ORCA LIFT Reduced Fare Program

Now there's a more affordable way to get to work, school, shopping, day care or anywhere else you need to go. It's ORCA LIFT, a new, reduced transit fare that can help you get more out of your public transportation system.

Once you qualify for the ORCA LIFT program, you'll receive an ORCA LIFT card registered to your name, with the same features every ORCA card has. You can load an E-purse value on your card to pay for trips one at a time, or load a monthly pass that lets you take unlimited trips for an entire month. What makes ORCA LIFT special is you have all the power and convenience of the ORCA card system at a fraction of the cost.

LIFT benefits

With the ORCA LIFT card, income-qualified riders can save up to 50 percent or more on:

  • All Sound Transit services (Link and Sounder trains, ST Express buses)
  • Metro Transit buses
  • Kitsap Transit buses
  • King County Water Taxi
  • Seattle Streetcar

How to get the ORCA LIFT card

  1. Review your household income guidelines or call (206) 553-3000 or (800) 756-5437 to see if you qualify. Eligibility is based on your household income.
  2. Apply in person at any one of the authorized enrollment offices around King County and get your free ORCA LIFT card at the same time.
  3. *Coming soon: Information about enrollment locations in Pierce and Snohomish counties. All qualified riders may sign up at King County locations
  4. Load and use your ORCA LIFT card on transit like any other ORCA card user, and SAVE MONEY!

How to put the ORCA LIFT card to work

What about the King county Water Taxi?

ORCA LIFT fares on the King County Water Taxi are $3.00 for West Seattle/Downtown Seattle and $3.75 for Vashon Island/Downtown Seattle per trip.

Just like any regular ORCA card, load E-purse value or a monthly pass on your card before you start to use it.

  1. Visit any of the ORCA revalue locations around King County to load your card.
    • King Street Center Metro Customer Service Office
    • Westlake Station, Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel Metro Customer Service Office
    • Any ticket vending machine in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, Link light rail stations, and some transit centers
    • Any ORCA card retailer
    • orcacard.com
  2. Pay two ways:
    • Load a monthly PugetPass for unlimited rides during that month – a good choice if you use the card all the time.
    • Use the E-Purse to load between $5 and $300 on the card – a good choice if you use the card only occasionally.
  3. Tap the card reader when you board.
  4. Go where you need to go!

How much will I save?

You'll pay only $1.50 per trip, any time of day, for one-or two-zone travel on King County Metro Transit buses, Sound Transit Link light rail, and the Seattle Streetcar. Kitsap Transit bus trips are $1.00. ST Express buses are $1.50 for one-zone and $2.75 for two-zone. Sounder train fares are distance based and range from $2.75 – $4.25.

So, if you took two bus trips a day, five days a week on King County Metro Transit across two zones during peak hours, you could save as much as $910 per year.

Enrollment locations

Authorized ORCA LIFT enrollment offices are located throughout King County. Offices are operated by Public Health and other agencies as listed. For a detailed listing of specific locations and hours of operation, select a location from the "Offices now open" list on this page.

*Coming soon: Information about enrollment locations in Pierce and Snohomish counties. All qualified riders may sign up at King County locations

See a list of locations »

Offices now open

The links below will provide hours of operation, addresses and location maps. For a detailed listing of specific locations and operations hours, call 206-553-3000 or 800-756-5437.

Public Health - Seattle & King County 
Catholic Community Services
City of Seattle
Compass Housing Alliance
El Centro de la Raza
Global to Local
Multi-Service Center
ReWA (Refugee Women's Alliance)

What you need to qualify

Household income amount

People with household income of less than double the federal poverty level (as established by US Health and Human Services Department) qualify for ORCA LIFT.

Household Size Maximum Income to Qualify*
1 $23,540
2 $31,860
3 $40,180
4 $48,500
5 $56,820
6 $65,140
7 $73,460
8 $81,780

*Effective April 1, 2015. Subject to change without notice.

