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This fare will be in effect at all times and for all distances traveled within our service area. No changes are being made to ORCA Lift or Access fares or fares for youths, seniors, or riders with disabilities.

There’s more to come—see below for what’s next.

Learn more  Timeline  Have a say

Learn more

Our current fare structure for regular adult riders is complex. We charge more for travel during weekday peak commute hours, and for trips that cross zone boundaries during those same hours. This can confuse riders, slow down boarding, and lead to fare disputes that can delay buses or jeopardize driver safety.

So we’re exploring ways to simplify our regular adult fare structure and make it more consistent with those of other agencies.

During Phase 1 of our fare project, in spring 2017, we heard from thousands of people through online surveys and direct outreach. A strong majority told us they’d prefer a $2.75 flat fare with no zone or peak surcharges. (Learn more below)

King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed a fare revision reflecting this preference, and it was approved unanimously by the King County Council in November 2017. The fare revision will go into effect in July 2018. For about two-thirds of our riders, this will mean paying either the same as or 50 cents less than they do now. No changes are being made to youth, senior, ORCA LIFT, or Access fares or fares for riders with disabilities.

Other recommendations that came out of this process will shape Metro’s work during Phase 2 of our fare project.

  • We’ve already increased the funds available to provide human service agencies with fare tickets for their clients with no or low incomes in 2018.
  • We’ll work with regional partners to eliminate ORCA card fees for seniors and people with disabilities who qualify for the Regional Reduced Fare Permit.
  • We’ll also look for ways to continue increasing affordability, speed up passenger boarding, and increase safety for bus drivers and riders.

Have a say

Community involvement

Phase 1

Metro reached out to the public in spring 2017 to inform a recommendation to the King County Executive for revising fares. We created a stakeholder advisory group, briefed and interviewed interested groups, and gathered two rounds of public feedback.

We worked with community-based organizations to reach out to diverse community members, people with low incomes, English language learners, and other populations less likely to respond to online surveys.

In total, we received more than 12,000 comments.

About 4,500 people took our first survey. Most supported changing Metro’s fare structure to make fares easier to use and understand, to speed up boarding and travel times, to help keep drivers and passengers safe by reducing fare disputes, and to reflect the increasing number of riders who live in suburban areas outside the Seattle zone boundary.

About 6,600 took our second survey. Most preferred a single regular adult fare of $2.75 for travel at all times and for any distance within our service area.

Advisory group

The 20 members of our advisory group represented various organizations with a stake in public transit. They also reflect the diversity of Metro riders, including young people, older adults, people with disabilities, people with no or low incomes, commuters, and college and university students.

The group met four times in 2017 to help us think through the effects of various fare options and advise us on ways to make transit and ORCA more accessible. The group served in an advisory capacity only; it did not make any formal recommendations or decisions.

Contact us

Tristan Cook
Community Relations Planner
Send Tristan an email
or call 206-477-3835

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Timeline

  • Phase 1 public engagement

    Advisory group—kickoff meeting

    Get input: What’s important to customers as we design fare changes and future programs to speed boarding, improve driver safety, help increase ridership, and reduce barriers?

  • Phase 2 public engagement

    Advisory group—second meeting

    Get input on a preferred fare option that simplifies zone and peak fares, as well as longer-term pilot projects to reduce barriers for vulnerable populations.

  • Advisory group—final meeting

    Prepare final zone/peak fare change package for consideration by King County Executive and Council.

  • King County Executive transmits proposed zone/peak fare change package to King County Council.

    Report back on zone/peak fare change recommendation and next steps.

  • King County Council adopts zone/peak fare change package.

  • Phase 2 public outreach begins to gather input as Metro develops proposals to make fares more affordable, speed boarding, and increase safety for operators and passengers.

  • Regular adult fares change to a flat $2.75, with no peak or zone surcharges. (No changes will be made to youth, senior, ORCA LIFT, or Access fares or fares for riders with disabilities.)

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