Sound Transit offers $10 ORCA to try Columbia City Station’s new bike lockers

As the weather changes, Sound Transit is urging people to bike to Rainier Valley light rail stations, then take the train to downtown. A new “bike plaza” at Columbia City Station has secure bike lockers for up to 46 bikes. There are bike lockers at Rainier Beach, Othello and Columbia City Stations.

On top of that, the agency is offering a free ORCA card loaded with $10 if you sign up for a locker. Since lockers are only $50 for a whole year (plus a $50 refundable deposit), that’s a pretty good deal.

From Sound Transit:

As the grey days of fall and winter arrive in Seattle, Sound Transit has opened new options to keep your bicycle safe and dry at Link light rail stations in the Rainier Valley. It’s a treat that won’t rot your teeth.

Sound Transit has new secure lockers for up to 46 bikes available at the new bike plaza at Columbia City Station. Lockers are also available at the Othello and Rainier Beach stations.

The plaza was built in partnership with the federal government, which paid more than 85 percent of the cost. Since Link opened in 2009, we’ve added space for 125 additional bicycles at Link stations, and we continue to look at ways to add even more in our transit facilities throughout the region.

For a limited time we’re offering a special Bicycle Commuter Welcome Kit while supplies last that includes an ORCA card loaded with $10 to help get you started.

Combining bikes and transit makes great sense and the new Columbia City lockers compliment recent City of Seattle projects which striped new bike lanes on South Columbian Way from Beacon Hill to the station.

Sound Transit bike lockers are rented on an annual basis for $50 plus a refundable one-time $50 key deposit. For more information on bike locker availability and to sign up see www.soundtransit.org/bicycles or call 1-888-889-6368.

Have you used a bike locker? Did you find them to be worth the money for the added security?

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7 Responses to Sound Transit offers $10 ORCA to try Columbia City Station’s new bike lockers

  1. Steve says:

    Great news. I’d like to see some of the other land that was used by Sound Transit for construction around the Columbia City station freed up for more lockers.

    I’d also like to see a few lockers that could be “rented” for an hour or two with an Orca card.

  2. Gary says:

    I’d like to see lockers that I could rent for the day as I needed them. As it is, I’d rather ride from Colombia station into town than wait for the train, then have to walk at the other end.

    Google maps from Columbia City Station to South Lake Union, public transit 42 minutes, bicycling 44 minutes!

    And I ride faster than google maps thinks I can, which means its faster to ride than wait for that train and ride/walk!

  3. RJ says:

    Scuze me! Pardon the interruption, but…

    Sound Transit is offering a free ORCA card loaded with $10 if you sign up for a locker? Where exactly is that $10 coming from? They’re giving away four paid fares, times 46 (or however many people sign up). It may be “free” to those who get the gift card, but it’s not “free” to the transit system, which is heavily subsidized and is losing millions of dollars a year at the fare box.

    Maybe Sound Transit should offer everyone in Seattle a free $10 card. It might actually encourage more people to take the bus or light rail.

    Meanwhile, as Gary and Steve both point out, we need better options.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      It’s a $10 ORCA card if you pay $50 for a locker with a $50 refundable deposit. So that money is, I’m guessing coming out of that $50 you just paid. It would be like ST offering the lockers for a limited $10-off deal to promote the idea, except they get to give that $10 in transit, not cash.

      Plus, if they make a permanent rider out of you (and you keep using those lockers), then that works out for them.

      As for offering everyone free $10 ORCA cards… that’s not the worst idea I’ve ever heard. Would be a big hit up front, but getting more people to get in the ORCA habit actually speeds up wait time at stops, which of course is money. I bet it would pay itself off if enough people switched.

    • I’m curious, RJ, if you purchase razor blades? That is a similar business model to what’s going on here. Give you the razor (ORCA Card + 4 trips) to get you to buy blades (trips beyond the original 4). That said, Tom is right. They are actually just giving you a discount on your rental fee.

    • PocketBear says:

      It should be pointed out that RJ is wrong in his claim that Sound Transit is losing “Millions of dollars a year at the fare box.” It is despicable that he is using false claims to influence people opinions. Sound Transit spends millions of dollars on construction projects that create jobs and incomes for Washington workers, which in turn benefits the whole community. Sound Transit is the largest single source of job creation in the Puget Sound area in the last five years.

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