King County Metro, Sound Transit, and City of Seattle launched a new on-demand shuttle service called Via to Transit that will make it more convenient to take transit in southeast Seattle and Tukwila.
Customers in the service areas can use the Via app or call by phone to hail a ride to and from five Link light rail stations where they can board a Metro bus or a Link light rail train. They can pay with their ORCA card, which will automatically apply as a transfer toward a trip on a bus or train.
“We are making it more convenient than ever to hop on board our high-capacity regional transit system,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “The on-demand service we are bringing to southeast Seattle and Tukwila reflects our commitment to outstanding customer service, making it easy to take transit to work, school, or play, and back home again.”
Via to Transit costs the same as a Metro bus trip. Passengers can tap their ORCA card upon boarding Via to Transit and will automatically transfer fares between Via to Transit and buses or Link light rail.
The year-long pilot project is partly funded by $2.7 million from the voter-approved Seattle Transportation Benefit District. Sound Transit also successfully applied for a Mobility on Demand Sandbox grant from the Federal Transit Administration to test the effectiveness of providing on-demand ride-share connections to transit stations.
Via to Transit will make it more convenient for customers to connect with the region’s growing transit system. On-demand services like this make it easier for residents who do not own a car or prefer not to drive and park, live within a long walking distance of a transit hub, or can’t find open spaces at park-and-rides to take transit.