Ride the Wave with ORCA or advance tickets for Link
August 18, 2009
Avoid long ticket lines at Link stations
Whether it’s the pitch or the plate, the end zone or the stage, you won’t miss a minute of the action if you buy your Link light rail tickets or ORCA smart card in advance.
Since Central Link light rail opened on July 18, many riders have used Link to get to Mariners games, Sounders FC matches, and other special events in downtown Seattle, with many fans waiting in long lines at ticket vending machines as a result.
Riders can avoid long ticket lines and get to their special event on time by purchasing Link tickets or ORCA cards in advance.
Advance Link Tickets
Link riders can purchase Link tickets up to six weeks in advance. Just use any ticket vending machine, or TVM, at any of the twelve Link stations between Tukwila and downtown Seattle. Simply use the “Advance Ticket” button on the starting screen, advancing to the date you choose after you’ve selected your ticket. TVMs accept cash, and debit or credit cards that use MasterCard or VISA. Tickets are only valid for the date printed on the front of the ticket.
Link riders can bypass ticket lines with a loaded ORCA card. An ORCA card can be loaded with E-purse value, which is stored value that works similar to cash, with your correct fare deducted each time you ride. An ORCA card can also be loaded with a transit pass that can be used for unlimited trips during the period the pass is valid. ORCA cards can be used on Link light rail, as well as Sounder, ferries, and buses operated by all seven of the major public transportation agencies serving King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.
When using an ORCA card to ride Link, tap your card at a card reader on a yellow pole before boarding the train. Present your valid ORCA card to the fare inspector upon request. When exiting, tap your card again at the card reader at the station to complete your transaction and ensure that the correct fare is deducted.
New ORCA Cards
You can get a new ORCA card from any Link TVM in advance of your trip and load it with either a pass or E-purse value. Simply select the “ORCA Options” button on the starting screen to buy a new card. ORCA cards purchased from TVMs are fully functional and immediately ready for use.
You can also get a new ORCA card from any ORCA Customer Service Office or a participating retail outlet. Ten customer service offices and three retail outlets are located throughout the four-county ORCA region Visit http://www.orcacard.com for more information on these locations. ORCA cards purchased from customer service offices and retail outlets are fully functional and immediately ready for use.
You can also order a new ORCA card online at www.orcacard.com or by phone at 1-888-988-6722 or TTY Relay at 711:1-888-889-6368. ORCA cards ordered online or by phone are typically processed and delivered by postal mail in five to seven business days. Once a new card arrives, it must be tapped on a card reader before it is fully functional and ready for use.
Reloading ORCA Cards
Riders who need to add a new pass or more E-purse value to their ORCA card have several options for reloading their cards in advance of their trip.
You can reload an ORCA card at any Link TVM with either a pass or more E-purse value. Simply insert your card in the ORCA card holder and select the product you would like to load onto your existing card. Card reload transactions done on a TVM are immediately processed and ready for use.
You can also reload an ORCA card at an ORCA Customer Service Office or a participating retail outlet. Ten customer service offices and three retail outlets are located throughout the four-county ORCA region Visit www.orcacard.com for more information on these locations. Card reload transactions done at a customer service office or retail outlet are immediately processed and ready for use.
You can also reload an ORCA card online at www.orcacard.com or by phone at 1-888-988-6722 or TTY Relay at 711:1-888-889-6368. ORCA transactions made online or by phone are typically processed in 24 hours, and users must tap the card on a card reader to complete the transaction and upload the new information to the card’s computer chip.
Along with Link light rail service, regularly scheduled ST Express buses can also connect you to events in downtown Seattle. Go to www.soundtransit.org for schedule and fare information for all Sound Transit services.