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Youth ORCA program saves students ~$1M on transit!

Photo by: ORCA

Our Youth ORCA program signed up 3,000 students for the 2017 – 2018 school year!

We’ve hit a milestone and it marks the closing of enrollment for the current school year.  The 3,000 students enrolled in the Youth ORCA program have free transit for the remainder of the school year and through summer 2018.

The program marked the second milestone this week – saving students approximately $1 million on transit since the program’s inception in September 2016.


Students in the Youth ORCA program must be income-qualified and without other transportation to school.  Students use their ORCA cards to ride buses, light rail, streetcars, and water taxis.  They have access to transit provided by King County Metro, Sound Transit, Community Transit, Pierce Transit, and Kitsap Transit.


Survey results:

During the first full year of the program (2016-2017), 2,680 students enrolled in the program.  A survey conducted in June 2017 revealed:

  • 75% of the program participants use their ORCA cards to get to school.
  • Getting to school on time was the most significant benefit of having an ORCA card.
  • Majority of students agreed that having an ORCA card improved their attendance at school and grades.

A new open enrollment period will begin with the start of the next school year in September 2018.