Cards can unlock travel options on region’s buses trains and ferries
We started out by waiving the fee for new youth ORCA cards back in December 2020. Now, beginning June 1, Puget Sound area youth (ages 6–18 years) will be able to get their first ORCA card at no charge. After loading a transit pass or E-purse balance, an ORCA card can be a young person’s ticket to easily reach destinations across the region on participating agencies’ buses, trains and ferries.
“ORCA youth cards are popular and now getting one is easier than ever,” said Mary Cummings, Sound Transit Chief Administrative Officer and interim Chair of the ORCA Joint Board. “By eliminating the fee for getting an ORCA card, we hope even more young riders will take advantage of all the services our regional transit agencies offer.”
Youth cards provide riders with reduced fares on services operated by ORCA agencies, including Community Transit, Everett Transit, King County Metro, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit and Sound Transit For more information on getting an youth card, visit www.orcacard.com or www.kingcounty.gov/reducedfare.
Seniors and disabled commuters who quality for an ORCA Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP) and low-income commuters have received free ORCA cards since 2018. The RRFP program, youth and ORCA LIFT card for income-eligible riders, provide a savings of 45 percent or more on transit fares.
Youth ORCA users can use their card’s E-purse to load value on the card for one trip at a time or add a pass for unlimited rides for a whole month. While the first youth cards are free under this change, replacing a lost or stolen card will cost the user $5.
It would also be helpful if the youth fare was lowered to match that of the senior fare. It would be more affordable for youth in general, and also encourage more families to use Metro for weekend and holiday excursions, as was the case in the good old days when youth under 18 could ride for free when accompanied by a fare-paying adult.
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