ORCA Card & Ferry Pass Subsidies

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Student ORCA Card Transit Pass

The ORCA Card is a regional, public transit pass which can be used by students and employees to ride regular Metro, Sound Transit, Pierce Transit, Kitsap Transit, Community Transit, and Everett Transit bus service anytime, anywhere all over King, Snohomish, Pierce, and Kitsap Counties. The pass is available to eligible students and employees at a subsidized rate and can be used for personal as well as college use.

Public transportation includes: Link Light Rail system, Metro streetcars (the South Lake Union Trolley and the Broadway streetcar), the Sounder Train (Everett to Tacoma), some Amtrak Cascades trains between Seattle and Everett, the King County Water Taxis (West Seattle and Vashon routes) and the Kitsap Transit Foot Ferry (Port Orchard and Annapolis Routes).

For those students new to the Seattle Metro region or who are new to commuting by transit, the King County Mobility Coalition has created a series of videos on how to ride the bus, as well as how to pay for the trip: Community Travel Videos.

The videos are accessible in the following different languages: English, ኣምሃሪች (Amharic), عربى (Arabic), Burmese, 广东话 (Cantonese), 한국어 (Korean), 文华 (Mandarin), नेपाली (Nepali), русский (Russian), Soomaali (Somali), español (Spanish), ትግርኛ (Tigrinya), Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese).

Metro is offering an ORCA LIFT reduced fare of $1.50 per trip for riders that qualify for the program.

To qualify in Seattle, a person must live in a household where the income is less than twice the federal poverty level or $4,291/month or $51,492 per year for a family of four.

ORCA LIFT cards are a separate program from the standard ORCA cards available to students and staff through Transportation Services at Seattle Central. Students are encouraged to transfer the funds from their Central-issued ORCA card ($250) to a LIFT card, if they are eligible. This can be accomplished either at the Westlake Station, Jackson St King County Metro offices, or when the ORCA-to-GO van visits the college, the first week of classes.

We are encouraging all students to enroll via the online portal for the ORCA LIFT program: www.kingcounty.gov/collegelift King County Metro office at 2nd and Jackson is open Mon & Wed from 10-3, so if someone cannot have their cards mailed they are arranging pick up mostly at that site.  Soon the Federal Way office will be open for pick up as well.

All currently enrolled students may purchase the student ORCA card. The Seattle Central cards (known as E–Purses) are pre–loaded with $250 for all quarters. The college does not offer subsidized youth, senior or disabled ORCA cards. See ORCAcard.com to compare rates on what works best for you.

Quarter Discounted Rate Regular Rate
Each Quarter

$125/quarter (plus $15 TMP fee for students taking 10 or more credits)

*If you drop classes, you'll need to pay the difference between the regular and discounted rate ($110).  


To purchase a Student ORCA Card:

  • Please visit the campus cashier during open hours.
  • Cut off for purchasing a student ORCA card for the current quarter is the end of the 7th week of the quarter, for Fall through Spring quarters; for Summer quarter, the cutoff is the end of the 4th week of the quarter. No students may purchase a current quarter ORCA card after those dates.
  • Register your Card online at ORCAcard.com after purchase.
  • All sales are final. No refunds.
  • No replacement options if lost or stolen.
  • New Cards much be purchased each quarter to get the subsidized rate; students are allowed only one subsidized ORCA card per quarter.
  • A Card does not expire unless it is inactive for two years.
  • Students may, if they choose, purchase monthly unlimited ride passes with the fund available on their E-Purse ORCA card. To do so, simply take your card to the 201 South Jackson St offices of KC Metro. See here for options: ORCA rates

Student Ferry Pass Subsidies

Students who use the Washington State Ferries as walk on passengers, bike riders or carpool passengers should purchase the student ORCA card, as described above. This card can also be used for ferry trips.