Enroll today!

If you think you qualify, visit one of the authorized ORCA LIFT enrollment offices with your income verification documents. The process takes just minutes. The office will confirm your eligibility, officially register you, and give you your free ORCA LIFT card.

Income verification documents

If you are already in one of the following benefits programs:

  • Apple Health/Medicaid recipients: ProviderOne medical services card. The agency can verify your current eligibility on washingtonconnection.org.
  • Washington Basic Food Program recipients: EBT (electronic benefits transfer) Card. The agency can verify your current eligibility on washingtonconnection.org.
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients: The agency can verify your current eligibility on washingtonconnection.org, or you can provide a copy of your award letter.

If you are in another defined benefits program:

  • Employment Security paystub or letter for applicants receiving unemployment benefits.
  • Award letters for SSI, Social Security, or Railroad
  • Retirement recipients.
  • L & I statement for workers' compensation recipients.

If you have no income:

  • Employment Security verification form.
  • With identification, Employment Security can verify that you received no income and are therefore eligible.

If you are employed

Employed (with a paycheck): Paystubs for the last 30 days.

Employed (paid in cash): Letter from the employer signed and dated with gross income for the client for the last 30 days; or a bank statement from you if you deposit your cash in their account.


Copy of your most recent tax return. Income is based on the modified adjusted gross income on your most recent tax return: Form 1040 line 37; Form 1040 A, line 21; Form 1040 EZ, line 4; or completion of the self-employment worksheet.

Documents that prove who you are:

Government-issued photo ID:

  • Driver's license (any state or country)
  • Photo ID card from any state, province, county or country
  • Armed Services ID with photo
  • ID card from any foreign consulate
  • Passport from any country
  • School photo ID – university, college, high school
  • Tribal ID
  • US certificate of citizenship, naturalization (signature, photo)
  • Any other form of photo ID issued by a government agency of any country

- OR -

A combination of two or more documents:

Non-government-issued document with name and a photo of you as an adult, and a document that indicates your name and birthdate, such as:

  • Adoption papers
  • Baptismal records
  • Birth certificate
  • Border crossing card
  • Court order
  • DHS "Trusted Traveler" cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • Driver's instruction permit
  • DSHS identification letter for those in custodianship
  • Employee ID card
  • Immigration ID
  • Marriage license
  • School records / transcript (certified)
  • Social Security card
  • Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)
  • Unemployment card

Important questions

Which transportation agencies accept ORCA LIFT?

Currently, the ORCA LIFT reduced fares are offered on King County Metro Transit buses, Sound Transit Link light rail and Sounder trains, ST Express Buses, the Seattle Streetcar, the King County Water Taxi, and Kitsap Transit buses.

All other ORCA participating agencies will accept the ORCA LIFT card, but the cardholder will pay the current standard adult fare for service provided by those agencies. You can pay that fare with your card's E-purse value or PugetPass that you have loaded. If you use your PugetPass to pay, you will be credited the trip value of your PugetPass, and will have to make up the difference with E-purse value or cash. Transfers are accepted with the ORCA LIFT card up to the value of the initial fare you paid.

Cardholders can call 206-553-3000 for a current list of transit agencies that accept ORCA.

How much does it cost to get an ORCA LIFT card?

Nothing. The card is free to qualified individuals. If your card is lost, stolen or damaged, replacement cards cost $5. Users are responsible for the costs to load E-purse value or a monthly transit pass on the card.

Will my ORCA LIFT card expire?

The ORCA LIFT card is good for up to 24 months (two years) from the time you get it. After that, you can reapply. Your card's expiration date will be printed on the back of the card.

What happens if someone qualifies for the ORCA LIFT program and later starts earning more than 200 percent of the federal poverty level?

Anyone who starts out qualified for the ORCA LIFT program can continue until their card expires. At that point they will need to reapply for the program and prove their continued eligibility.