Metro will safely reopen in-person customer support at King Street Center on September 1. Meanwhile, King County’s Health Ambassadors are at popular locations throughout King County to hand out masks, share health information, and provide tips for safely and effectively using transit.
King Street Center location to reopen
The King County Metro Pass Sales Office, located at King Street Center, will reopen on Tuesday, September 1. When Metro suspended the collection of fares in March, the office was closed. While the suspension of fares continues through September, we’re preparing for the resumption of fares by reopening this location, and providing safe, in-person customer information and support.
The Pass Sales Office’s hours will be:
- Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Seniors and higher-risk customers who need additional assistance can come into the office on Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The office will be open for customers to purchase ORCA cards and reload e-purses. Additionally, the office will offer Taxi Scrip—for low-income King County residents who are either age 18 to 64 and have a disability, or are age 65 and over enrolled in the program—and Human Service Ticket Books—subsidized transit tickets for eligible human service agencies serving enrolled customers who are homeless and/or have low incomes.
To protect our passengers and employees, new health measures are in place for when the Pass Sales Office reopens:
- A limited number of customers will be allowed in the lobby of the office at a time.
- All customers and staff are required to wear masks, and there will be disposable masks available. Staff interacting directly with customers will wear gloves, too.
- There will be hand sanitizer available for everyone to use.
- Customers also have options to further minimize person-to-person contact. Customers can pick up the paperwork needed for ORCA cards and other services outside the front door. They can fill out the documents and have an employee check their ID. Customers can then drop their completed documents into the mailbox, and we’ll mail your ORCA card to you the next day.
If you can’t make it to King Street Center, please visit one of our other locations throughout King County to purchase ORCA cards and load e-purses, or you can get or add value to an ORCA Card online.
For more information on the reopening of the King Street Pass Sales Office, call 206-553-3000, or submit a comment via email or postal mail to our Customer Service Office.
Health Ambassadors providing masks and safety guidance
King County’s Health Ambassadors are dedicated to educating residents on how to reduce the spread of COVID-19. A program of the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS), Ambassadors are focused on community outreach, education and health promotion resources, and are going into neighborhoods and meeting with community groups. These highly trained individuals discuss the importance of physical distancing, wearing facial coverings, practicing healthy hand hygiene, and observing phase-appropriate business and gathering standards.
In addition to being trained on novel coronavirus, preventive measures, and how to access free testing, Ambassadors also received instruction on the importance of quarantine and isolation following exposure to COVID, the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on communities of color, and tips and tools for supporting communities in a time of uncertainty and fear.
The program also utilizes the experience of new Ambassadors who are already very familiar with the residents and neighborhoods of King County: former Metro bus drivers. Sixteen former Metro bus drivers are among the first cohort of Ambassadors and are now serving their community in a new way.
The Ambassadors will be answering questions and providing support at Metro’s high-ridership bus stops in downtown Seattle and at Transit Centers in communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including Aurora, Burien, Federal Way, Kent, and Tukwila.
We’re probably headed into a winter resurgence of this virus since fall and winter are always cold and flu season and this virus will be no different so I hope fare collection remains suspended until that’s over. Why contribute to the spread?
So what exactly are the health ambassadors going to be doing? Proving masks to those who don’t have them and educating those they interact with about Covid-19?
That is correct-they will have some kits available that will include masks and hand sanitizer. But their primary responsibility will be education and awareness of helping reduce the spread of COVID-19
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