OLYMPIA – King County Metro recently launched their summer youth program to provide kids and teens with easier access to public transportation. The program is similar to a pilot project in the state transportation budget and offers reduced fares and free ORCA youth cards to kids and teens in King County.
Announced at an event at Ingraham High School on June 6, the program allows six to 18 year olds to obtain an ORCA youth card free of charge. With a youth card, kids and teens will only be charged 50 cents on King County Metro buses and the Seattle Streetcar. In addition, the program offers youth a reduced fare of one dollar on Link light rail, Sound Transit buses, and Sounder trains. The program will run from June 17 to September 4.
“Giving youth reliable access to transportation opens up opportunities they may not have otherwise had,” said State Representative Vandana Slatter (D-Bellevue), who attended the event. “While many school districts offer reduced fare programs during the school year, providing kids access to transportation over the summer can open doors to employment and independence.”
Slatter advocated for a similar pilot project to be included in the state’s transportation budget, which was passed during the regular legislative session. The pilot project launches next year and provides free ORCA cards to low-income high school students in Lake Washington and Highline school districts. While the two school districts currently contract with King County Metro to provide passes during the school year, this program gives students the opportunity for year-round access to public transportation.
“Thanks to Representative Slatter, 4,500 low-income high school students at the Highline and Lake Washington school districts will be able to get free ORCA passes next summer,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine during his remarks at the summer youth program launch.