Shared employer shuttles
King County Metro is working on new ways to improve regional mobility and reduce single-occupant vehicle travel. Through this new pilot program, Metro aims to collaborate closely with private mobility providers to develop new transportation options for regional employers looking to offer efficient commute options for their workforce.
Metro believes that the best services come out of collaborative partnerships—please reach out and share your feedback at any point throughout the pilot!
What is a Shared Employer Shuttle?
- Transportation services offered exclusively to the workforce of at least two and up to five employers, without charging a fare directly to workforce members.
- Not available to the public at-large.
- Have routes and schedules that complement and not duplicate existing public transit services in King County.
- Operate under agreement with Metro and under Metro's supervision.
- Privately-funded and operated.
About the project
Metro’s long-range vision, METRO CONNECTS, recognizes the importance of developing new and creative solutions that work for our customers. Through the Shared Employer Shuttles Pilot, Metro will authorize qualified private providers to run Shared Employer Shuttle services for a one-year pilot period. The goal of this pilot is to help facilitate an even broader range of transportation options for King County commuters, reduce single-occupant travel, and improve regional mobility.
King County Metro Transit
201 South Jackson Street
Seattle, WA 98104-3856
Send an email
How to get a Shared Employer Shuttle started
Let Metro know you’re interested
Email email@example.com to let us know you’re interested in participating or staying up to date. Only those who have expressed interest will receive notifications about question clarifications, addenda, and other relevant information.
A Shared Employer Shuttle requires the formation of a consortium comprised of two to five employers. It is anticipated that most consortiums will propose to operate the service through contract with a third party that will own the vehicles and operate the service. It is possible, however, that a consortium could propose to operate the service with its own vehicles and drivers.
Please note: King County Metro is not endorsing these service providers nor is this list intended to be exhaustive. If you are a service provider interested in being added to this list, please send an email.
Submit a proposal
Metro will accept proposals during a six-week window; the first window will be February 21 – April 3. Each proposal must contain the following elements:
- Members of the consortium.
- Proposed route, stop locations, and schedule.
- Proposed vehicle fleet, driver roster, and corresponding license information.
- ADA Accessibility solution.
- Agreement to data sharing protocol.
Review the proposal document for more details.
Sit tight…Metro reviews proposal
Metro will review all proposals submitted within the submission window to ensure that the proposed service will meet technical criteria and other basic requirements. Metro's hope is to collaborate with proponents to help develop the best solutions possible. As such, if Metro is unable to approve a proposal after a first review, Metro will provide feedback to the proponents with an option for resubmittal of an updated proposal for secondary technical review.
Review the proposal document for more details.
Coordinate with relevant jurisdictions
Cities manage their right-of-ways, not Metro. Consortiums planning to develop a shared employer shuttle need to make sure that the cities they plan to operate in also authorize the new service.
Upon approval of the proposal, Metro and the members of the consortium will sign an agreement to authorize the Shared Employer Shuttle service for a 12-month period.
Service launches on a date agreed upon by Metro and the consortium.
Provide feedback and evaluate
Throughout the 12-month period, the partnership consortium provides monthly operational reports to Metro, and coordinates with Metro prior to any key service change. Metro welcomes feedback from the consortium, riders, and the public at large throughout the program. Metro will consider feedback and analyze data provided by the consortium to evaluate and improve the program.
Proposal window: Feb 21, 2018 to Apr 3, 2018
Implementation: Apr 1, 2018 to Mar 31, 2019
Evaluation: Jan 1, 2019 to Mar 31, 2019
Feedback welcomed: Feb 21, 2018 to Mar 31, 2019
Proposal window: Q3 2018
Implementation: Q4 2018 thru Q3 2019
Evaluation: Q3 2019
Feedback welcomed: Q3 2018 thru Q3 2019
Proposal window: Q1 2019
Implementation: Q2 2019 thru Q2 2020
Evaluation: Q1 2020
Feedback welcomed: Q1 2019 thru Q2 2020
Frequently asked questions
- Increased mobility options. Metro aims to help employers and third- party providers offer new and efficient mobility options that complement existing transit. Employers are seeking new ways to make it easier for their workforce to get to work in order to attract and retain top talent, reduce demand for limited parking, and achieve ambitious commute trip reduction goals. Hundreds of employers already work with Metro to provide employees with ORCA transit passes, subsidized use of Metro's vanpool program, and access to Metro's guaranteed ride home program – shared employer shuttles is one more way Metro is supporting efficient commuting.
- Increase high occupancy travel. Metro is looking for innovative ways to improve the efficiency of our roadways. Shared employer shuttles represent a new transportation demand management tool that can attract single-occupant drivers into high-capacity vehicles. Additionally, with many employer shuttles currently connecting to public transit hubs, Metro anticipates that shared employer shuttles may further increase public transit ridership.
- Partnerships to further Metro's goals without public subsidy. While public transit will always provide the backbone of our region's transportation network, private mobility operators can complement public transit by filling in service gaps. Through the authorization of shared employer shuttles, Metro aims to increase mobility options and decrease drive alone commuting without using public funds.
- Data to better understand travel patterns. Shared employer shuttle providers will be required to provide Metro with detailed monthly reports as well as periodic rider survey data. This data will provide Metro with new insights into travel patterns. Metro will analyze shared employer shuttle data to continue to improve the program and ensure new mobility options are being implemented in a way that benefits both employers and the public.
Through RCW 35.58.250, the Washington State Legislature defines Metro as the sole provider of public transportation services in King County. This provision aims to protect the public’s investment and commitment to the provision of equitable and reliable public transportation services to all. Metro’s intent in authorizing shared employer shuttles is to ensure that these new services are provided in safely, equitably, and in harmony with the existing transit services in the region.
Metro has limited resources for which to provide transit service, including limited staff capacity, vehicles, and bus bases. To help determine how these limited resources are utilized, Metro uses service guidelines to evaluate, design, and modify public transit service.
Through this pilot, Metro aims to facilitate the provision of new mobility services in areas where, due to its limited resources, Metro cannot operate.
Shared Employer Shuttles should not expect to use Metro bus stops. Consortiums should coordinate with the cities they plan to operate in to determine appropriate stops located in the public right-of-way. Consortiums may also coordinate with private property owners to stop outside of the right-of-way.
Throughout the pilot, Metro will evaluate the program and its impact before deciding on next steps. Stay tuned!
Metro is working to develop an authorization process for private transit providers to operate service open to the general public (microtransit) in King County. Metro is tentatively planning to launch a pilot to authorize microtransit in summer 2018.
Metro may terminate agreements with (and thus service authorization for) providers who open their shared employer shuttle service to the general public or who deviate from the authorized route or schedule. Consortiums should review their agreement with Metro for all terms and conditions, including all termination causes and processes.