Higher-value ORCA Cards to take students farther

Sizeable increase in ORCA Card value will make commuting to Seattle Central easier, more affordable for students

To help students commute to campus throughout each quarter, Seattle Central has added more value to ORCA Cards without raising their price. This promises to ease transportation concerns for students, allowing them to take advantage of multiple transit options, including light rail, bus and the streetcar.

Starting Fall Quarter, the value of student ORCA cards will increase from $200 to $250, while the purchase price will remain the same — $125. In the past, the value was not enough for an entire quarter’s worth of transit trips, but the increased amount should be sufficient, Auxiliary Services Director Jeff Keever said.

“Transportation can be a big challenge because it represents a large expense for our students. Anything we can do to make commuting less burdensome will help students in the long run,” Keever added.

Students can use their cards in two main ways:

  • Pay for each ride from the $250 value stored on the card
  • Transfer the value to a monthly pass if riding the bus or train frequently

Students who meet the low-income qualifications can apply for a subsidized ORCA LIFT card, which provides discounted fares of only $1.50 per trip. Funds from the school-issued card can be easily transferred to the LIFT card.

Students interested in carpooling can use Zimride by Enterprise, a private social ridesharing network, which recently partnered with the Seattle Colleges District. Once students sign up, they can set up their profile, offer rides or post a request for rides and choose from the matches.