Transit agencies to launch new ORCA system May 16; no fares collected May 14-15

Starting Monday, 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. Over the coming months, new ORCA card readers and vending machines will be installed at transit locations throughout the region.

All current ORCA cards, including youth, senior, ORCA LIFT and reduced fare cards, will continue to work with the new system. ORCA customers do not need to get a new card.

Over the weekend, ORCA balances will be transferred to the new system, but not full account information. Beginning May 16 and in the coming weeks, customers who use the autoload function on their account – approximately 175,000 people – can begin to set up a new account and new autoloads to ensure funds are available on their card.

The current ORCA website will be permanently shut down at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, May 12, and will transition to the new site on May 16.  Customers can still add cash to their cards at vending machines, customer service locations and participating retailers.

To transition to the new ORCA system, fares will not be collected between 3 a.m. Saturday, May 14, and 2:59 a.m. Monday, May 16, on most area transit systems.

Washington State Ferry customers who walk on or are a passenger in a vehicle using an ORCA card to board ferries during the no-fares-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.

ORCA users are encouraged to create an account on the new website,, beginning May 16, but a new account is not required to access the system.

During the following weeks, transit customers may experience disruptions when paying fares 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.

New ORCA features include:

  • New ORCA website. will feature real-time card loading, mobile phone accessibility, more payment options and the ability to manage multiple cards. This new site replaces the current site.
  • Smartphone app. Customers can manage their ORCA account from any location 24/7 and with the same functionality available on the new website. The app will be available on Apple’s app store and the Google Play store.
  • Business account website. will replace as the place where employers manage their ORCA programs.

Single-ride and pass prices remain the same. Reduced fare programs will also still be available. to learn more.

Later in 2022 and 2023, ORCA will be adding more stores to its retail network and introducing a smartphone tap-to-pay option.  After these features are delivered, the ORCA agencies will engage with customers to identify improvements and new features to add in the coming years.

This effort marks the start of ongoing improvements to the ORCA system over the next several years.

Visit to learn more about upcoming improvements, to create your account starting May 16 and sign up for project updates.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.