The following is a press release from King County.
Metro’s new fare of $2.75 aims to help customers by making riding transit more convenient and reducing confusion over fare payment that leads to delays in boarding. A single fare for adult riders also lowers the potential for fare disputes, which will improve safety.
Starting June 1, customers can purchase ORCA passes for July under the new fare structure. Metro’s fares for youth, seniors and disabled riders, and those enrolled in ORCA LIFT will not change. More information can be found on Metro’s fares page.
“You said you wanted simpler fares, and we made it happen. No matter where or when you ride, simpler is better,” said Executive Dow Constantine. “Whether you’re traveling between Ballard and Bellevue, White Center and Westlake, or anywhere that crosses the Seattle city limits, this new fare means money in your pocket. For riders who may end up paying a little more, we’re making sure people with low incomes, seniors, and the disabled have more access to transit than ever.”
Metro adopted a simple fare after receiving more than 11,000 responses to two public surveys, including one in which 80 percent expressed support for a flat fare. Metro previously had one of the nation’s most complex fare structures, with one zone for the City of Seattle and another for all areas outside of the city, as well as extra charges during the morning and evening commute.
About 65 percent of Metro boardings will see no change or pay 50 cents less under the new structure. Fares for off-peak travel will increase by 25 cents — affecting about 35 percent of Metro boardings.
ORCA LIFT Partnership
Customers who qualify for reduced transit fares now have new ways to apply for a discount ORCA LIFT card. Metro and Public Health — Seattle & King County launched a new partnership with the state Department of Social and Health Services to distribute ORCA LIFT cards to clients in need of transportation assistance.
“Clients applying for Community Services Division programs at any of the 10 King County Community Service Offices, may also be eligible for the ORCA LIFT Program and may receive ORCA cards at the same office visit as their food or cash program benefits,” said Truong Hoang, Deputy Regional Administrator, Region 2. “CSD is committed to making transportation costs lower for those in need.”
The DSHS Community Service Offices with ORCA LIFT enrollment include five locations in Seattle, and others in Renton, Auburn, Federal Way and Kent. More than 4,200 have enrolled through DSHS since the partnership began.
ORCA LIFT allows riders with lower-incomes to pay a reduced $1.50 fare. More than 64,000 people have been enrolled in the program since it launched in 2015, with more than 14 million boardings on Metro.
ORCA LIFT is available at over 125 locations through Metro’s partnership with Public Health — Seattle & King County and local community-based organizations.
Metro also is working with ORCA agency partners to reduce the replacement card fee for ORCA LIFT customers from $5 to $3 and eliminate the $3 initial card fee for seniors and people with disabilities.
At the beginning of 2018, Metro increased funding for Human Service tickets for riders with lower-income or no income.