Photo courtesy of Sound Transit

Photo courtesy of Sound Transit

Sound Transit approves free transit for kids, teens

Beginning Sept. 1, youth ages 18 and under can ride for free on Sound Transit transportation.

Youth ages 18 and under can soon ride for free on all Sound Transit transporation beginning Sept. 1.

On July 28, the Sound Transit Board of Directors unanimously approved a new policy allowing free fares for kids and teens. Previously, the reduced youth fare was $1.50.

“Today’s decision will not only increase affordability for youth and families, but it will increase their opportunities as well,” said Kent Keel, University Place council member and Sound Transit board chair. “Free fares mean easy access not just to schools, but to jobs, after-school activities and youth-related programs. It also introduces a new generation to the habit of a becoming lifetime riders of transit.”

Sound Transit said an ORCA card or other fare media are not required for youth to ride free and youth will not be turned away or penalized if they do not have an ORCA card. No personal information will be collected either, the agency added.

Youth ORCA cards issued by schools during the 2021-2022 academic school year will continue to work through June 30, 2023. There are 77,000 Youth ORCA cards that will automatically provide card holders with access to the free fare and youth with a Youth ORCA Card are encouraged to use it when riding, according to Sound Transit.

Starting in 2021, kids and teens will be directed to get a Free Youth Transit Pass which allows them to tap a card, or their smartphone in the future, to access transit across the region for free.

Youth without a Free Youth Transit Pass may be asked to show a student ID or proof of age and will be provided with information about how to get a Free Youth Transit Pass, according to Sound Transit.

The policy allowing free fares for kids and teens was prompted by the Move Ahead Washington transportation package passed by the state Legislature last spring, incentivizing all Washington state transit agencies to adopt a fare-free policy for riders under 19 years old.

Recently, the King County Council approved legislation granting free, year-round public transit access people under the age of 19, named the Free Youth Transit Pass.

For more information about how youth can ride regional transit for free, visit info.myorca.com/youth-ride-free/.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Courtesy Photo, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
Judge finds probable cause to hold Kent man for kidnapping girl

Man, 40, reportedly grabbed 6-year-old girl in East Hill apartment complex parking lot

t
King County residential property values rise 12.4% in SE Kent

King County Assessor John Wilson begins to release 2024 numbers

t
Three 11-year-old girls in Kent help stop kidnapping of 6-year-old girl

40-year-old man reportedly grabbed girl in apartment complex parking lot on East Hill

t
Kent Police seek male teen driver in fatal hit-and-run on East Hill | Update

Teen reportedly driving stolen vehicle and fleeing police during Saturday, July 13 incident; victim identified

t
13-year-old boy fatally shot in Kent on East Hill near Turnkey Park | Update

Boy found shot near apartment complex Tuesday night, July 16 identified by medical examiner

t
Kent School Board votes 3-1 to send levy to voters in November

Capital projects and technology levy reduced from $192 million to $97 million after previous failures

t
Kiwanis clubs to place painted rocks at downtown Kent parks

Purpose is to ‘spread joy and positivity’

t
Driver caught on I-5 in Kent using fake passenger in HOV lane

Driver called it a ‘training aid’ after State Patrol trooper pulled her over near South 272nd Street

t
Kent Police seek public’s help to find woman missing since 2009

Release sketch of what Alyssa McLemore might look like today as detectives seek to solve case

Courtesy Image, Sound Transit
Far right lane of southbound I-5 in Kent to close for 2 weeks

July 21 to Aug. 5 between South 259th Street and South 272nd Street for light rail drainage work

t
Kent firefighters extinguish three separate brush fires on West Hill

Fire breaks out early Friday morning, July 12 in wooded area west of Interstate 5