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ORCA - One Regional Card for All
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Paying fares on trains

How do I pay my fare on the Link or Sounder? When you ride the Link light rail or the Sounder trains, tap your card once at the ORCA card reader before you board the train. Tapping the card is proof of payment. Failure to tap prior to boarding may lead to a citation. Tap at the card reader even if a pass product is loaded on the card. NOTE: Employer-issued ORCA cards must also be tapped at an ORCA card reader prior to boarding the train to show proof of payment. Tap your card before boarding the train and again when you've reached your destination. Initially, the system will charge your card the maximum fare and refund any difference (if warranted) to your card when you've tapped at your destination.

Using ORCA on Washington State Ferries

How do I use ORCA on the Washington State Ferries? ORCA E-purse may be used at WSF locations, except Sidney, to pay for fares. A WSF Monthly Passenger pass can be loaded on your ORCA card for unlimited usage for the calendar month. Tap your ORCA card at the tollbooth or turnstile, or on the handheld reader, prior to boarding the ferry to pay for your fare.

Using cash to ride

If I don't have an ORCA card, can I still use cash to ride? While cash is still an acceptable form of payment, transfers between agencies are not offered to cash riders. King County Metro, Kitsap Transit and Pierce Transit still offer transfers to cash customers traveling within that agency's system.

E-purse low or empty

If you run out of E-purse you will need to pay the balance of the fare with cash on the bus or by purchasing a ticket prior to boarding the train. If you need to transfer, the transfer value is based on the fare paid from the E-purse on the first leg of your trip. You may be required to pay cash on the bus or purchase a train ticket for any additional fare. To make sure you always have E-purse register your ORCA card and set up Autoload. The amount you select will automatically be added to your ORCA card's E-purse when the value is insufficient to pay fare for your current trip. And the credit card you specified will be charged.

Fare preset

What is a fare preset and how does it work? King County Metro and Sound Transit operate bus service with zone-based fares. For King County Metro, the city of Seattle is one zone and all other areas outside the city but within King County are a second zone. For Sound Transit if you travel across a county line you are a multi-county rider. If you are a frequent commuter, it's easy to preset your ORCA card for your route. Preset your card if you are multi-county by using My ORCA login (or you can call 888-988-6722 / TTY Relay: 711, or visit any ORCA customer service office). If you regularly travel the full length of a multi-county route you do not need to change the zone preset. If you travel within one county on a route that travels multi-county, you can tell the driver each time you ride that you are not traveling the full length of the route. The driver will adjust the preset.

Products for your ORCA card

Your ORCA card can store value for any of the following fare products: - a Regional pass, i.e. $2.50 PugetPass, good on local and regional bus, train and light rail. - an Agency pass, i.e. Metro Reduced Monthly, specific pass good on one agency's service, - an E-purse, stored value that works just like cash when you use transit services. The E-purse can also be used in combination with a pass in the event the pass value is less than the fare for a ride.

Companion fare

Paying for others using one ORCA card To pay fare for someone else, you must have E-purse value on your ORCA card. On the bus: When you board tell the driver you need to pay for additional people before you tap your ORCA card. The driver will set the card reader to deduct the fares for your companions from your E-purse. On Link or Sounder: Use the E-purse value on your ORCA card to purchase a paper train ticket for each companion at a ticket vending machine. Each person should be prepared to present their paper ticket upon request by the fare inspector. On a Ferry: To buy a ticket for more than one person you must visit a ticket window and ask to pay with your E-purse. E-purse may also be used to purchase single vehicle fares or multi-ride vehicle fares.

Sharing your ORCA card

My friend is coming to town for a few days. Is my card transferable - can I give the card to my friend? If you have an adult ORCA card, your friend can use your card. No other ORCA card is transferable, including Regional Reduced Fare Permit, Youth or Low income (Kitsap Transit only) and most ORCA cards provided by employers or other organizations.

Pay your fare with E-purse

E-purse stands for electronic purse and acts as cash for your bus, train or ferry ride. When you tap your card at an ORCA card reader the fare is deducted from your E-purse. You can store between $5 and $300 on your E-purse. The minimum E-purse value you can add is $5. The E-purse can also be used in combination with a pass when your pass value is less than the fare for the bus or train ride.

ORCA on vanpools

ORCA currently works on only a small number of the agencies' vanpools. Work is underway to allow vanpool riders to pay their fare with an ORCA card. Contact your vanpool coordinator to see what options are available.

Using ORCA on Access

If you have a current King County Metro Access account you can get an ORCA card at an ORCA customer service office or by calling 888-988-6722 / TTY Relay: 711. You must register the card, and provide your Access ID number. Then you can load an Access pass or other monthly pass by mail, online, at a retailer or at an ORCA customer service office. For King County Metro Access information, call 206-205-5000.

Paratransit and ORCA on my agency service

Does ORCA work on my agency's paratransit service? ORCA currently works on King County Metro Access services. For information on paying your fare for paratransit services, contact your paratransit service provider.


How do transfers work? King County Metro, Kitsap Transit and Pierce Transit offer paper transfers that are good within their own systems. Paper transfers are no longer issued or accepted on Community Transit, Everett Transit or Sound Transit. Washington State Ferries does not accept transfers. Cash is still accepted by all ORCA agencies. Riders using cash to transfer between different agencies' systems will pay the full fare for each leg of their ride. Paying with an ORCA card lets you transfer the full value of the fare paid on the first leg of a trip and apply it towards any transfer to a participating agency service. Transfer value expires two hours after a fare is paid. If the initial trip is less than the amount of fare required for a transfer, you will need to pay the difference with cash or E-purse.

Water Taxi

Pay as you board in West Seattle or in downtown Seattle. Tap your ORCA card on the card reader held by a crew member.