On October 7, passengers can begin using their ORCA transit-fare cards to ride the Seattle Monorail. This comes about 5 years after the Seattle City Council first requested a study of integrating the Monorail fare payment into the ORCA system.
As a result of incorporating the ORCA Card system, the Monorail fares have been restructured:
- $1.50 for youth one-way (Ages 6-18)
- $3.00 for adult one-way (Ages 19-64)
- $1.50 for reduced rate one-way (Seniors 65+, people with disabilities, Medicare card holders, and U.S. Military with ID)
- $60 for the adult monthly pass
- $30 for the reduced monthly pass
- Children 5 and under ride free
- Roundtrip fares remain at twice the price of a one-way fare
The 1.2-mile Seattle Monorail line opened March 24, 1962 just before the Seattle World Fair. Connecting Seattle Center to Westlake, it carried about 2 million riders in 2018, down from 2.3 million in 2017. In comparison, the First Hill and South Lake Union streetcars combined to carry about 1.7 million riders in 2018.
The Monorail could see an uptick in riders come 2021 as the new Seattle Center Arena is set to open with the arrival of NHL Seattle among other events. Station renovations are scheduled to be completed prior to the opening of the arena. Until then, cashiers at the stations will have portable ORCA Card readers.