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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.

Download the Via app

What is Via to Transit?

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.

Why?

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?

Adults (19 and older) $2.75

Youth (6-18 yrs) $1.50

ORCA LIFT Cardholders
(Income qualified) $1.50

RRFP cardholders
(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.

Service hours & maps

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.

How to book a ride

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.

By Telephone

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.

Your health on Via to Transit

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:

Change #1

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).

Change #2

A barrier between driver and passengers.

Change #3

Both driver and passengers are required to wear face coverings or masks if they are able.

Change #4

Drivers provided with EPA-approved disinfecting product to wipe down the vehicle throughout their shift and vehicles will have an enhanced sanitization daily.

Change #5

In-app Wellness Checks for riders and drivers to confirm they are symptom-free before using Via.

Change #6

In-app notifications to riders reinforcing local guidance on PPE, seating spacing, and hygiene.

Accessibility

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.

Mobility assistance

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.

Transit Connections

Get to destinations throughout King County using the transit services listed below. Catch Link light rail or check what buses you can connect to at the following stations:

Othello

36 New Holly, Beacon Hill, VA Hospital, Beacon Hill Station, International District, Downtown
50 Seward Park, Beacon Hill, VA Hospital, SODO Station, Delridge/Youngstown, West Seattle (Alaska Junction), Admiral District, Alki Beach
106 International District, Rainier Valley (MLK Jr Way), Skyway, Renton Transit Center

Rainier Beach

106 International District, Rainier Valley (MLK Jr Way), Skyway, Renton Transit Center
107 Beacon Hill Station, Georgetown, South Beacon Hill, Rainier View, Skyway, Renton Transit Center

Tukwila International Boulevard Station

A Line Along Pacific Highway South to SeaTac Airport Station, Angle Lake Station, Highline College, Federal Way Transit Center
F Line Burien Transit Center, South Center, Tukwila Sounder Station, South Renton Park & Ride, Renton Transit Center, Renton Landing (Boeing 737 Plant)
124 Along Tukwila International Blvd., Boeing Field, Museum of Flight, Georgetown, SODO (Airport Way), Downtown Seattle
128 Admiral District, West Seattle (Alaska Junction), South Seattle College, White Center, Boulevard Park, South Center

Frequently asked questions

Here are the main parameters around using the Via app in King County:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

More about how it works…

Mount Baker and Columbia City Station, funded by City of Seattle, are no longer included in Via to Transit’s service areas. The service area changes were made in the second year of the pilot due to funding limitations. To make best use of available funding, Via to Transit service is continuing where ridership and need was the greatest. Via to Transit ridership to/from Mount Baker and Columbia City stations were lower than ridership to/from other Seattle-based stations. Tukwila International Boulevard Station, funded by Metro, had less service hours and thus lower ridership in 2019, but provides access to transportation for a high percentage of low-income residents, people of color and individuals with limited English proficiency.
As drivers are independent contractors, there are hard costs they incur in order to operate business, such as gas, insurance, and car rental, and each driver must secure their own healthcare benefits. Based on what we learned in the pilot’s first year, we’ll be increasing their hourly rate to a minimum of $30/hr. and providing a $200 weekly bonus to drivers who work more than 30 hours per week that can cover insurance, retirement, and time off. Metro is also working with Via to introduce changes that improve safety, equity, sustainability, and the customer experience.
No, rides can only be requested on-demand.

There are a few rare scenarios in which your ride request could be denied:

  1. Too close to transit - Trips to or from locations within a quarter mile of the Link light rail stations will be declined.
  2. 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.

To submit your ride request you must tap on the orange SET DROPOFF button at the bottom of the screen. The app will then calculate how your ride fits with existing bookings. It will return a proposal or two showing the pickup spot and ETA (estimated time of arrival) of your ride. You will be offered the proposal for 30 seconds. To accept the proposal, select your preferred ETA option and tap the blue BOOK THIS RIDE.
Via to Transit will include both standard vans as well as wheelchair accessible vehicles. Riders who need accommodations such as wheelchair access are asked to set this preference when registering on the app (in "Your Profile") or when requesting a ride by phone. See Accessibility for more information.
This is one of several pilots we have launched to learn more about how we can better serve our customers. We plan to continue testing new services that help more riders access transit. See the Innovative Mobility website for a full list of current pilot projects.

Unfortunately, at this time bikes cannot be accommodated on Via vehicles.

At the moment there is no penalty for cancelling your ride, but please avoid doing so unless completely necessary. A trip cancelation can cause unnecessary delays for your fellow riders.

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.

Customer support

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.

About

Via to Transit is brought to you by King County Metro through its Innovative Mobility Program and the City of Seattle. To learn more about the project and its role within Metro's overall vision of becoming a Mobility Agency, please visit our About Metro page.


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