In 1962, the Seattle Monorail, built for the World’s Fair in Seattle was considered to be the future of transportation for crowded cities. Monorail systems can whisk passengers through town without interfering with street traffic or installing massive tunnels. There has been an ongoing debate in Seattle as to whether to expand the monorail system to use as a primary method of mass transit. In the end, the Link Lightrail system won favor with the majority of Seattleites, so the monorail remains as a hotspot for tourists.
While the monorail does serve some locals living or working in the area near Seattle Center as a quick commute option to Westlake Center and the transit center there, the main contention for more regular use by commuters has been the lack of the ability to use an ORCA card. The monorail has only accepted cash or card for ticket purchases, which is $2.50 for adults and $1.25 for children, seniors, and the disabled. But now, a new initiative is in place to allow the use of ORCA cards and transfers to be utilized on the monorail. Not only will this open up the use for daily commuters, but this option will allow for people attending events at Seattle Center to use mass transit rather than having to pay for expensive parking in the Uptown area.
Unfortunately, this shift to the ORCA card system will not take place until sometime in September, until after Seattle Center’s peak season for the year comes to a close. Until then, you’ll still have to use cash to purchase a ticket.