ORCA Lift (Student)

What is an ORCA LIFT card?

Launched by King County Metro in 2015, the ORCA LIFT card is a reduced fare transit passed for eligible riders. Click here for additional information. Monthly passes are currently priced at $54, bringing the total cost to $162 per quarter -or- $216 per semester. Seattle University supports this program and will subsidize half of the total cost to students who secure a Seattle University-associated ORCA LIFT pass currently obtained ONLY via three specific enrollment options. Students are responsible for paying ONLY $81 per quarter -or- $108 per semester. Note: This ORCA LIFT card is not associated in any way with Seattle University's former ORCA card program.

(For more accurate and up-to-date information about the Orca-Lift Program, check out their official website here!)

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, 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.

(For more accurate and up-to-date information about the Orca-Lift Program, check out their official website here!)

How much does it cost to get ORCA LIFT card?

Nothing. The card is free to qualified individuals. If your card is lost, stolen, or damaged, replacement cards cost $5.00

(For more accurate and up-to-date information about the Orca-Lift Program, check out their official website here!)

Where do I get an ORCA LIFT card?

  • Public Health - Seattle & King County
    201 S Jackson Street
  • Seattle University during the following dates:
    • Dates will be listed soon

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.

Max household income to qualify:

  • 1 person $23,540.00
  • 2 person $31,860.00
  • 3 person $40,80.00

If you think that you qualify, visit one of the authorized ORCA LIFT enrollment offices with your income verification documents to confirm that you are eligible. The office will officially register you in the program 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 (electronics benefits transfer) Card. The agency can verify your current eligibility on WashingtonConnection.org.

If you are employed:

Employed (with a paycheck):
You'll need to provide a paystub for the last 30 days or a signed letter from your place of business on company letterhead.

(For more accurate and up-to-date information about the Orca-Lift Program, check out their official website here!)

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

(For more accurate and up-to-date information about the Orca-Lift Program, check out their official website here!)

Why do I need to create an online account?

In the event that you lose your card, you will need this account information to help replace your card. It is also necessary for the overall management of your card.

How do I set up my online account?

  1. Visit the ORCA Card website: www.orcacard.com
  2. Select “Have a card” on the upper left hand side of the page
  3. Select Create a My ORCA login to manage your cards.
  4. Select “Yes, I have a registered ORCA card.”
  5. Enter your ORCA LIFT card numbers (8 & 3 digits)
  6. Enter your zip code
  7. Enter LIFT (all caps) for the answer to your secret question “Who’s your friend”
  8. Create a username and password
  9. Then enter your email address

NOTE. The log-in will prompt you for a “Low-Income ID.” This ID was should be located on the bottom right hand side of the consent form that you signed. Once your login is set up please change your secret question and answer.

How do I set up an account for an ORCA card that I purchased?

  • Visit the ORCA Card website: www.orcacard.com
  • Select the option that best fits your card type
  • Complete the registration to register and create a My ORCA login
  • To view the benefits or registering your ORCA card please click, here.

Why do I need to add the initial E-Purse on to my card?

The initial value is also the transit value that you can begin using right away since the card comes with no value on it. Also it is used as the value of how much will be subsidized up to the maximum amount.

Why do I have to wait until the third week until the subsidy is loaded onto my card?

The university wants to ensure that students who receive a transit subsidy have been enrolled for at least two weeks of school. Since students are now required to put their contribution of the transit pass value onto the card upfront, students will be able to use the card immediately after adding this value. The university then adds the subsidy, giving the student the total value of three monthly passes for the quarter or four monthly passes for the semester.

What are my options to buy an ORCA monthly pass for the term?

One may utilize the Autoload feature (an account that is set up to automatically add value to a registered ORCA card using a credit or debit card).

Monthly Pass, E-purse, and what we advise

E-purse is transportation value stored on your ORCA card and used like cash to pay your fare. The minimum value you can add to your E-purse is $5. The maximum stored value you can have on your E-purse is $300. A Regional Monthly Pass/ PugetPass allows for unlimited travel on all transit services in the region for a specified period of time.

Because the academic terms often start or end at the beginning or end of a month, students can benefit from using both E-purse value and the monthly pass option together over the course of a term. For instance, students on the quarter system may choose to put a monthly pass on their ORCA card for October and November, but use their remaining E-purse value to travel during the last week of September and the first few weeks in December before fall quarter classes end.

The university subsidy for ORCA LIFT cards is put directly onto the student’s ORCA LIFT card in the form of E-purse value. Students are then responsible for converting E-purse value into a monthly pass as needed.

How do I convert E-purse to monthly pass?

There a few ways to convert your E-purse funds to monthly pass.

  1. Using an ORCA machine found at many transit locations across the city, click here for a visual walkthrough.
  2. Call Metro Office, 206-553-3000. Please note it will take up to 48 hours for the monthly pass to be active.
  3. Visit the Metro office: 
    201 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104

What if I lose my ORCA LIFT card?

If you lost your ORCA card, come into the Transportation and Parking Services department, and staff will block access to funds on your card and issues you a letter to bring to the Metro Office to get a ORCA Lift Card replacement.

What if I do not qualify for the ORCA LIFT program?

You still may be eligible for a subsidy from Seattle University. Transportation & Parking Services Department sells subsidized ORCA cards in the office that have available e-purse funds and monthly passes that will be loaded during the duration of the term. Non-Lift cards must be purchased before the deadline each academic term.

 

Public Safety & Transportation
901 12th Avenue
USVC 102

Seattle, WA 98122-1090
(206) 296-5992

Summer University Hours:

Monday - Friday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

parkingservices@seattleu.edu

** Parking Questions may be answered 24 hours a day by calling the Public Safety Communication Center at 206-296-5990