Reminder: Metro Transit bus fares going up March 1

Despite increase, some rides will cost less for those qualifying for new reduced fare

ORCA LIFT blog postKing County Metro Transit riders will pay a bit more to ride the bus beginning March 1. The fare change will apply to adults, youth, seniors and people with disabilities who use regularly scheduled transit services. Details about the fare increase can be found on Metro’s website.

Transit fares will increase 25 cents for riders and businesses offering “Business Choice” accounts to their employees. Customers who have a Passport or U-Pass through their business or school will notice the change as contracts are renewed after March 1.

Fares for Access paratransit service will increase 50 cents to $1.75 per trip. This adjustment will more closely align Access fares with regular off-peak fares. The increase reflects the much higher expense of operating Access service compared to regular bus service.

The fare increases will place Metro on more stable financial footing and will help keep service on the road.

New reduced fare will help those with limited incomes

Also making its debut March 1 is Metro’s newly created ORCA LIFT reduced fare program, the outcome of an intensive two-year push by King County Executive Dow Constantine and the County Council to make riding the bus more affordable for people struggling to make ends meet.

The reduced ORCA LIFT fare will be $1.50 per trip regardless of time of day or number of zones traveled. It will be available to riders earning at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, about $23,340 annually for an individual.

An ORCA LIFT card is required for the reduced fare. Metro, Public Health–Seattle/King County, along with eight other human service providers from all across the county, have teamed up and are standing by to work with riders to determine eligibility and provide them with ORCA LIFT cards.

Metro and its partners are making it as convenient as possible to sign up and determine eligibility. Just visit ORCALIFT.com to learn more about the program and to locate your nearest enrollment office.  A trained customer service representative will help you determine if you are eligible.

The Seattle Streetcar, King County Water Taxi, Sound Transit Link light rail and Kitsap Transit will offer similar reduced fares for riders who have an ORCA LIFT card.

The Regional Reduced Fare Permit continues to offer seniors and people with disabilities a lower fare than the ORCA LIFT program. In addition, the human service ticket program will continue to assist people who rely on Metro as a safety net.