Local transit agencies need to dip into a contingency fund in response to President Donald Trump’s tariffs, including the ORCA fare cards the agencies order from China.
The tariff on Chinese goods that Trump set this year has increased the bulk cost of the cards from $1.92 to $2.40, according to the agencies. Patch Seattle first reported the bump.
The agencies need to order 750,000 additional cards this year and have budgeted only $1.6 million — not enough to cover the hike.
That’s why the board that oversees the ORCA system is scheduled to vote Monday on a budget amendment that would move $400,000 into the system’s operating budget.
The move would reduce the contingency fund from $1.1 million to $658,000.
The board includes representatives from Sound Transit, King County Metro, Community Transit, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit, Everett Transit and Washington State Ferries. Changes to the contingency fund require the board’s approval.
Transit riders pay $5 to buy an ORCA card that can be loaded with money.