The ORCA Opportunity program will provide free bus passes to some of the city’s low-income residents.

1 minute read

February 26, 2019, 9:00 AM PST

By Camille Fink

Seattle Bus

SounderBruce from Seattle, United States / Wikimedia Commons

Sarah Anne Lloyd reports that Seattle is expanding its ORCA Opportunity program, which currently provides free bus passes to high school students and some Seattle Colleges students. The city will start offering the passes to some Seattle Housing Authority residents, and distribution could start early this summer.

The city plans to give priority to high-density SHA sites near transit hubs or to sites along routes with investments from Seattle Transit Benefits District funds. The STBD funds come from a sales-tax increase and vehicle license fee that voters approved in 2014 to expand transit services in the Seattle region.

Lloyd reports that 14,500 students have participated in the program so far, and the SHA expansion will add another 1,500 participants. "The expansion will start as a 12-month pilot program, then be re-evaluated for an extension by SHA, King County Metro, and the Seattle Department of Transportation."

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