Archive for June, 2016

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and be a regular transit user; congratulations! We’ll make sure you know all the tips and tricks to your ORCA card so you’re tapping like a pro on your first go.

What is an ORCA card? ORCA stands for ‘One Regional Card for All’. It is a card that can be used to pay your fare on all regional modes of transit; bus, ferry, rail, and train. The ORCA card will automatically keep track of different fares and your transfers, and will allow you to transfer seamlessly between agencies.

Where to get an ORCA card:

For a standard adult ORCA card there are multiple options; you can get your card by mail, online or in person. The card cost is $5.

Youth cards are also $5 and may be obtained by mail or in person (see below on where to pick up a youth card in person) with proof of age. Youth cards provide riders age 6-18 with reduced fare. More info on youth cards can be found here (information about other types of reduced-fare cards is below).

By mail: Print and complete the form and mail it in with a check or money order to the following address:

ORCA Regional Mail Center
KSC TR-0108
201 S Jackson St
Seattle WA 98104-3856

Online: By visiting you can order an adult card online. It is recommended that you create an account to register your card, but if you’d like to order an unregistered card you can do that as well. Cards will be sent out five to seven business days after the purchase date.

Why register an ORCA card?

To add insurance to your commute, consider registering your ORCA card. This way, if your card is lost or stolen you can freeze the account and have the remaining balance transferred to your new card. Register your ORCA card here.

In Person:

To get any type of ORCA card you may visit one of the transit agency offices or an ORCA To-Go event, which are mobile sales events. For a link to upcoming ORCA To-Go events click here. King County locations are open the first and last four business days of each month at the following locations:

King Street Center
201 S. Jackson St., Seattle

Monday – Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Closed on holidays
-All card types available

Westlake Customer Stop
Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, Seattle
Westlake Station (west end on the Mezzanine near Macy’s)

-Senior and Adult cards only

Standard adult cards may also be obtained at various retailers throughout King County. For a complete list of retailers click here.

Retailers in Bellevue:

QFC 1510 145th PL SE Mon-Sun: 10 am to 7 pm

QFC 3550 128th SE Ave Mon-Sun: 9 am to 9 pm

QFC 10116 NE 8th St Mon-Sun: 10 am to 7 pm

QFC 15600 NE 8th St Bldg K-1 Mon-Sun: 7:30 am to 8 pm

Safeway 300 Bellevue Way NE Mon-Sun: 9 am to 9 pm

Reduced fare ORCA cards:

If you are a senior, have a disability, or are a low-income resident you may be eligible for a reduced fare ORCA cards. These cards cost $3 dollars each. To find out more about eligibility requirements for senior and disabled cards follow this link and look under the ‘Proof of Age’ header. To learn more about low-income ORCA Lift cards and eligibility requirements follow this link or call (206) 553-3000 or (800) 756-5437.

Senior and disabled cards must be obtained in person at the transit agency offices listed above with the proper eligibility documents. ORCA Lift must be obtained in person at the transit agency offices, one of the additional enrollment locations, or at select ORCA To-Go events. Be aware that the hours of operation for enrollment locations are not standardized. However, once obtained the ORCA Lift card is valid for two years, regardless of an increase in income.

For further information on accessibility read our blog.

How to load your ORCA card:

When purchasing your ORCA card, you’ll have to decide how you’d like to pay your fare. If you’re a regular rider, a regional pass may be your best option. This will provide you with unlimited rides at your selected fare rate for a pre-determined time period. Alternatively, using the E-purse will allow you to pay as you go and only for what you use. It is also possible to set up a monthly autoload so that you’re never without your fare. Typically, value will be added at the same time as your purchase of the card. Value added online, by mail, or by phone takes 24-48 hours to go out to the ORCA card readers. After that time, tap on the reader, and the value is added. The tap is required to activate the add value transaction. Tap within 60 days to activate your value.

For more information about fares follow this link. For general fare info click here, and for peak and off-peak bus fare info click here.

Some examples of pass types are listed below.

  • A regional pass, like a monthly PugetPass.
  • A regional day pass. Good for unlimited rides starting at first use through 3 a.m. the next day. Additional fare is required for one-way fares above $3.50 (adult) or $1.75 (senior/disabled).
  • An agency-specific pass, like Kitsap Transit or Washington State Ferries monthly pass.
  • E-purse, short for electronic purse, to use like cash to pay your fare. Store from $5 to $300 E-purse value on your ORCA card.
  • A combination of pass and E-purse. Add E-purse to cover any additional fares beyond your monthly pass.

How to reload an ORCA card:

Once you have our ORCA card, it can be used again and again by reloading it. You can do this online, by mail, with the help of ORCA Customer Service, or at participating retailers by following the above guidance; or by ticket vending machine. For a list of ticket vending machine locations click here.

TranBen Vouchers:

At some point you may receive a TranBen Voucher. This is a voucher that acts like a check to put value onto your ORCA card. You can redeem these at participating retailers listed here, at a customer service office (listed above) or by mail to the address listed above along with an Add Value Form.

