MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Sound Transit starts $1 fare with ORCA LIFT program

Mar 1, 2023, 12:35 PM | Updated: 12:37 pm

sound transit fare ORCA card, income-based fare, ORCA cards...

On Tuesday, the Sound Transit Board announced that they would be moving forward with a plan to provide cheap and easy access to public transit for those in the community that need it most. (Nick Bowman, MyNorthwest)

(Nick Bowman, MyNorthwest)

At the start of February, the Sound Transit Board announced that they would be moving forward with a plan to provide cheap and easy access to public transit for those in the community that need it most.

Sound Transit officially adopted a $1 fare for ORCA LIFT riders effective March 1, after six months of study and testing.

More than 10,000 ORCA cards distributed for low income residents

“A person’s income should never be a barrier to traveling and accessing opportunities. By formally adopting the $1 ORCA LIFT fare we continue to reduce cost burdens for transit-dependent riders,” said Dow Constantine, Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive. “This change helps individual riders while contributing to healthier and stronger communities.”

ORCA LIFT cards are available to qualifying low-income households, seniors, and those with disabilities. You can check to see if you qualify here.

The cost of this program is estimated to be approximately $25 million through 2046 and is included in the Fall 2022 Long-Term Financial Plan.

Sound Transit conducted public outreach for the program and found that 88% of people who responded to a survey or provided comments at a public hearing supported the $1 fare or further reductions in the fare.

Between August and early December 2022, ORCA LIFT enrollments in Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties increased by 22%, reaching more than 53,000 active customers. Efforts will continue to enroll the approximately 84,000 customers required to reach the goal of 80% of qualified participants.

“Sound Transit Fare Ambassadors are on our vehicles every day, educating passengers about reduced-fare programs like ORCA LIFT and the subsidized annual pass program we participate in with King County Metro,” said Sound Transit CEO Julie Timm. “We still have our work cut out for us to continue to reach deeper into the communities that would benefit the most from increased access to the resources essential for health and wellness, including health care, education, healthy food, and even the region’s stunning natural areas through more affordable transportation options.”

You can apply for a reduced fare card here.

MyNorthwest News

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

2 hours ago

burien police chief boe...

Frank Sumrall

Burien police chief resigns for another job outside King County

Burien Police Chief Ted Boe announced his resignation from the Burien Police Department and the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) Tuesday afternoon.

2 hours ago

Image: A Seattle Police Department vehicle and yellow police tape can be seen outside Garfield High...

KIRO Newsradio staff

Why has no one been arrested in the Garfield High School shooting?

It's been several days and still no arrests have been made in the deadly Garfield High School shooting. Many are asking "Why?"

14 hours ago

Image: A Washington license plate can be seen in a recent photo....

Matt Markovich

Seattle City Council takes steps to expand use of automated license plate readers

A Seattle City Council committee expanded the use of automated license plate readers across the Seattle Police Department's fleet Tuesday.

15 hours ago

Image: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks at a press conference about hospitals in the state providi...

Matt Markovich

Inslee directive requires Washington hospitals to provide emergency abortion care

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has issued a directive requiring the Department of Health to ensure hospitals provide emergency abortion care.

18 hours ago

Image: Police respond to the scene of a shooting outside the Peachtree Center complex, Tuesday, Jun...

Associated Press

Police: Gunman wounds 3 in Atlanta food court before being shot by officer

A gunman shot three people at a food court in Atlanta before getting shot by a police officer Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

20 hours ago

Sound Transit starts $1 fare with ORCA LIFT program