ORCA Opportunity Youth Program

July 29, 2022

What's Happening Now?

Starting in September 2022, many transit agencies across the Puget Sound region will begin allowing all youth (18 or younger) to ride for free. This is thanks to the Move Ahead Washington statewide transportation funding package. Visit FreeYouthTransitPass.com for more details about how this will work.

On that date, all current ORCA Youth cards will turn into free youth transit passes regardless of the expiration date on the back. Youth 13-18 will be encouraged to continue to use an ORCA card or carry their student ID to ride transit, but youth who do not have an ORCA card will still be able to board transit for free. If your child will be 13 or older on September 1, 2022 please make sure to register their current ORCA card on MyORCA.com before June 30, 2023.

What is the ORCA Youth Program?

Under the ORCA Youth Program, Seattle Public School high school and middle school students receive free, unlimited ORCA cards. The Seattle Department of Transportation ORCA Youth program is sunsetting August 31, 2022 and transitioning to the region's new Free Youth Transit Pass. SDOT will no longer provide ORCA cards to youth 18 and younger beginning September 1, 2022.

How to Get Your ORCA Youth Card

Please keep your ORCA Youth Card to use as your Free Youth Transit Pass! If you need a new ORCA card, you can visit MyORCA.com and request a Youth card from King County Metro.

How to Use Your Free Youth Transit Pass

Your ORCA card can be used to take transit on services run by King County Metro, King County Water Taxi, Seattle Streetcar, Sound Transit, Community Transit, Pierce Transit, Kitsap Transit, Everett Transit, and Via to Transit. The ORCA cards will adopt free fare on Washington State Ferries beginning October 1, 2022. 

Bus: Tap the ORCA card against the reader after getting on the bus. Pull the yellow cord before your stop to indicate to the driver you would like to exit.   

Light Rail & Streetcar: Tap the ORCA card on the platform before getting on the train and a second time after you leave the train.  

ORCA cards cannot be tapped multiple times on a single journey and each rider must tap their own ORCA card. 

Take a look at our informational flyer on using your card HERE or watch a short video from our friends at King County Metro. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I lose or damage my card?
All card replacements will be handled by King County Metro. You can request a new Youth card at MyORCA.com.
 
My card says that it’ll expire soon. Why am I being asked to keep it? 
Washington State recently approved a new measure to allow all youth 18 and under to ride transit for free beginning in fall 2022. To ride, you will need a Youth Transit Pass, but if you already have an ORCA Youth Card, that will function as a Youth Transit Pass. Click HERE for more information from King County Metro.
 
I don’t have an ORCA Youth Card yet. Can I apply for one? 
You can request a card from King County Metro through MyORCA.com. If you are a Seattle Public School student, please check with your school administrator during the first week of school as they may have a card on-site for you.

Contact Us

Email: ORCAOpportunity@seattle.gov
Text or call: (206) 256-6722