ORCA Card, Walk, Bike and Parking
SPS shared that the transportation challenges in our district remain. That means this Fall 22-23, some SPS bus routes will not be in effect for the start of school. Families of routes that will not be in service will receive a notification before Sept 7. This year, we have two transportation vendors that will provide services for SPS students—First Student and Zum. Both are outside companies that provide school buses and transportation services. Seattle Public Schools does not own or operate school buses. Read more on the district Transportation post.
Good News! Mercer Middle School Students Keep Your Current ORCA Card!
- Your current ORCA card will become your NEW Free Youth Transit Pass!
- Students, use your card during the summer and use for the upcoming 22-23 school year!
- Ignore the expiration date (8/31/22) on the back.
- Do not throw away your Orca Card. If you lose your card, or it gets damaged email your request to: TransORCA@seattleschools.org.
For Students who chose to not pick up an ORCA card during this school year, pick up a ORCA Card in September, when the new school year begins. You will not be able to order an ORCA card over the summer. Only replacement requests will be considered. Unclaimed ORCA Cards were returned to the district. Questions? Email TransORCA@seattleschools.org and visit the SPS ORCA Card Information.
Read more about the Free Youth Transit Pass on the King County website.
Walk, Bike, and Roll to School
Why walk, bike, and roll?
- For our earth! Transportation is Seattle’s largest source of climate emissions.
- When we drive less, emissions go down in a big way.
- For your health! Students who walk and bike get exercise built into their daily routine.
- Studies even show that students arrive at school more attentive and ready to learn.
- For your school! School pick-up and drop-off can be hectic with lots of idling cars in the same space.
- Walking, biking, and rolling reduces that congestion around schools and makes the air cleaner to breathe.
- For fun! Walking, biking, and rolling on your own or with friends can connect neighbors to each other, and it’s just a fun way to be outside and part of the neighborhood.
Check out the new district Walk, Bike, and Roll to School information page!
Seattle Public Schools provides free transportation for students who live within their school attendance area but outside the school’s walk zone.
If a student is placed in a program, such as deaf and hard of hearing services, that is not available in your neighborhood (attendance) area school, transportation is usually provided.
Transportation Eligibility Guidelines
- Elementary and K-8 schools have a 1-mile walk boundary. Eligible students are provided service primarily on yellow school buses.
- Middle schools have a 2-mile walk boundary. Service is either by yellow school bus or ORCA card for the Metro.
- High schools have a 2-mile walk boundary. Service is provided with an ORCA card.
Safe Routes to School
Biking and walking are great ways to get to school. Use the City of Seattle interactive map to find safe walking and biking routes to your school.
Walk, Bike, and Roll to School
Walking, biking, and rolling to school supports exercise, reduces pollution, and connects neighbors. Studies even show students arrive at school more attentive and ready to learn. Visit this page for resources to support you in walking, biking, and rolling to school.
Bus routes are sometimes delayed due to traffic, weather, construction, or other situations.
If your bus is late, we recommend your student stay at the bus stop. Please create a plan and discuss with your student what to do if their bus is late.