More than a year after the launch of the ORCA LIFT reduced fare program, customers tell us they love their card. Now we have the data to support that feedback.
We’ve just wrapped up our first survey of more than 400 ORCA LIFT customers, and the results show a 95 percent satisfaction rate. In fact, more than half of those participating in the program are first time ORCA users; 44 percent say they are taking more trips on Metro and Sound Transit Link Light Rail since receiving their ORCA LIFT card. That tells us this innovative program is accomplishing what it set out to do – provide an affordable travel option for county residents struggling to make ends meet.
Our nationally recognized ORCA LIFT program is approaching 30,000 users. Not surprising, six in 10 of those responding to our survey say they use their ORCA LIFT card most often to get to work or school. Other riders tell us they use their cards for shopping, appointments and recreation – trips that would likely not have been possible if riders had to pay full fare.
ORCA LIFT is the largest program of its kind in the U.S. It offers discounted fares on Metro, Sound Transit, Seattle Streetcar and King County Water Taxi services for residents who earn less than 200 percent of the federal poverty rate, currently $23,760 annually for an individual.
Through our partnership with Public Health – Seattle & King County and other community partners, we’ve created a broad-based service network that’s made it easy for people in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties to enroll in the program. This network is providing families all across the region with access a variety of human services. And Metro plans to get ORCA LIFT cards in the hands of even more eligible customers through additional outreach efforts later this year.
The ORCA LIFT survey was conducted with a random sample of ORCA LIFT customers, by both mail and phone, in multiple languages. A total of 435 customers responded to our survey.