear that everyone on the regional team wants to help where they can. – Paul Kulchenko, Enterprise Architect
Delivering new features that make life a little simpler for transit customers, transit operators, and agency support staff. I also really enjoy the people I get to come to work with every day. It’s a diverse group of representatives from across the region that come together to deliver the best possible outcomes for our customers. – Scott Corbridge, Technical Product Manager
ORCA at the 2 Line Opening Celebration
n case you missed it, Sound Transit opened the new 2 Line on the Eastside last month! The launch came with a grand ceremony at the Downtown Bellevue Station with guest speakers, live bands, and dozens of community organizations to mark the occasion.
The ORCA Customer Experience team was thrilled to be included in the festivities! We brought and handed out over 100 Boop toys, ORCA pins, Mariners ORCA cards, and over 500 stickers. We were blown away by the enthusiasm and interest in ORCA (really, it was for Boop). We promise to have more toys at the next big event!
PS: Next month, our team will attend Pierce Transit’s annual Trivia Night in downtown Tacoma! We hope to see you there.
Pierce County Transit Trivia
Monday, June 17th
Zeek’s Pizza
1702 Pacific Ave, Tacoma
Boop Wins a Major Award!
We love Boop. You love Boop. And now Boop is being shown love by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts!
Our design partners received an Award of Excellence in the 2024 Communicator Awards for Boop, this is the highest level of the Communicator Awards and quite an honor for the team.
We’re proud of the award and how Boop has been received. We look forward to future projects with Boop and more events where you’ll be able to find Boop toys and other merch.
ORCA Puzzle Time
Think you know all about ORCA? This month we’re kicking off a new series of puzzles just for our newsletter subscribers.
We’ll start relatively easy. Below is a crossword puzzle based on Puget Sound transit. Have fun and good luck!
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