This past weekend, Seattleites were able to ride the bus, ferry, and light rail without tapping their ORCA card. The reason for this no-fare weekend is the arrival of the ORCA system’s long-awaited upgrade. After a survey of more than 2,000 transit riders, several of the most-requested changes debuted on Monday.
Yep: the ORCA app is finally here! You can now use the new smartphone app and website to instantly load money to your ORCA card. In a much-needed change from the previous system, you will be able to use the funds on your card immediately after adding them.
The old ORCA card will also be getting a new, modern makeover. Although the old blue cards will still work, eventually retailers will only be selling the new black versions. The price of the ORCA cards will be lowered by $2 as well.
What do you need to do? There’s no need to rush out and buy the new black ORCA card (although if you need a new card, it is a sleek upgrade). However, you do need to create a new account on myorca.com and register your current card. We also suggest downloading the new app to make it easier to manage your ORCA card’s balance on-the-go. Find more information here.
Hopefully in a few months you will also be able to simply tap your smartphone to pay, negating the need to dig in your wallet for your ORCA card. That update hasn’t been rolled out yet, though. For now, at least, we’re grateful for the mobile app!