The University of Washington: Facilities Services

U-PASS Powered by ORCA FAQ page1

New Husky Cards with Smart Chips

Click on the questions to reveal the answers

What is ORCA?

ORCA stands for One Regional Card for All. It is the regional transit fare payment system.

Why is the U-PASS program transitioning to ORCA?

All transit pass programs in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties, including U-PASS, are required to transition to using the ORCA system for fare payment.

When will the U-PASS transition to ORCA?

Faculty and staff will transition on July 1, 2011.

Students will transition at the start of fall quarter 2011.

Why is a smart chip being added to my Husky Card?

The smart chip is necessary for transitioning to the U-PASS powered by ORCA. All transit pass programs in the region, including the U-PASS program, are required to transition to utilizing the ORCA system for fare payment.

What is the smart chip?

The smart chip is a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip within the Husky Card that stores the U-PASS transit benefit and interacts with the ORCA system. The smart chip is programmed to only work with the ORCA system.

Will my new Husky Card look different than my current card?

Yes. The cards have been redesigned, which will help you differentiate between your old and new Husky Cards. Additionally, all new cards will have a photo.

Is the new Husky Card different from the standard ORCA Card?

Yes. The new Husky Card is not a standard ORCA card. In order to provide the convenience of a single-card to all campus services, UW decided to include the smart chip inside your Husky ID Card instead of issuing standard ORCA cards. The transit portion of your U-PASS now uses the ORCA system to process payment for transit, but does not provide access to the full range of ORCA program features.

To purchase a standard ORCA Card and take advantage of the E-purse, card registration, Autoload or other ORCA program features, please go to

Do I get a new Husky Card?

Faculty and staff U-PASS members who are Husky Card eligible, work at UW Seattle and UW Medical Center and have a photo on file with the Husky Card Office by May 13 will receive a new, pre-printed Husky Card through their Payroll Coordinators through the June 10 payroll.

UW Seattle students who are not graduating in June or August 2011 will pick up their new Husky Cards on campus at Husky Card distribution events held May 23 through June 7. For a schedule of distribution events go the Husky Card website shown below and look for Dubs.

Those not receiving a pre-printed Husky Card can visit the Husky Card Office starting June 1 to obtain a new Husky Card.

For more information, visit

When will my new Husky Card be available?

Faculty and Staff who are eligible for a pre-printed new Husky Card will receive their cards through their Payroll Coordinators starting June 10.

Students eligible for a pre-printed new Husky Card will receive their cards at card pick up events between May 23 and June 7.

Can I get a new Husky Card without my picture on it?

No. Photos are required for all Husky Cards. Your picture will help protect your card from improper use if it is lost or stolen.

When can I use my new Husky Card for parking and other campus services?

Faculty and Staff receiving pre-printed cards: Faculty and Staff receiving new pre-printed Husky Cards will have the opportunity to self-activate their card for campus services that utilizes the card’s magnetic stripe June 10-24. Husky Cards that are not self-activated by June 24 will be automatically activated the evening of June 24.

Students receiving pre-printed cards: Student Husky Cards will be activated for campus services that utilize the card’s magnetic stripe at time of pick up.

All other Faculty/Staff and Students: Husky Cards issued by the Husky Card office will be activated for campus services that utilize the card’s magnetic stripe at time of issuance at an ID card office.

All Husky Card Account services and CAAMS door access will update within the hour. IMA and Library services will update overnight.

When will my new U-PASS powered by ORCA be activated?

If you purchased a U-PASS, your new U-PASS powered by ORCA will be active June 27th. You will have four days to test your new U-PASS before your U-PASS sticker expires on June 30.

Students will use the new U-PASS powered by ORCA by the start of fall quarter 2011. Students will continue to use their spring U-PASS sticker on their old Husky Card until it expires on June 30. Students who participate in U-PASS during summer quarter will receive a summer U-PASS sticker and place it on the back of their new Husky Card.

I did not receive a new Husky Card, what should I do?

Please contact the Husky Card Account & ID Center by emailing or calling (206) 543-7222.

Can I put a hole in my card so I can attach it to a lanyard?

No. Punching a hole in the card may damage the smart chip or antenna. The Husky Card Account & ID Center has merchandise available to allow for carrying your Husky Card on a lanyard without damaging it. For more information, click here.

How can I protect the smart chip in my card?

The smart chip is like a small computer embedded inside your card. Do not bend, cut, squash, wash or otherwise damage your card.

What should I do with my old Husky Card after my new Husky Card has been activated?

U-PASS users will need to keep their old Husky Card for U-PASS transit access until their U-PASS sticker expires in June 30.

Students will place their summer quarter U-PASS sticker on the back of their new Husky Card. Place sticker over the logos on the top portion of the back of the card.

Cards no longer in use should be destroyed.

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