Losing money on expiring unused ferry passes may become a thing of the past. Vashon Island will be the beneficiary of a test launch for a new mobile accessible website that could revolutionize the ferry transit system. A local Bainbridge Island couple created a website to allow for a secondary market for WSDOT Wave2Go passenger and vehicle passes. They then spent over a year designing and patenting an intuitive, easy-to-use web site to help tourists and commuters save money.
The site operates much like a StubHub for ferry passes. Those who cannot use all of their multi-use Wave2Go passes can sell the remaining passes to buyers who can use them before the expiration date, saving everyone money in the process. Sellers recoup the majority of their investment by selling the pass days or weeks before it expires, and buyers travel for considerably less than the standard walk up price. WSDOT, the Washington State Department of Transportation, may potentially also benefit since commuters, no longer wary of being saddled with unused rides, will be more willing to purchase passes. Monthly, senior and Revalue passes will not be eligible for participation.
To list a pass, sellers simply enter the 22-digit code from their Wave2Go pass onto the Ferry Tail website. Buyers enter their search criteria, such as route and number of uses needed, and are presented with a list of available passes. Passes that expire on the same day are discounted an additional 10%.
Finally, the site has a well thought out “Send me a reminder” function, allowing pass owners to request a future email reminding them that their pass is about to expire and should be listed for sale if there are unused rides remaining. Ferry Tail recommends that all Wave2Go pass owners request a reminder immediately after purchase from the WSDOT.
During the initial regional launch the site will only be available for those traveling to and from Vashon Island, but the site expects to be fully operational for all routes by July 1, 2016.