The Transportation Access Programs Newsletter

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Quick bites of our Transportation Access Programs (TAP) stories below! 

  • The SHA Transit Pass and Recovery Card have both been extended!
  • The Youth Ambassadors Program kicked off in November
  • SDOT Director Greg Spotts joined us on the Downtown Circulator
  • Winter = Snow! Keep up to date with your bus's snow routes
  • Transportation Choices Coalition wants to hear from youth riders
  • Blue and green ORCA cards can no longer be reloaded at Safeways

Stories of the Month

The SHA Transit Pass is now extended until December 31st, 2026

Our Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) Transit Pass Program is extended! We work with Seattle Housing Authority to distribute fully subsidized ORCA cards to eligible residents of 24 SHA properties. Since its inception, we’ve passed out SHA ORCA cards to over 2,000 low-income residents. We heard how popular this program was to participants and in response have now extended card benefits until December 31st, 2026. We’ve heard from participants that these cards have been instrumental in accessing points of daily life, especially attending medical appointments and seeing friends and family. Cardholders can continue to tap their SHA ORCA cards to take transit at no cost. We invite continuing participants to fill out an intake form to help us better understand how this card has benefitted you.    

Interested and eligible parties can continue to apply for the program by filling out our interest form.  

Stay tuned for more exciting news about this program by keeping an eye on our SHA webpage! 

The Recovery Card Program is now extended to August 31, 2023

Since its launch in summer 2021, the program has supported over 2250 food service and grocery workers of small businesses in the Chinatown-International District, Pioneer Square, Othello, and Rainier Beach. Program participants receive temporary, fully subsidized ORCA Recovery cards, allowing them to take transit at no cost. ORCA Recovery cards were originally set to expire at the end of this year but can now be used for another eight months through August 31, 2023! Eligible workers can continue to apply for the program by filling out an online form.

Participants have told us that the cards have been instrumental in their daily lives, from commuting to work, visiting friends and family, patronizing restaurants and businesses, and just exploring the Puget Sound area. SDOT is proud to continue supporting small Seattle businesses and essential workers. If you are an employee of a small business and would like to receive emails related to future SDOT efforts to support Seattle workers, please fill out our employee outreach form. Small business owners and managers can join our small business outreach list. 

For more information on the Recovery Card Program, eligibility, and application process, please visit our Recovery Card Program webpage. 

Program Updates

Welcome, new Youth Ambassadors! 

Our annual Youth Ambassadors Program has officially kicked off! We welcomed 11 high school students in our 2022 cohort. We’re excited to exchange knowledge and mobilize youth to become transit ambassadors in their community. This year, well be working on soft skills useful for the workplace and discussing a variety of contemporary issues and topics, including climate justice and transportation equity, cumulating with a student-led project centering transit and community. Stay tuned for more updates on what our Ambassadors get up to! 

Connecting folks to service providers via the Downtown Circulator

Transportation Access Programs (TAP) partners with Hopelink to run the Downtown Circulator, a free shuttle connecting folks in need of transportation services with downtown service providers. Since our revamping of the shuttle in August, we’ve seen a small but steady increase in ridership that we project to continue as the weather turns cold and dreary.  

Recently, new SDOT director Greg Spotts joined the TAP team and the Seattle Indian Health Board for a full-circuit ride-along to get a better idea of the transportation challenges facing our most vulnerable neighbors. Director Spotts saw firsthand the need for a service like the Circulator and the difference it could make for someone seeking services. 

To get the word out, we created special branded lanyards promoting the Circulator! Lanyards are printed with a phone number (206-753-4801) that riders can text “inform” to receive more information. If you or your organization would like lanyards, please email us at 

For a full list of Circulator stops and service providers it connects to, please visit our Downtown Circulator webpage.

SDOT Director Greg Spotts sitting in the Downtown Circulator with part of the Transportation Access Programs team and Indian Health Board.

SDOT Director Greg Spotts joined part of the TAP team and Seattle Indian Health Board on a ride-along on the Downtown Circulator

Partner Updates

Keep up to date with your transit route’s snow routes

These days, winter in Seattle means snow! When the roads get slick and snow-covered some bus routes may temporarily change to avoid dangerous downhills and tricky intersections. Keep your eyes on King County Metro’s snow routes to see if your journey is affected. 

Transportation Choices Coalition wants to hear from youth riders 

Interested in shaping your and your community’s transportation future? Make your voice heard through the Transportation Choices Coalition (TCC)! TCC is hosting a set of focus groups with youth 18 and under to learn how they can better support young riders. All selected focus group participants will receive a $50 Amazon gift card for their time. Register online if you are interested in signing up for a focus group or learning more about the effort! 

Blue and green ORCA cards can no longer be reloaded at Safeways 

Heads up! Safeway and Albertsons stores will no longer reload blue ORCA cards or green RRFP ORCA cards. All ORCA cards can still be reloaded online, on the app, at other participating retailers, ticketing vending machines, and in-person or over the phone with King County Metro’s customer service. Read the full announcement on the ORCA website.