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WSF to postpone debut of Wave2Go system

The Washington State Ferries hoped to have its electronic fare collection (EFC) system in place by now, but technical delays have pushed it out several months.

“We will not roll this out until it works perfectly,” said WSF spokeswoman Susan Harris. “We want our customers to be satisfied with how it works.”

WSF has been testing the new system on the Port Townsend-Keystone run during which time problems have emerged.

Most significantly, the handheld units used at the passenger gate were found not to work in the Northwest climate.

“The vendor reprogrammed the units and they are working well now,” Harris said. “There are a lot of differences between Port Townsend and Disneyland, where the units were used before. For one thing, we have 2,000 different fare types.”

Additionally, the programmers had some difficulty working around the WSF firewall to establish a connection with the Web site.

Harris said once the system is perfected at Port Townsend-Keystone, a system-wide rollout will begin at Anacortes and move south.

She said the process would take around 120 days.

EFC, which will be promoted under the “Wave2Go” label, will replace both single sale fares and discount ticket books.

The bar-code driven system will speed up fare collection for both walk-on and automotive passengers, with the ability to purchase tickets on the Internet and print out the bar code for use on the ferry.

In order to use Internet purchase users must create an online account.

They can make one purchase at a time or set up a credit card to automatically replenish their account when all fares have been used.

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