Beginning on September 1, 2022, all riders 18 and younger can take area transit for free, including King County Metro and Sound Transit.
Transit will also be free for Community Transit, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit and Seattle Streetcar. Beginning on October 1, Washington State Ferries will be free for youth 18 and under as a cyclist, pedestrian or vehicle passenger.
Transit Systems Covered
Beginning Thursday, Sept. 1, riders 18 and younger can ride for free on transit systems across Washington, including King County Metro buses, water taxis, Access paratransit and on-demand services.
With the launch of the program, young riders can use current classic blue youth and student ORCA cards, show their student identification, or simply board and ride free. New black ORCA cards will be available soon and distributed through schools and customer services. Any of these options will work, with more innovations on the horizon in 2023, including the ability to “tap” a smartphone or a “smart” sticker on a student ID.
Any youth, including students who currently have an ORCA card, should hold onto it and begin using it on Sept. 1 as their Free Youth Transit Pass – expiration dates will be extended until June 30, 2023. For youth without ORCA cards, Metro is attending numerous in-person youth and community events, where staff are on hand to distribute cards, provide information and answer questions. Further card distribution will roll out in 2023 and will expand over time.
Read this King County Metro blog post for more information, or visit the ORCA youth card website.