Free & Reduced Fares

What are free and reduced fares in Pierce County?

Did you know that there are options for free and reduced fares for those who qualify? 

Free and reduced fares in Pierce County are programs that offer reduced rates or free transit services for low-income households, senior citizens, people with disabilities, youth and state employees. Simply put, they're programs that help make transportation more affordable and accessible for those who need it most.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Benefits of free and reduced fares
  • Available free and reduced fare programs in Pierce County 
  • FAQ

BENEFITS OF FREE AND REDUCED FARES

FREE REDUCED FARES  - BENEFITS

Cost savings for low-income households

One of the greatest benefits of free or reduced public transportation fares is the cost savings it provides for low-income households. People can save money on gas, insurance and maintenance costs by eliminating the need for expensive car ownership.

This frees up more money for other essential expenses, like groceries, healthcare and housing. With public transportation, everyone can access affordable and reliable transportation options, regardless of their income level.

Increased access to education and job opportunities

Whether it's commuting to college or university, attending job interviews, or going to work, public transportation provides a reliable, convenient and affordable way to get there. This means that more people can access higher education, better jobs and a better quality of life! It also helps to create a more skilled and competitive workforce in the area.

Reduced traffic congestion and environmental impact

Public transportation is not only great for individuals but also for the community as a whole. Reducing the number of cars on the road can ease traffic congestion and decrease air pollution. Fewer cars on the road means less time sitting in traffic, less fuel consumption, and fewer carbon emissions. This contributes to a cleaner and more sustainable environment for future generations to come.

Social and community benefits

Public transportation is a great equalizer, giving everyone the opportunity to be a part of the community, no matter their background or financial situation. It's not just a way to get from point A to point B, but a way to build stronger, more vibrant communities.

AVAILABLE FREE AND REDUCED FARE PROGRAMS IN PIERCE COUNTY

Pierce Transit Regional Reduced Fare Program

The Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP) includes discounts for seniors, individuals with a disability and Medicare Card holders.

ORCA LIFT Program

ORCA LIFT is a transit card that allows riders to pay a reduced bus fare because their household income qualifies based on guidelines established using the federal poverty level. It provides a 50% discount on adult fares for participating transit agencies, including Pierce Transit and Sound Transit.

Youth ORCA Program

Youth can now ride free on all participating transit services and agencies across the Puget Sound, including Pierce Transit, Sound Transit, and much more! See the list of participating agencies here.

Employer programs and state employees

Are you a state employee? State employees who work in Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties can commute by bus or train for free. If you are not served by transit, join a vanpool and receive a $50 monthly subsidy to apply to your vanpool fare. 

You have a few great options:

  • ORCA Card: Ride all local transit systems for free, including Pierce Transit, Sound Transit, King County Metro, Kitsap Transit, Community Transit, Everett Transit, Kitsap Foot Ferries and Fast Ferries, and Seattle Streetcar.
  • Vanpool Subsidy: Receive a $50 monthly vanpool subsidy. Find a vanpool at RideshareOnline.com.
  • Emergency Ride Home: If your employer partners with Pierce Transit and you use a sustainable commute option to get to work, you may be eligible for a free taxi, Uber or Lyft ride home in case of an emergency. You can visit the Emergency Ride Home page for more information or contact your Employee Transportation Coordinator.  
  • Human Service Agency Tickets and Passes: Certified Human Services Agencies (HSAs) may purchase paper One Ride Tickets and paper All Day Passes. Certified HSAs that are tax-exempt under IRS subsection 501(c)(3) may qualify for a 50% discount. For more information or to see if your agency qualifies, call 253.581.8000, option 2, then 4.