The University of Washington: Facilities Services

U-PASS Powered by ORCA FAQ page2

Using your New Husky Card and U-PASS powered by ORCA

Click on the questions to reveal the answers

Where can I use my new Husky Card?

You can use it at the campus locations your previous Husky Card was accepted. Learn more on the Husky Card Account webpage.

Will the smart chip in the Husky Card be used for parking and other campus services?

No. The magnetic stripe will continue to be used for campus services, including parking.

How will I know if I have purchased a U-PASS?

You can check whether you have purchased a U-PASS by visiting the U-PASS channel on MyUW. The U-PASS channel will be available starting June 10.

How do I activate my U-PASS powered by ORCA?

Unlike a sticker, your new U-PASS will need to be activated after you purchase it.

Activation takes three easy steps:

  1. Purchase
    To participate in the U-PASS program, you first purchase U-PASS membership at the campus where your primary work or academic major is based.

  2. Wait
    You must wait 24 to 48 hours after purchase before you can use your U-PASS on transit. U-PASS activation for transit is uploaded onto the readers on buses when they are at the base (i.e. not on the road). Train station readers are updated daily.

  3. Tap within 60 days
    To finalize the activation of your U-PASS for use on transit, you must use it for transit service within 60 days of purchase. Tapping your card on the ORCA reader updates your chip and finalizes activation of your U-PASS for transit. If you do not tap onto transit within 60 days, your U-PASS will not work for transit fare payment and you will need to request reactivation of your U-PASS transit benefit here.

How do I use my new U-PASS powered by ORCA?

Tap your card on the ORCA card reader at the front of the bus or at the yellow wall or pole-mounted ORCA card reader at Link, Sounder or Swift stations.

You tap the reader once to travel by bus. Tap your card on the ORCA card reader and pause until you see the green light and hear the beep.

At RapidRide stations you have the option to tap on the ORCA reader at the station or on the bus as you enter.

For Sound Transit’s Link light rail and Sounder commuter trains, tap the reader once before entering the train for proof of payment and tap again at your destination station as you leave.

What happens if I don’t tap my card within the 60 day activation period?

If you do not tap onto transit within 60 days of issuance, your U-PASS will not work for transit fare payment. You will need to request reactivation of your U-PASS transit benefit here.

Can I use my U-PASS for Washington State Ferries Services?

No. The U-PASS in only valid for services provided by King County Metro, Sound Transit, Community Transit, Pierce Transit, Kitsap Transit and Everett Transit.

Can I load a Washington State Ferries pass or PugetPass onto my Husky Card?

Yes. Washington State Ferries passes can be loaded and PugetPasses can be loaded onto the Husky Card.
If you choose to add a pass onto your Husky Card and your card is lost, stolen, or damaged, neither the UW nor the ORCA agencies will replace those products. If you want to receive the benefits associated with ORCA card registration and/or the ability to replace ORCA products you’ve added if your card is lost, stolen, defective or damaged, please contact ORCA to purchase a standard ORCA Card:

Can I load money into my Husky Card Account and use it for transit fare?

No. The Husky Card Debit Account cannot be used for transit services.

Can I load funds onto my ORCA E-Purse to use on the bus, train or ferry?

The E-Purse is not available on Husky Cards. To purchase a standard ORCA Card for E-purse usage, please go to

Can I register my new Husky Card with the ORCA System?

No. For security purposes and confidentiality of travel data, Husky Cards cannot be registered within the ORCA system. The University of Washington made the decision to block card registration to protect your data.

Can I load a PugetPass or Washington State Ferries pass onto my card after I graduate or leave UW?

The smart chip with your Husky Card may be permanently deactivated after you leave the UW. Any pass on the card will be lost when the chip is deactivated and will not be replaced by UW or the ORCA agencies. You can load passes onto your Husky Card at your own risk, but it is not recommended. To purchase a standard ORCA Card, please go to

Does my U-PASS powered by ORCA provide the same benefits offered through the U-PASS stickers?

Yes, you will receive the same benefits as you received with the U-PASS sticker program. For more information about U-PASS benefits, visit

How do I obtain merchant discounts with my new U-PASS powered by ORCA?

Faculty and staff who purchase a U-PASS will receive a separate U-PASS Merchant Discount Card. Show this card to participating merchants to receive your discount.

More information about how students will obtain their Merchant Discounts will be posted prior to the beginning of fall quarter.

Can I lend my U-PASS to others?

No, your U-PASS is for your personal transportation only. It is non-transferable, meaning you may not give or sell your Husky Card or your U-PASS to any other person. Bus drivers and train fare inspectors can confiscate any Husky Card that does not belong to you.

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