What is ORCA LIFT?
ORCA LIFT reduces the bus fare up to 50% off the regular adult fare. With an ORCA LIFT card people can ride Metro buses, Link Light Rail, Seattle Streetcar, Sound Transit buses, and the Monorail for $1.50. Kitsap Transit, Water Taxi, Community Transit, Everett Transit, and Sounder Train also provide LIFT Discounts.
How did this begin?
- In January 2014, the King County Executive proposed an ordinance to increase all existing Metro fares & added a new low-income fare category effective March 1, 2015. The proposal was approved by Council and the new low income fare is now called the "ORCA LIFT Fare Program". Beginning March 1, 2016 Sound Transit Board voted to be part of the ORCA LIFT program.
- King County's adoption of the ORCA LIFT program for King County residents with low income stemmed from a fundamental commitment to promote fairness and opportunity and to eliminate inequities in King County.
- The fair and just principle is woven into the King County Strategic Plan and is expected to be incorporated into everything King County does; our One King County.
Become an ORCA LIFT Enrollment Site/Verifying Agency
For consideration to become an ORCA LIFT verifying agency, you must meet one of the following requirements:
- Be an existing Navigator Organization through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.
- Must be an existing SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) enrollment location through the Department of Social & Health Services.
- Your agency provides one on one application assistance for various public benefit programs that includes maintaining knowledge about eligibility programs: (i.e. Section 8 applications, Financial Aid Applications, Federal Energy Assistance Programs.
In addition to meeting one of the three requirements listed above, your agency must also agree to the following:
- Eligibility training for Washington Apple Health – including training on how to verify coverage (if you're already a Navigator agency you won't need this training).
- Agencies who don't have a partnership agreement with the Department of Social & Health Services (DSHS) will need to complete a partner agreement and get training on how to verify coverage through the Benefit Verification System.
- Agency must agree to maintain confidentiality, maintain files for 7 years and subject to annual audits.
- Attend monthly LIFT meetings.
- Sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Metro Transit and Public Health Seattle & King County.
- Agree to audits of ORCA LIFT records to ensure program compliance.
If you have questions or are interested in becoming and enrollment site/verifying agency, please contact: Jennifer Covert: firstname.lastname@example.org
If your agency doesn't meet the requirements above or is not interested in verifying eligibility, Public Health/Metro can create a referral system for your clients in order to get them enrolled on ORCA Lift.
If you have questions or are interested in becoming a referral agency, please contact: Jennifer Covert: email@example.com
King County Metro Neighborhood Pop-Up brings Metro information, ORCA card services, and more, to provide customer service at locations throughout King County. Learn more from Metro's website.
Request an ORCA LIFT partner agency at your event to determine eligibility and issue ORCA LIFT cards on site. Complete an online request form to get started.