King County Metro and Sound Transit are teaming up to promote youth transit ridership and ORCA card use this summer. Both are offering limited-time special discounted fares for youth ORCA card users from June 17 through Labor Day (September 4). The promotion was announced Tuesday.

  • All youth ORCA card users on King County Metro and Seattle Streetcars will be charged just 50 cents per ride (with a 2-hour electronic transfer window), from the card’s e-purse. Youth cardholders with a monthly pass worth $18 or more will have unlimited rides on Metro and the streetcars.
  • All youth ORCA card users on Sound Transit services, including all trains, will be charged just $1.00 per ride (with a 2-hour electronic transfer window), from the card’s e-purse. Youth cardholders with a monthly pass worth $36 or more will have unlimited rides on Sound Transit.
  • Metro is eating the normal $5 youth card fee, and giving out the cards via mail, at its HQ, at various ORCA to-go promotional events, and at sites that distribute the adult low-income ORCA card. The card is available to youth ages 6-18.
  • Those who receive the promotional card (stamped on the back as such), rather than a youth card that expires on the holder’s 19th birthday, will get to exchange the card, for free, for a youth ORCA card that expires on the holder’s 19th birthday, at Metro HQ. Leftover ORCA product will be transferred to the new card. Promotional cards revert to regular-fare ORCA cards on October 1.
  • The promotional discounts are only available by using loaded ORCA product, which can be uploaded online (with a delay of a day or two), at an ORCA vending machine (immediately), or at various retailers (immediately).
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    Up to four riders age 5 and under may ride free with each fare-paying adult.

    Metro averages over 400,000 ORCA youth boardings per month during the school year, but less than 130,000 during summer months. Five school districts offer some of their students free ORCA passes that are good only during the school year.

    Public response to the promotion could impact future youth fares and the card fee, per King County spokesperson Scott Gutierrez, as Metro is seeing what incentives youth to ride transit and to pay with ORCA product.

    Pierce Transit also has a summer youth pass, for $36, covering all Pierce Transit rides from June 1 through August 31. The pass is loaded onto a youth ORCA card.

    3 Replies to “Summer Youth ORCA Promo”

    1. Excellent idea, but considering future benefit to transit, the system can well afford first thing passengers under a thousand years old value most. Cut the complication to zero.

      Nominal charge- $36 for being old is what I pay, under $10 a week, single route and agency one zone. Fine. Or for young people, $20. For whole damn system. And most important of all, every childr under five free.

      Because real return will start delivering first voting day after every young rider turns 18. Governor Mike Lowery once told me, in the Capitol breakfast room, that if all the high school kids in the district worked for him, he could take any election in the State.

      Somehow, especially if these future got free transportation to a debate, I don’t think present anti-transit caucus would poll well with this group. This is not a pro poop-head demographic.

      Especially in front of a high a high school audience, insist on absolute freedom of speech for the transit-haters and all their affiliates. Just make them swear to use their freedom to express everything they think.

      Everybody five and under, should be made especially welcome on LINK.
      Parents have told me that whatever the excursion, ball game, movie, list is endless, the children love the train ride more than the reason. Especially between Tukwila International and Rainier Beach.

      When first train rolls out of the DSTT across the I-90 bridge, first voting generation after dedication will send the North Bend extension send through without stopping.

      When they here a train bell downstairs in a DSTT station, you’ll see babies and toddlers pointing and insisting before they know any words. Take a poll, Brent, and make everybody give their names: How many STB contributors are former children who got a train-ride?

      Mark Dublin

    2. This is a great deal. My teens all got their cards at school today. Now all they need are some summer jobs…

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