For even more info:

All this information and more can be found at, where all FAQs are answered, and here. As always, Choose Your Way Bellevue is here to answer any additional questions. Send us an email at Or if you prefer, contact ORCA or the relevant transit agency.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer Paige 

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 12:25 AM | by Paige Anderson | Comments (1)

Construction has begun on East Link’s downtown Bellevue Tunnel. Starting June 13th, contractors will close a portion of 110th Ave. NE to replace the soil under the roadway. The current substrate consists of loose fill which it is not adequate for the tunneling operation. The loose substrate will be replaced with a concrete like material and the roadway will be restored, allowing full access during tunnel construction.

Phase one of the closure will last approximately five weeks (June 13th to late July).

110th closure Phase 1

The initial closure will block all lanes in both directions of 110th Ave. NE from NE 6th St. to the loading dock of City Center Plaza. The 110th Ave. entrance to City Center Plaza will be closed during this phase of construction, but there will be limited access via the loading dock. Please contact property management for more details. Both the City Hall visitor entrance and the Skyline garage will continue to be accessible via 110th Ave. NE, but drivers will have to access it from the south.  Vehicle access to Skyline Tower, City Center Plaza and Bellevue City Hall will be restricted to a right turn only from westbound NE 4th St.. The sidewalk on the western side of  110th Ave. NE between NE 4th St. and NE 6th St. will be closed. The sidewalk on the east side will remain open.

 Phase two of the closure will continue for an additional five weeks (Late July-early September).

110th closure Phase 2

During phase two, the western-most lane will be reopened to southbound traffic. At this point, vehicles traveling southbound on 110th Ave. NE will have access to the City Center Plaza and Skyline Tower garages, but vehicles exiting the garages must exit southbound on 110th Ave. NE.

Although the construction site is relatively small, traffic impacts are expected to spread beyond the immediate area. Diversion is expected on NE 8th St., NE 4th St. and NE 2nd St. as well as 112th Ave. NE and 108th Ave. NE.

Customer and visitor access to Bellevue City Hall remains available from northbound 110th Ave. NE and westbound from NE 6th St.

 Transit access to the Bellevue Transit Center will not be affected and all bus service will continue as scheduled.

Choose Your Way Bellevue wants to help you find other transportation options.

  • Contact us for custom commute plans and carpool/vanpool matching.
  • During the 110thAve. NE closure, Choose Your Way Bellevue is offering new transit riders* ORCA cards preloaded with a $10 E-purse, to get you started.
  • King County Metro VanPool is offering five days of free rides in operating vanpool and vanshare commuter vans.
  • Contact info@cywb.orgfor more information on the ORCA and VanPool promotions.


To help you get through construction, we are inviting new transit riders* to apply for a preloaded $10 ORCA card (while supplies last) or five free rides in a KC Metro commuter van. Whether you want to commute to the office, ride to the Bellevue Collection for shopping and dining, bus to Seattle for a Mariners game, or if you want to try the Sound Transit 560 or light rail to the airport, we have your first trips covered.

We will review your application, and if approved, will mail you an ORCA card within seven business days.


  • *A new transit user is anyone who has not used transit more than three times in the past three months.
  • Participants who have previously received an ORCA card from Choose Your Way Bellevue are not eligible for this promotion.
  • If you are already taking advantage of your employer’s ORCA benefit, you are not eligible for this promotion.
  • For more details contact Choose Your Way Bellevue, please email
  • Limit one per person and one per email address.

Our team is also available to help you plan a transit trip through our online commute inquiry form.

 How it works

  • Submit a request for a preloaded $10 ORCA while the promotion is available here.
  • The ORCA cards will be mailed out by Choose Your Way Bellevue staff weekly.
  • Limit one per person.
  • Limit one per email address.
  • For the KC Metro commuter van promotion find a van with a seat or for tips on finding a van, contact Once you find a van complete this form.
Friday, June 3rd, 2016 9:38 PM | by Jason Hampton | Comments (1)

When you decide to embrace non-drive-alone modes it’s a win all around. Not only do you get great incentives and rewards, you get the satisfaction of making a real difference for your community, and we get to help you sustain it. Make sure you know about all the great rewards available to you!

Image thanks to:

Image thanks to:

CYWB Calendar: Sign up or log in to Choose Your Way Bellevue to start tracking your trips on an online calendar. By logging your trips online, you’ll be able to see how awesome you are at commuting without driving alone. There are always promotions throughout the year, as well as on-going monthly incentives.
25 Win $25: Each month 25 commuters who log at least eight days of non-drive-alone travel are entered to win either a $25 REI gift card or a $25 TranBen voucher to refill your ORCA card. A TranBen voucher is a coupon with value good for bus fares.
Mover of the Month: Each month one trip logger who logs eight or more days of non-drive-alone travel is drawn to be featured as the Mover of the Month in the Choose Your Way Bellevue Newsletter. We’ll share their commute story and they’ll receive a $100 gift card.
Perks: Each month all trip loggers who have eight or more days of non-drive-alone travel logged will be eligible for our monthly Perk. Perks are discounts or free items from local restaurants, services or businesses!

No matter if you walk, bike, bus, carpool, vanpool, take the train, unicycle, skate, or teleport to work, there’s more to gain beyond savings and it can be earned all through Choose Your Way Bellevue.

Happy commuting!

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 5:13 PM | by Paige Anderson | Add a Comment




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