I was paying $14 a month for my Orca card at my magazine job. That’s a solid deal; I was able to take the bus or light rail any time I wanted without having to worry about putting more money on the card.
Otherwise, you have to regularly add fare; most light rail rides are between $2.35 and $2.50— and it costs $3.00 to get from Capitol Hill to the airport. (It costs $5.00 up front to get a card.) That would have worked out to about $90 a month to take light rail to and from work every day.
The bus costs $2.50.
Here’s the news: My Orca card is free at my new city job.
I panicked for a moment when I went to the information counter at Muni Tower to pick up my card on my second day of work; the employee form specified that Orca cards were for work trips.
But a follow-up sentence indicated that you could also use it for “incidental” personal use after hours too.
Urbanist Seattle City Council member Rob Johnson is pushing to make Orca cards free for public school students.