ORCA Card, Shuttle & Parking
BHS Shuttle Changes 23-24 School Year
At the start of the 23-24 school year, SPS will no longer provide supplemental shuttle service for high schools. This change affects Ballard (Magnolia Shuttle). Metro service is now free of charge to all students under 19 and route coverage has increased citywide.
The district is no longer managing ORCA Cards for students. Learn more about ORCA Cards. Due to a state wide measure, youth who are 18 and under, are able to ride public transportation for free. This means that the district no longer provides cards to SPS students. An ORCA card is encouraged but not required.
Request an ORCA Card
Students who do not have an ORCA card need to create an ORCA account and request a card on the My ORCA website. While students wait for their card, they may show their Student ID to a Metro operator or they may ride without one and will not be denied ridership.
Replacement ORCA Card
Students who have already signed up for an ORCA account can request a replacement card from the My ORCA website. Students who have not signed up for an ORCA account will need to set one up so that they can request a replacement card from the My ORCA website. While students wait for their card, they may show their Student ID to a Metro operator or they may ride without one and will not be denied ridership.
Call the ORCA Regional Call Center at 1-888-988-6722. Non-English: 1-800-823-9230 during regular business hours M – F from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. PST (closed weekends and holidays). Visit myorca.com for more information.
Taking the bus or light rail to school
Everyone 18 and under is free on all transit in the region (bus light rail, ferry, etc.). An Orca card is encouraged but not required.
- OneBusAway: download this app to know when your bus is coming (in real time).
- Use King County Trip Planner (webpage and app) to plan your bus route.
- Google Maps can also help find the best option.
- Metro Flex is available in a few regions of the County. You can use an app or call a number for a Metro Flex van to pick you up and drop you off anywhere in the region – including school!
Sample Transit Routes and Tips from SPS
The D Line, 15, and 994 all stop adjacent to Ballard High School.
Bus tip! Sometimes it’s quickest to walk, bike, or skate to the bus stop even if it’s more than a few blocks away. For example, a student in East Magnolia could walk to catch the D Line on 15th Ave W. In 8 minutes, the D Line would drop them off at school.
There is no student parking on our campus. The front parking lot off NW 65th Street is for administration and visitors (two-hour limit) only.
Both north and south parking lots are reserved for staff and visitors who sign in at the Main Office only. The Ballard HS Staff Parking Lot, on the north end of campus off NW 67th Street, is for BHS Staff and Ballard Pool visitors only. There is no student parking in the clearly marked Pool Only spots (for the Ballard Pool). As a City of Seattle Parks & Recreation facility, the Pool’s parking enforcement could include a city parking fine and/or your vehicle may be towed.
No Parking Stickers
Any vehicle without a BHS staff or visitor tag that is parked in either lot will have an SPS parking enforcement sticker placed on the vehicle’s window and we will log the vehicle information.
For a first offense a bright green warning sticker will be placed on the car window. Second offense will be a second green warning sticker. If students park in a staff or visitor spot a third time, parents will be called into the school for a conference with a Ballard HS Administrator.
There is some street parking available in the neighborhood, but please be respectful of neighbors.
Department of Transportation Construction
15th Ave W/NW and the Ballard Bridge Paving & Safety Project
The design for the 15th Ave W/NW and Ballard Bridge Paving and Safety Project is scheduled to start construction preparation by the end of the year 2023.
Seattle Public Schools provides free transportation for students who live within their school attendance area but outside the school’s walk zone.
If a student is placed in a program, such as deaf and hard of hearing services, that is not available in your neighborhood (attendance) area school, transportation is usually provided.
Transportation Eligibility Guidelines
- Elementary and K-8 schools have a 1-mile walk boundary. Eligible students are provided service primarily on yellow school buses.
- Middle schools have a 2-mile walk boundary. Service is either by yellow school bus or ORCA card for the Metro.
- High schools have a 2-mile walk boundary. Service is provided with an ORCA card.
Safe Routes to School
Biking and walking are great ways to get to school. Use the City of Seattle interactive map to find safe walking and biking routes to your school.
Walk, Bike, and Roll to School
Walking, biking, and rolling to school supports exercise, reduces pollution, and connects neighbors. Studies even show students arrive at school more attentive and ready to learn. Visit this page for resources to support you in walking, biking, and rolling to school.
Bus routes are sometimes delayed due to traffic, weather, construction, or other situations.
If your bus is late, we recommend your student stay at the bus stop. Please create a plan and discuss with your student what to do if their bus is late.