Yesterday Metro announced that they are waiving the $5 ORCA fee through February 28th, 2021. The stated reason is to encourage contactless payment during the pandemic.
To avoid hoarding, adults are limited to three cards and youth to one. However, adults can get the cards at ticket vending machines, so I’m not sure how this limit is enforced. From the announcement:
“You can get your free ORCA card by:
- Calling ORCA Customer Service: 888-988-6722 (ORCA cards typically take 5-7 business days to arrive by mail) – adult cards only
- Visiting a store that sells ORCA cards – adult cards only
- Using ORCA ticket vending machines – adult cards only
- Completing and mailing in this ORCA Card order form – adult or youth cards
- Visiting an ORCA Customer Service Office (NOTE: You may experience extended wait times in person while measures are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19) – adult or youth cards
Please note that this offer is NOT available for cards purchased on ORCAcard.com. Due to technical limitations, cards on the website will continue to be $5.“
Agencies have been extremely reluctant to reduce or eliminate the fee, but instead have had free ORCA events every few years. If you’ve been holding out, it’s a good opportunity to finally get a card.