Contact: Scott Thompson, (206) 903-7838, firstname.lastname@example.org
Starting May 16, hundreds of thousands of ORCA transit customers across the Puget Sound region will have access to a new website, smartphone app, and real-time value loading for their ORCA cards. Customers will also begin to see new card readers and vending machines as technology is updated and rolled out at transit locations throughout the region. This will mark the start of ongoing improvements to the ORCA system over the next several years.
Current ORCA users do not need to get a new card at this time but are encouraged to register their cards on the new website, www.myORCA.com, beginning May 16 to add value to their existing cards. Customers can still add cash to their cards at vending machines, customer service locations and participating retailers.
“We’re beginning to deliver the first features of the new ORCA system and appreciate the patience of riders as we pivot between vendors and launch improvements over the next few years,” said Christina O’Claire, ORCA Joint Board Chair and King County Metro Mobility Director. “Riders can keep using their existing ORCA cards, but also will be able to access updated features that will serve customers better.”
Fares will not be collected between 3:00 a.m. Saturday May 14 and Monday May 16 2:29 a.m. on most area transit systems while the ORCA system transitions to a new system.
Washington State Ferry customers who walk on or are a passenger in a vehicle using an ORCA card to board ferries during the no collection weekend will not be charged but will need to show their ORCA card to attendants. Vehicle-driver fares will be required, and an alternate form of payment will be needed at the toll booths.
During the following weeks, transit customers may experience disruptions while ORCA equipment or account access upgrades are in process. The overall effort spans more than 6,000 pieces of equipment and involves transferring more than 5 million ORCA customer accounts to the new system.
On May 16, new ORCA features will be launched: