ORCA Opportunity Youth Program

August 29, 2023

What's Happening Now?

Free youth fares have begun! Riders 18 and younger can 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, Seattle Monorail, Washington State Ferries, and Metro Flex (formely Via to Transit) for free.

Washington State Ferries have adopted free youth fares for vehicle passengers and those walking on. Youth will need to tap on with their ORCA Youth card or ask for a youth ticket at the ticket booth (youth tickets will no longer be available at self-serve kiosks or online). Drivers 18 and younger will be required to pay the adult vehicle and driver fare.

What is the ORCA Youth Program?

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

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 you are an ORCA Youth cardholder, you are encouraged to register your birthdate on the Free Youth Transit Pass webpage as soon as possible.

If you received an ORCA Youth card from SDOT prior to 2022 and are 18 or under, you may continue to use this to take transit for free regardless of the expiration date on the back.

How to Get Your ORCA Youth Card

If you received an ORCA Youth Card from your school before 2022 and are 18 or under, please keep it to use as your new Free Youth Transit Pass! If you need a new ORCA card, you can visit MyORCA.com and request a Youth Transit Pass 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, Seattle Monorail, Metro Flex (formerly Via to Transit), and Washington State Ferries.

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 as they may have a card on-site for you.

Contact Us

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


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.