ORCA bus and ferry cards get a refresh, fare-free weekend

ORCA, the pass system that transit riders use to pay fares on buses and ferries around Puget Sound, is getting a refresh.

The new system will launch on Monday, with a new website and smartphone app, and as part of the transition, transit agencies in the region won’t collect fares over the weekend, according to an announcement from transit officials.

The fare-free weekend runs from 3 a.m. Saturday to 2:29 a.m. Monday, the Kitsap Sun reported.

Current card holders won’t lose any funds that have been loaded into their accounts during the transition and won’t need to get a new card. But they will want to register their card under a new account at myORCA.com starting on Monday. Existing autoload configurations will expire, so users will need to set those links up again.

New, black ORCA cards will become available, but the blue cards transit riders have currently will continue to work under the new system.

ORCA, which stands for “One Regional Card for All,” can be used on transit throughout the region, including Washington State Ferries, King County Metro and other systems. There are more than 5 million ORCA customer accounts regionwide.