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ORCA - One Regional Card for All
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Paying fares on trains

When you ride Link light rail or Sounder trains, tap your card once at the ORCA card reader before you board and again at your destination. 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. Initially, when you tap, 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

ORCA E-purse may be used at WSF locations, except Sidney, to pay for fares. A WSF Monthly passenger pass or multi-ride tickets can be loaded on your ORCA card. Monthly passes are for unlimited usage, multi-ride tickets provide 10 rides and are valid for 90 days from date of purchase on the specified route. 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

While cash is still an acceptable form of payment, transfers between agencies are not offered to cash riders. King County Metro and Kitsap 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 to Autoload is automatically added to your E-purse when the value is insufficient to pay for your current trip. And the credit card you selected for the Autoload will be charged.

Fare preset

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 pay a multi-county fare. If you are a frequent commuter, it's easy to preset your zone or multi-county fare for your regular route online. Or 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: - Regional pass, i.e. $3.00 PugetPass, good on local and regional bus, train and light rail. - Agency pass, i.e. Metro Monthly Access pass, valid only on one agency's service, - Multi-ride ticket, i.e. Washington State Ferries product providing 10 rides and valid for 90 days from date of purchase on the specified route. - 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.

Group fare

To pay for yourself and other riders with ORCA card you must have E-purse value on your 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 be used to purchase passenger 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 and most ORCA cards provided by employers or other organizations.

Pay your fare with E-purse

E-purse (electronic purse) acts like cash for your bus, train, streetcar 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. 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

ORCA currently works on King County Metro Access services. Contact your paratransit service provider for more information.


Using an ORCA card lets you apply the full value of the fare for the first leg of a trip towards a transfer to another service - from Community Transit to King County Metro, for example. Transfer value expires two hours after tapping the card. If the initial trip is less than the amount of fare required for a transfer, the difference must be paid with cash or E-purse. King County Metro and Kitsap Transit offer paper transfers that are good within each system. Community Transit, Everett Transit, Pierce Transit and Sound Transit don’t accept paper transfers. Washington State Ferries does not accept transfers, even on an ORCA card.