Families who arrived at Goodwill Baptist Church in Seattle’s Central District on Nov. 19 received a double bonus: A turkey for their Thanksgiving meal and free ORCA youth passes for each member of the family 18 years and younger!

As part of the Free Youth Transit Pass program, Metro passed youth ORCA cards to the young people who came with their families to receive the turkeys provided by Goodwill Church.

While it’s good to have, you don’t need an ORCA card to take advantage of the Free Youth Transit Program. A school ID will work, or just hop on and ride for free! Having the card, and tapping it when you board, helps us understand if our service is meeting the needs of youth.

Transit costs can be a strain on family budgets. The passes, which allow young people to ride at no cost on transit systems across Washington, remove that barrier.  It’s free transportation to school, a part-time job, visiting a friend or relative, or even taking a trip to a movie or museum during the Thanksgiving break.

Youth can ride for free on:

  • King County Metro buses and water taxis
  • Link light rail
  • Seattle Streetcar
  • Access paratransit and on-demand services, including Ride Pingo and Via to Transit
  • Sound Transit, Pierce Transit, Community Transit, Everett Transit, Kitsap Transit and Snoqualmie Valley Transit
  • Washington State Ferries

“We’re glad to be able to provide the cards to the families who came,” said Ina Percival, the Metro supervisor in charge of the Youth Transit Pass program. “These cards, and the ability to use them on so many transit systems, are a license to explore, the opportunity to go beyond a neighborhood.”

“The ORCA cards will be a tremendous help to families who are struggling financially post-pandemic,” said Bishop Garry Tyson, pastor at Goodwill Baptist Church and president of the General Baptist Convention Northwest (GBCNW). “Just to know our youth have a great option to move around the city is a blessing.”

Along with the turkeys and the youth passes, the families who came to Goodwill Church also had the opportunity to get a free COVID-19 vaccination from the Washington state Department of Health’s (WDOH) Care-A-Van.

The event was held in collaboration with the General Baptist Convention Northwest, a nonprofit faith-based organization with over 35 churches and 5,000 members in six states: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, California and Florida.