King County Metro and Sound Transit debut reduced summer ORCA youth fares

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

King County and Sound Transit announced special fares this summer for all youth who ride with an ORCA Youth card.

Access to destinations across the county and region will cost only $.50 per trip on King County Metro's bus network and $1 for Sound Transit's trains and buses.

Metro will distribute free ORCA Youth cards to encourage more people to take transit.

Metro and Sound Transit will offer reduced fares from mid-June through Labor Day to all youth who use an ORCA Youth card to pay their fares. Metro will provide free cards to youth who do not already have one. All youth between the ages of 6-18 are eligible.

Metro will offer free ORCA Youth cards and a special 50-cent reduced fare for young people who ride Metro buses this summer. Sound Transit will offer a $1 youth fare. Regular prices are $5 for ORCA Youth cards; $1.50 per ride for youths on Metro services; and $1.50 to $4.25 for youths riding Sound Transit trains and buses.

Metro established the pilot program to encourage more King County youth to ride transit and make it easier for young people to get around town.

“By making it easier to take Metro this summer, we help young people get to jobs, parks, libraries and all the region has to offer. We know that mobility is key to opportunity, and these reduced fares will open doors to the next generation of transit riders,” said Executive Constantine, who also serves on the Sound Transit board. 
“More people are taking public transportation than ever before. With expanded services and more buses, Metro is meeting the needs of a growing region. Encouraging young people to ride Metro and Sound Transit this summer will help them learn our transit network, and develop commuter habits to last a lifetime.”

In King County, youth riders can save up to $36 per month on Metro Transit, based on the price for a monthly pass. Metro and Sound Transit established the pilot program to encourage more youth to ride transit and make it easier for young people to get around.

Executive Constantine joined Seattle City Council and Sound Transit board member Rob Johnson to announce the ORCA Summer Youth Promotion during an event at Ingraham High School in North Seattle.

“As a region we are committed to combating climate change, increasing economic opportunity, and decreasing housing costs. The single best way to achieve all three of those goals is to create frequent and reliable access to public transportation,” Councilmember Johnson said. 

"Sound Transit is proud to join with King County Metro in providing reduced summer fares for area youth. Whether they are traveling to work, play or summer classes, this promotion will encourage young people to see how easy it is to get around on our region's interconnected network of trains and buses," said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff.

During the school year, many students rely on ORCA cards issued by their schools. Five school districts in King County provide students with free ORCA passes as part of their student transportation programs, but those cards expire when the school year ends.

Metro averages above 400,000 ORCA youth boardings per month during the school year, but that drops to less than 130,000 during summer months.

Youth also can enjoy 50-cent fares on the Seattle Streetcar when using an ORCA Youth card.

How to get a free ORCA Youth card

Go to, fill out the online form and submit along with a scanned copy of one of the following: a student ID, state ID, driver’s license or birth certificate. Cards will be mailed for free.

ORCA Youth cards also are available in person at the Metro sales office at the King Street Center in Pioneer Square at 201 South Jackson Street and at various public events and locations where Metro sets up “ORCA to GO” booths to provide customer assistance. Check Metro’s website for times and locations.

The ORCA Youth card’s e-purse will need to be loaded with monetary value or a monthly pass before it can be used. Cards can be loaded at participating retailers around King County, ORCA vending machines at Link stations, the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, major transit centers, and at the Metro pass sales office at King Street Center.


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