There are many ways to pay your fare on King County Metro. But whether you “tap” an ORCA card, flash a Transit GO Ticket from your phone, or use cash, a paper ticket or a pass, you’re funding transit and letting us know how to serve you better.

Metro relies on fare revenue to deliver transit service that hundreds of thousands of people count on every day. Even if your employer pays for or subsidizes your transit, it’s still important to “tap for transit” every time you board and, on Sound Transit Link light rail, when you exit, too.

But tapping your ORCA card or otherwise showing payment does more than help pay for transit service. Those taps provide us with data that we use to improve your service. For example, more taps at a specific location or at a certain time of day can indicate we should increase service there.

When you ride, you might hear a friendly reminder via onboard announcement:

“Greetings, Metro riders! Please remember to ‘Tap for Transit.’ Tapping your ORCA Card funds transit service and lets us know when and where to add more buses. You can also pay by cash, paper ticket, transfer, or the Transit GO Ticket mobile app. Youth 18 and younger ride for free. Thanks for riding!”

If you’re a RapidRide passenger and paying with an ORCA card, remember that RapidRide coaches allow you to “tap” at any door.

As the announcement says, if you’re 18 and younger, you ride for free! But if you have an ORCA card, please do give it a tap. Your ride with an ORCA Youth card remains free—but the data allows us to improve your experience.

So keep your ORCA Card or other payment method handy, and thank you for supporting Metro!