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If you live in the King County area, you need to know about the low income discounts that King County Metro offers! They currently offer something called the ORCA Lift program, although they are considering a more substantial income-based fare system.
What does the ORCA Lift discount provide?
The ORCA LIFT card provides King County Metro transit discounts. The Lift card provides up to 50% off fares for:
- Metro transit buses
- Community transit buses
- Everett transit buses
- Kitsap transit buses
- Sound Transit Regional Express buses
- Sound Transit Link light rail
- Sounder Trains
- King County Water Taxi
- Seattle streetcar
Who qualifies for this transit discount?
The Metro transit discounts are available to anyone who qualifies based on income. Your total household income must be less than double the Federal Poverty Level for your household size.
As of this writing, that means a family of four could earn up to $4,291 per month and still qualify for these discounts.
How do you get the discount?
In order to receive an ORCA Lift card, you have to apply in person at one of the authorized enrollment offices around King County. There is a list of offices here.
Adults between the ages of 19 and 64 will receive an ordinary ORCA card.
Passengers between the ages of 6 and 18 can receive an ORCA Youth Card. These cards must be obtained by a household member who has a LIFT card.
Those who are at least 65 years old and/or have a disability can apply for an Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP), which includes a discount.
What changes are being considered to this program?
According to The Urbanist, the King County Council is preparing to adopt an income-based fare system. This new system will address the gap between the discounts that already exist and the very low income people who still cannot afford those discounted fares.
We will update this article as more information becomes available about these changes.