April 26, 2024

Tapping In: ORCA Monthly News for March 2024


Beyond the bus: Get the most out of your ORCA Card with Community Transit

It’s an exciting time to be a Community Transit rider! Some big changes are rolling out as we prepare for the arrival of light rail in Snohomish County later this year. Riders will have more travel options in the county, better regional transit connections, and more bus service running more often in their area.
Tomorrow, March 30, marks the launch of the Swift Orange Line, Community Transit’s third bus rapid transit (BRT) line. The Swift Orange Line will provide fast, frequent service linking Edmonds College, Lynnwood Transit Center, Alderwood Mall, and Mill Creek. Your ORCA card is the quickest way to pay your fare on Swift because it automatically gives you a two-hour transfer for buses or other transit, such as light rail. Just tap your card on the reader and hop on the bus.
But that’s not all! In addition to the launch of the Swift Orange Line, Community Transit is expanding the bus network across Snohomish County, creating fresh routes, and weaving new local connections for riders. These new transit opportunities mean more connections and will make using your ORCA card a more valuable part of your commute as you transfer from one bus to another.

Did you know your ORCA card isn’t just for buses? You can also use it to pay for Zip Alderwood Shuttle. This on-demand shared ride service is for travel anywhere within a defined zone in the Alderwood area at the same price as local bus fare. You can take Zip to the mall, movies, and recreation center to run errands and connect to Lynnwood Transit Center and bus routes.

Here’s a sneak peek into the future: Community Transit is testing an innovative and user-friendly way to accept ORCA card payments on Dial-A-Ride Transportation (DART) paratransit service! DART is a ride-sharing service for Snohomish County residents who can’t use fixed-route bus service due to a disability or condition. We’re excited to extend the excellent benefits of paying with ORCA to DART riders and create a more seamless payment experience across transit services.
One more thing: are you free tomorrow, March 30? You’re invited to a day of family-friendly fun and community spirit at the Swift Orange Line Block Party, happening at Edmonds College from 12-3 p.m. How do you get there? By bus, of course! You can ride the Swift Orange Line directly to Edmonds College. Don’t forget, people ages 18-and-under ride free on local transit, so bring the whole family. All Swift Orange Line Block Party attendees will receive a commemorative ORCA card as a token of the day’s festivities.
Community Transit is happy to be a part of the ORCA network, and we hope to see you using your ORCA card to explore new transit opportunities this year!
ORCA and Regional Updates
Spring means transit service changes around Puget Sound. Many of the changes will take place over the weekend of March 30/31st. Be sure to check for updates when planning your trips next week. The Urbanist compiled a complete list of all the changes across the region that we’ve linked here; be sure to check it out!
Speaking of changes, Pierce Transit is launching their new Stream service between Spanaway and Tacoma Dome Station! Click here for more information.
In case you missed it, Tapping In: ORCA Monthly News is now available online. Visit https://info.myorca.com/about-orca/news/ for easy access.
March Madness, ORCA Style
We all know that college basketball reigns supreme in March, but if transit is more your thing, then we have just the tournament for you. ORCA Madness is back, and the 2024 version is a competition between Puget Sound transit experiences. The semifinals are underway, with voting open until noon, April 1st. Stay tuned to our social media channels to see what makes it to the finals!
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