ORCA Card & Ferry Pass Subsidies

ORCA Card Transit Pass

The ORCA Card is a regional, public transit pass which can be used by students and employees to ride regular Metro, Sound Transit, Pierce Transit, Kitsap Transit, Community Transit, and Everett Transit bus service anytime, anywhere all over King, Snohomish, Pierce, and Kitsap Counties. The pass is available to eligible students and employees at a subsidized rate and can be used for personal as well as college use.

Public transportation includes: Link Light Rail system, Metro streetcars (the South Lake Union Trolley and the future Broadway streetcar), the Sounder Train (Everett to Tacoma), some Amtrak Cascades trains between Seattle and Everett, the King County Water Taxis (West Seattle and Vashon routes) and the Kitsap Transit Foot Ferry (Port Orchard and Annapolis Routes).

Visit the official site: ORCAcard.com

Student ORCA Card

Students enrolled for 10 or more credits may purchase an ORCA Card at discounted rates. Students enrolled for less than 10 credits may purchase an ORCA Card at the non–discounted / standard rates. The Seattle Central cards (known as E–Purses) are pre–loaded with $200 for all quarters. The college does not offer subsidized youth, senior or disabled ORCA cards. See ORCAcard.com to compare rates on what works best for you.

Quarter Discounted Rate Regular Rate
Each Quarter $125/quarter $200

To purchase a Student ORCA Card:

  • Bring this completed Student ORCA Card quarterly application and a photo ID to the Cashier's Office, BE1104.
  • Register your Card online at ORCAcard.com after purchase.
  • All sales are final. No refunds.
  • No replacement options if lost or stolen.
  • New Cards much be purchased each quarter to get the subsidized rate; students are allowed only one subsidized ORCA card per quarter.

If you would like a better value for your ORCA card purchase:

  • Take your student ORCA Card to any ORCA pay station.
  • Request one Zone Peak unlimited monthly pass for $90. If the card is needed for the full third month of the quarter, it may be loaded with an additional $70 (of your own funds) to complete the $90 unlimited one zone pass.
  • Or Request a two Zone peak unlimited monthly pass each month for an additional $108. For second month, load $16 to the Card (of your own funds). Third month will be $108.
  • A Card does not expire unless it is inactive for two years.
Employee ORCA Card

To be eligible for a subsidized ORCA Card, an employee must join the District's Transportation Management Plan (TMP) which offers incentives for using alternate transportation methods of commuting. Employees may buy either the ORCA Card or the parking permit, but cannot purchase both.

As a bonus, however, ORCA Card holders are eligible for 12 free parking vouchers each quarter. These vouchers give holders the option to drive when necessary. Up to 12 additional vouchers may be purchased. Sign up in the Transportation Services Office. (Vouchers expire each quarter.)

Employee ORCA CARDs cost $51 per quarter, plus $10 TMP quarterly fee.

Enroll in TMP

  • Complete the TMP payroll deduction form.
  • Submit the completed form to the Transportation Services Office BE1143.

Detailed information about the Seattle Colleges TMP can be found on the District website.

How to purchase ORCA Cards—permanent employees

1. Payroll deduction is available to permanent employees with at least 50 percent employment.

  • Complete the TMP payroll deduction form.
  • Submit the TMP payroll deduction form to the Transportation Services Office.
  • Pick up ORCA Cards from the Transportation Services Office.
  • ORCA cards are renewed on a yearly basis and automatically re–loaded each quarter.
  • New cards are not needed each quarter.

Summer Quarter Options for full–time faculty: If an employee has payroll deduction and wants to use the ORCA card during the summer months while not teaching, do nothing and the entire summer quarter fee will be deducted from the end–of–year paycheck.

To stop payroll deductions for the summer, submit the employee ORCA payroll deduction form before the pay period ending June 15.

2. Quarterly payment is available for part–time, hourly and temporary employees.

Complete the employee transportation quarterly form.

  • Submit TMP and Payroll Deduction forms to the Cashier's Office.
  • Pay for and receive the ORCA Card in the Cashier–s Office.
  • Cards are generally available one week prior to the quarter start.
  • No refunds are given for either the ORCA Card or the TMP fee.
  • ORCA Cards may be replaced for $10 if lost or stolen.
  • Report lost card immediately to the Transportation Services Office.
  • Submit an employee ORCA Card replacement form to the Transportation Services Office.
Washington State Ferry Riders

Student Ferry Reimbursement: Students who use the Washington State Ferries as walk on passengers, bike riders or carpool passengers may be eligible to receive up to $60 in reimbursement per academic quarter. Checks will be sent within two weeks of submission date. To qualify:

  • Be enrolled for 10 or more credits.
  • Did not purchase an ORCA Card or a parking permit from Seattle Central.
  • Must submit reimbursement request by the last day of each quarter.
  • Submit the following to the Transportation Services Office:
    • Completed student ferry reimbursement form
    • Original receipt from ferry pass
    • Student ID number
    • Name and home address

Employee Ferry Reimbursement: Employees who use the Washington State Ferries as walk on passengers, bike riders or carpool passengers may be eligible to receive up to $58 in reimbursement per month. Checks will be sent within two weeks of submission date. To qualify:

  • Be a permanent employee working at least 50 percent.
  • Participant in the Transportation Management Plan (TMP)
  • Did not purchase an ORCA Card or parking permit from Seattle Central.
  • Use the ferry service as part of daily commute.
  • Submit the following to the Transportation Services Office:
    • Original receipt from ferry pass or vanpool
    • Dated receipt must match the requested month
    • Reimbursement invoice voucher

Note: If you take transit to the ferry terminal using an ORCA Card, please purchase a separate ferry pass rather than loading up the Seattle Central issued ORCA Card.

ORCA Cards can be used on ferries operated by King County (West Seattle water taxis) and Kitsap County (Port Orchard and Annapolis).

Employee Home Free Guarantee and Zipcar

Employee Home Free Guarantee

If you are a permanent employee, a member of the TMP and use alternate forms of transportation, the college can help in an emergency. The college will pay for a taxicab home or to a daycare address for up to 60 miles one way. This service is available up to two times per quarter. Alternate forms of transportation include public transportation, walking, biking, carpool passengers.

Contact the Transportation Services Office at 206.934.6931 or 206.587.6932 during normal office hours. After 4:30 p.m. contact the Information Office at 206.934.3800. Provide this information when calling:

  • State the nature of your emergency
  • Provide the time you wish to be picked up
  • Provide the destination address
  • Provide your contact phone number

Be prepared to show a photo ID to the taxi driver, pay and get a receipt, then submit the receipt to Transportation Services for reimbursement.

Zipcar Use

Another benefit to TMP permanent employees is access to the Zipcar car–sharing program. Non–driving employees can join the Seattle Central program and check out cars between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The cars can be used for personal or business reasons for up to six hours per day.

How to Apply for Zipcar Use

  • Complete the Employee Zipcar agreement available in Transportation Services.
  • Zipcar, a private, for–profit company, is not part of Seattle Colleges.
  • Seattle Central pays membership fees and usage for Zipcar for all eligible drivers, once approved.
  • Zipcar use can only occur during the normal work hours.
  • Zipcar will conduct a driving record and insurance check before approving employee application.
  • Submit application to Jeff Keever in the Transportation Services Office.

Back to the Top

Real Time Web Analytics