Traffic throughout the Puget Sound region has increased significantly. According to an October 2017 article in Geek Wire, last year Seattle ranked No. 6 in terms of average daily commute. Workers spent an average of 54.22 minutes commuting to and from work in Seattle each day. Not to mention gas prices constantly on the rise and the expense of vehicle maintenance–it’s no wonder commuting can be stressful! So why not take advantage of the ways King County’s Employee Transportation Program (ETP) can take the pressure off you.
Commute to work and throughout the region for free
No matter what part of the region you come from, your employee ID/ORCA card allows you to ride free on all regular bus and train services provided by Metro Transit, Sound Transit, Community Transit, Pierce Transit, Kitsap Transit, and Everett Transit.
Don’t worry if you live across the water. Your ID/ORCA card allows you to ride free on Kitsap Transit Foot Ferries (serving Port Orchard-Bremerton and Annapolis-Bremerton) and the Fast Ferry between Bremerton and Seattle.
You can also enjoy a quick ride on the Water Taxi like Senior HR Business Partner, Jennifer Caymol. “I love taking the Water Taxi. My commute to work is less stressful and I save a ton of money on gas!” Caymol said.
Please note: Your King County employee ID/ORCA card does not cover rides on Washington State Ferries (WSF).
Enjoy RideShare Programs at a discount
Need to zip around town? RideSharing programs like Zipcar, car2go and ReachNow offer a variety of vehicles parked around the city that you can reserve online or on your smartphone. Reservations and costs include gas, insurance and mileage. King County employees can sign up for Zipcar for free ($35 savings), access membership for a year at a reduced rate (50% off), and can have a FREE hour of driving.
Check out these additional incentives
If you’re a King County employee who is eligible to receive transportation benefits, your King County employee ID/ORCA card covers up to $65 per month toward your fare for King County Metro Transit, Community Transit, Pierce Transit, or Kitsap Transit vanpools. RideshareOnline.com helps you find a nearby vanpool or carpool for free.
Do you commute to work outside of Downtown Seattle? The King County Employee Transportation Program has a special incentive program for county employees who carpool, bike, or walk to worksites outside downtown Seattle. Employees must work outside downtown Seattle and must carpool, bike, or walk at least 51 percent of the days they travel to work AND 51 percent of the miles they travel to work in a month to qualify for receiving incentives.
Life happens, Home Free Guarantee can help
King County Employees who come to work via bus, rail, streetcar, carpool, vanpool, biking, or walking are eligible for eight free taxi rides home each year in cases of personal emergency or unexpected requests to work overtime. The Home Free Guarantee is available to all King County employees who are eligible for transportation benefits.
Visit the ETP Website for more information on these and other ways to save time, money and stress on your daily commute!
Can our employee transportation benefit be expanded to cover passenger only fare on the Washington State Ferries as well? Many of us live “across the water” for more affordable housing options. (The median cost of a house in Kitsap County is HALF of King County.) The blog post states, “Don’t worry if you live across the water. Your ID/ORCA card allows you to ride free on Kitsap Transit Foot Ferries… and the Fast Ferry between Bremerton and Seattle”, but that is a very limited option. It only runs once per hour three times each way, carries less than 120 people on each trip, is constantly overbooked forcing riders to either wait in line for 40 minutes to get a seat or get bumped to the state ferry, and serves only a small portion of Kitsap County. Including the walk on fare for the state ferry would provide a lot more access to affordable housing and a high quality of life for King County employees. Please consider making this change.
Hello. I am happy to forward your question to the ETP, or you can connect with them via ETP@kingcounty.gov