Via to Transit
Get the app, book a ride
Home, work or school is just a short, on-demand ride away from your Link light rail station. Ride and connect to Link light rail and buses at the Mount Baker, Columbia City, Othello, Rainier Beach, or Tukwila International Blvd. stations.
Download the Via app
Via to Transit is a new, pilot on-demand service that connects riders to and from five transit hubs in southeast Seattle and Tukwila starting April 16, 2019. People who live, work, or go to school within the specified service areas can download the app and request a ride from Via to Transit to get to one of five transit hubs: Mount Baker, Columbia City, Othello, Rainier Beach, and Tukwila International Blvd. From there, riders can catch Link light rail or access one of 14 bus routes. The new service is brought to you by King County Metro in partnership with Sound Transit and the City of Seattle for a 12-month pilot period.
We understand that getting to transit can be challenging, whether you have limited options for accessing bus or light rail stations through public transportation or the spots at your park & ride are full too early in the morning. Via to Transit gets you to one of five stations to catch Link light rail or 14 buses to get you to your destination, with greater ease and peace of mind. This is one of many services we are testing to learn how we can serve you better—we want to know how it's working for you!
How much does it cost to ride?
Via to Transit costs the same as a Metro bus ride. Standard Metro fares apply.
Adults (19 and older) $2.75
Youth (6-18 yrs) $1.50
ORCA LIFT Cardholders
(Income qualified) $1.50
(registered seniors, Medicare, disabled) $1.00
Pay your fare using your ORCA card. Using an ORCA card lets you transfer fares between Via to Transit and buses or Link light rail.
Cash fare payment and paper transfers are not accepted. Transit GO Ticket is accepted (select “bus” as mode of travel).
This is how it works:
- Book a ride on-demand with the Via app or by calling 206-258-7739.
- Pay upon boarding with your ORCA card or pay with Transit GO Ticket.
- Expect to be picked up within 10-15 minutes of your trip request; pick-up location may require a short walk.
- Rides will be shared with other Metro customers, while assuring you get to your destination promptly.
- Via to Transit is available for trips in the defined service areas only (SE Seattle and Tukwila). One end of your trip must be the designated Link light rail station for the service area. A short walk to/from the vehicle may be required. Wheelchair accessible vehicles are available.
SE Seattle service area map
For Mount Baker, Columbia City, Othello and Rainier Beach stations the service is available Monday through Saturday 5 AM – 1 AM and Sundays 6 AM – 12 AM.
Tukwila service area map
For the Tukwila International Blvd. station the service is available Monday through Friday 6 – 9AM and 3:30 – 6:30 PM.
With the Via app
Download the Via app and register. Enter your ORCA card number and let us know if you use a wheelchair or require assistance boarding.
Request a ride
Request a ride to or from one of the designated Link light rail stations. Enter the address of your starting point.
Get picked up
Walk to your assigned nearby pick-up location, no more than 5 minutes away. You’ll receive prompts so you don’t miss your ride. Drivers are instructed to wait only 2 minutes at the pick-up location.
Arrive at your destination
Arrive and connect to your Link light rail, bus, or other destination. Rate your trip so we can improve the Via to Transit pilot service.
Customers may also use Via to Transit in the service areas by calling 206-258-7739 to book a ride. All available functionalities offered through the app, from making trip requests to soliciting a wheelchair accessible vehicle will be also be available by phone. Just like in the app, customers who call will be able to indicate how they’d like to pay for their ride—either with an ORCA card or with Transit GO Ticket.
King County Metro aims to deliver a service that is accessible to all. Please reach out to us with your suggestions to further increase access.
Customers using wheelchairs or with other mobility needs may indicate so in their Via app profile. Simply tap the "Wheelchair accessibility" option in Account settings. Via will dispatch a wheelchair accessible vehicle directly to the starting point instead of setting the pick-up location a short walk away. The wheelchair lift, located in the rear of the vehicle, is designed for lifting up to 800 pounds and can accommodate wheelchairs up to 36” wide.
Here are the main parameters around using the Via app in King County:
- Hours of operation - The service hours for Mount Baker, Columbia City, Othello and Rainier Beach stations are Monday through Saturday 5 AM – 1 AM and Sundays 6 AM – 12 AM. For the Tukwila International Blvd. Station the service hours are Monday through Friday 6 AM – 9AM and 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM. For holidays, service in SE Seattle will be reduced to match the Link light rail schedule; service at Tukwila International Blvd. Station will operate as normal.
- Service area - You can only request a ride to or from locations within the service area (SE Seattle and Tukwila), with either the start or end being the designated Link light rail station, as indicated on the maps.
There are a few rare scenarios in which your ride request could be denied:
- Too close to transit - Trips to or from locations within a quarter mile of the Link light rail stations will be declined. Exceptions will be made for riders using mobility aids such as wheelchairs or walkers.
- Capacity constraints - If Via is experiencing high demand that exceeds vehicle capacity, your initial request will be declined, but please try again in a few moments. Once other riders have completed their trips, your request will be accepted.
To make our service as efficient as possible, we look for the closest pick-up and drop-off spots to your location. By walking a small distance you are helping to reduce the amount of time you and your fellow riders spend in the vehicle.
You will not be asked to walk after 10pm or before 6am.
Unfortunately, at this time bikes cannot be accommodated on Via vehicles.
Children are welcome on Via to Transit! Parents are strongly encouraged to bring a car seat or booster seat where appropriate. Please note that all children, regardless of age, must be marked as an additional passenger when booking your ride. This requirement is due to vehicle capacity restrictions based on number of passengers.
Please note, each rider must be at least 13 years old to ride alone.
Licensed service animals are welcome to ride in the vans without restrictions. Other dogs and cats must be in an airline-approved carrier in order to ride with Via.
Via rides are shared, and as such everyone is asked to limit any personal items to a single piece of luggage or a reasonably sized bag. Think of it this way - if the passenger who showed up before you had the same sized item and the car was at full capacity, would your item fit as well? If the answer is no, then Via can't guarantee they’ll be able to take you and your bag on board.
Don’t worry! Our ORCA card readers will automatically know if you have a reduced fare ORCA card and will charge you correctly. Unfortunately there is no way for the Via app to know if you are eligible for reduced fares in advance and will always display Metro’s standard adult fare.
Even though you are asked to enter your ORCA card number in the app, payment doesn’t actually occur until you tap your ORCA card on the reader in the vehicle.
For additional guidance on how to use Via to Transit, please contact Via at 206-258-7739 or using their support ticket.
For other questions, including assistance with trip planning or ORCA, or to provide feedback about the service, please call King County Metro at 206-553-3000 or contact us using our feedback form.
Via to Transit is brought to you by King County Metro through its Innovative Mobility Program, and in partnership with Sound Transit and the City of Seattle. This pilot service is also supported by a Federal Transit Administration Mobility on Demand grant in conjunction with Los Angeles Metro. To learn more about the project and its role within Metro's overall vision of becoming a Mobility Agency, please visit our first/last mile program webpage.