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New ORCA System Launches May 16

Starting Monday, May 16, hundreds of thousands of ORCA transit customers across the Puget Sound region will have access to a new website, smartphone app, and real-time value loading for their ORCA cards. Over the coming months, new ORCA card readers and vending machines will be installed at transit locations throughout the region.

All current ORCA cards, including youth, senior, ORCA LIFT and reduced fare cards, will continue to work with the new system. ORCA customers do not need to get a new card.

Over the weekend, ORCA balances will be transferred to the new system, but not full account information. Beginning May 16 and in the coming weeks, customers who use the autoload function on their account – approximately 175,000 people – can begin to set up a new account and new autoloads to ensure funds are available on their card.

The current ORCA website will be permanently shut down at 11:59 p.m. tonight, Thursday, May 12, and will transition to the new site on May 16. Customers can still add cash to their cards at vending machines, customer service locations and participating retailers.

In order to transition to the new ORCA system, fares will not be collected between 3 a.m. Saturday, May 14, and 2:59 a.m. Monday, May 16, on most area transit systems.

Washington State Ferry customers who walk on or are a passenger in a vehicle using an ORCA card to board ferries during the no-fares-collection weekend will not be charged but will need to show their ORCA card to attendants. Vehicle-driver fares will be required, and an alternate form of payment will be needed at the toll booths.

ORCA users are encouraged to create an account on the new website, myORCA.com, beginning May 16, but a new account is not required to access the system.

During the following weeks, transit customers may experience disruptions when paying fares while ORCA equipment or account access upgrades are in process. The overall effort spans more than 6,000 pieces of equipment and involves transferring more than 5 million ORCA customer accounts to the new system.

New ORCA features include:

  • New ORCA website. myORCA.com will feature real-time card loading, mobile phone accessibility, more payment options and the ability to manage multiple cards. This new site replaces the current ORCAcard.com site.
  • Smartphone app. Customers can manage their ORCA account from any location 24/7 and with the same functionality available on the new website. The app will be available on Apple’s app store and the Google Play store.
  • Business account website. www.myORCA.com will replace www.orcacard.biz as the place where employers manage their ORCA programs.

Single-ride and pass prices remain the same. Reduced fare programs will also still be available. Visit myORCA.com to learn more.

Later in 2022 and 2023, ORCA will be adding more stores to its retail network and introducing a smartphone tap-to-pay option. After these features are delivered, the ORCA agencies will engage with customers to identify improvements and new features to add in the coming years.

This effort marks the start of ongoing improvements to the ORCA system over the next several years. Visit myORCA.com to learn more about upcoming improvements, to create your account starting May 16 and sign up for project updates.

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Trip Planner Help

Trip Planner Tips - Entering Locations

To create a trip plan you need to enter both a starting location (origin) and an ending location (destination). For information about stops, schedules, or service at a specific location, you only need to enter one location.

The Trip Planner recognizes most street intersections and addresses as well as many landmarks in Pierce, King, and Snohomish Counties. If what you entered is not immediately recognized, the Trip Planner will offer you a list of options. You can choose one of the options, but if your intended location is not there, select the "Revise Original Entries" link to return to the entry page and change the entries you have already made.

Addresses

  • You don't need to type in the city along with the address. The Trip Planner shows the possible city names as options if needed. City names are based on zip codes.
  • You don't need to type in St., Street, Ave., or Avenue, or similar street types. The Trip Planner shows the possible alternatives as options if needed. (Example: type 110 Jones instead of 110 Jones Boulevard.)
  • You don't need to type in the directional designations for streets, but if a direction name is part of a street name, you should include it. (Example: type 1000 Main instead of 1000 S Main. But type 1000 West Viewmont for 1000 West Viewmont Way W.)
  • Some streets and addresses are unknown to the Trip Planner. You may need to enter another nearby location, such as an intersection or a landmark.
  • You should not enter the suite number or apartment number.  Just the house number and street name (Example: type in 401 Broadway instead of 401 Broadway Avenue Suite 800).

Intersections

  • The "&" symbol is the only character used between two street names to show an intersection. (Examples: 1st & B, James & Madison)
  • You don't need to type in the city. The Trip Planner shows the possible city names as options if needed. City names are based on zip codes.
  • You don't need to type in St., Street, Ave., or Avenue, or similar street types. The Trip Planner shows the possible alternatives as options if needed. (Example: type Conifer & Jones instead of Conifer Circle & Jones Boulevard.)
  • You don't need to type in the directional designations for streets, but if a direction name is part of a street name, you should include it. (Example: type 3rd & Main instead of 3rd S & S Main. But type 34th & West Viewmont for 34th W & West Viewmont Way W.)
  • Some streets are unknown to the Trip Planner. You may need to enter another nearby intersection or a landmark.

Landmarks

Government Sites: Pierce County Health Dept, Pierce Co Sheriffs Office, Tacoma City Hall

Major Commercial Sites: Tacoma Mall, Sheraton Hotel

Transportation Facilities: Sea-Tac Airport, Greyhound Bus Depot

Schools & Colleges: Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma Community College

Sports & Leisure: Cheney Stadium, Pt Defiance Zoo

Medical Facilities: Group Health, Tacoma General Hospital


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