Monorail Joins the Seattle Transit Network

The city's monorail has operated separately from other systems in the region, but now riders can pay fares using the ORCA cards that work for other transit systems in the region.

1 minute read

October 10, 2019, 9:00 AM PDT

By Camille Fink

Downtown Seattle

vewfinder / Shutterstock

Ryan Packer reports that ORCA cards, the Seattle-area transit smart card system, can now be used on the Seattle Monorail. "The monorail has long operated virtually on its own outside of the regular transit system, relegating it to more of a tool for tourism than a practical choice for transit riders to and from Uptown and Downtown."

While the monorail fares have increased, riders will now be able to transfer to buses and light rail on other transit systems without paying separate fares. An agreement between the Seattle City Council and the operator of the Seattle Monorail will freeze fares until 2022.

The agreement also requires the operator to make capital investments to improve stations, including better station and platform access and relocation of gates and ticket machines. "Collectively, the improvements could essentially double capacity of the monorail to 6,000 riders per hour per direction," notes Packer.

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