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 Via to Transit and connect to Link light rail and buses at the Othello, Rainier Beach, or Tukwila International Blvd. stations.
Via to Transit is a pilot, on-demand service, now in its second year, that connects riders to and from three transit hubs in southeast Seattle and Tukwila. 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 and catch Link light rail or a bus at the following stations: Othello, Rainier Beach, and Tukwila International Blvd. The Via to Transit service is brought to you by King County Metro in partnership with the City of Seattle.
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 you find the spots at your Park & Ride full too early in the morning. Via to Transit will get you to one of three stations so you can catch Link light rail or the 9 buses that serve those stations. We’ll get you where you need to go, with greater ease and peace of mind. This is one of many services we are testing to learn how we can serve you better—please let us 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.
Transit GO Ticket is accepted (select “bus” as mode of travel) and lets you transfer fares between Via to Transit and buses. Credit cards, debit cards, and stored value/prepaid cards are accepted in the Via app/call center, but are limited to adult fare and do not provide transfers to buses or light rail.
Cash fare payment and paper transfers are not accepted.
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 or using a credit/debit card with the Via app/call center.
- 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 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 or destination.
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 will be also be available by phone, from making trip requests to soliciting a wheelchair accessible vehicle. 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 or credit or debit card.
King County Metro is committed to your health on Metro services, including Via to Transit. The following changes to the Via to Transit service have been made to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
Passengers will be asked to sit in the back of the Via vehicle, and all rides will be private until further notice (typically Via operates with shared rides between multiple bookings).
A barrier between driver and passengers.
Both driver and passengers are required to wear face coverings or masks if they are able.
Drivers provided with EPA-approved disinfecting product to wipe down the vehicle throughout their shift and vehicles will have an enhanced sanitization daily.
In-app Wellness Checks for riders and drivers to confirm they are symptom-free before using Via.
In-app notifications to riders reinforcing local guidance on PPE, seating spacing, and hygiene.
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 assistance needs may indicate so in their Via app profile. Simply tap the “Mobility assistance” 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 ramp, located in the rear of the vehicle, is designed to accommodate 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 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.
- 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 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 identified 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 use 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.