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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Getting ready for viaduct closure: More transit options, including on-demand service to Water Taxi sailings

Summary

Starting Dec. 17, West Seattle commuters will be able to use a new mobile app offering on-demand rides to and from King County Metro bus routes and Water Taxi sailings. The Ride2 Transit app is part of a package of new services including additional Water Taxi sailings, shuttles, and parking options during the Viaduct closure.

Story

One month before the state permanently closes the Alaskan Way Viaduct, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the latest new transit alternatives to getting stuck in traffic. 

Download the Ride2 Transit app


The new mobile app Ride2 Transit will make it possible for commuters to hail an on-demand van to and from two locations in West Seattle – the Water Taxi dock at Seacrest Park and the Alaska Junction – that will provide first- and last-mile transit. King County Water Taxi will add an additional boat to double commuter sailings and add a midday sailing as part of a suite of additional transportation options during the viaduct closure.

“There is no doubt that traveling around the region will be more difficult next month, and perhaps beyond," said Executive Constantine. "We pulled in additional resources and deployed new innovations to provide commuters with reliable, stress-free alternatives to sitting in traffic. “When the dust settles, we will have a spectacular new waterfront, open to all. We will have a truly regional light rail system, and a downtown convention center second to none. Getting there won’t be easy, but our region will enjoy the benefits for decades to come.”

The City of Seattle will contribute about $1 million from the voter-approved Seattle Transportation Benefit District Fund to support Ride2 on-demand service in West Seattle. Metro will provide staff, vehicles and marketing assistance.

"As the City prepares for a new era of tough traffic, we have been working hard to develop new, innovation solutions to help our residents access transit. Access to transit creates pathways to jobs, training, school, and opportunity,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. “Ride2 Transit will be a great tool to help our residents access transit and build a city of the future. Thanks to the City’s investment and strong regional partnerships, Ride2 Transit will help ensure that West Seattle residents have more options for safely and quickly getting to key transit hubs.”

Other transportation options King County is making available during the three-week closure of State Route 99, which starts on the evening of Jan. 11:

  • Metro will have 20 buses on standby around the Seattle area that can be deployed when buses run late due to traffic.
  • King County Water Taxi will add a boat starting Jan. 14. Vessels will depart every 20 minutes during the morning and evening commutes.
  • Metro will expand its free shuttle service – Routes 773 and 775 – to and from the Water Taxi dock at Seacrest Park starting Jan. 14.
  • More parking will be available near Seacrest Park at SW Bronson Way and Pier 2, utilizing connector shuttles to the Water Taxi dock.
  • Dedicated Metro vanshare parking will be available at Don Armeni Park.
  • Free vanpooling seats and more tips for avoiding traffic are on Metro’s Get Ready webpage.
King County Logo City of Seattle Logo

Commuters in Bellevue have boarded the first Ride2 service to and from the Eastgate Park-and-Ride more than 2,400 times since King County Metro launched the program on Oct. 23. The app has been downloaded more than 1,600 times.

King County Metro and the City of Seattle have expanded bus service in Seattle and collaborated on key transit improvements such as new bus-only lanes in different parts of the downtown and expanded transit-only hours on Third Avenue in downtown Seattle to improve service reliability. These efforts and more in the works will help keep people and transit moving during the major regional gridlock anticipated when the viaduct closes after the evening commute on Jan. 11, and lasting until the new State Route 99 tunnel opens.

Convenient connections to the Water Taxi and Alaska Junction Metro bus routes

Ride2 West Seattle Van

The Ride2 service in West Seattle will operate weekdays from 5 to 9:30 a.m. and from 2:30 to 7 p.m. starting Dec. 17.

Customers will be able to use the free Ride2 Transit app (Android or iOS) to hail a van to and from the King County Water Taxi or board one of the many King County Metro bus routes in the Alaska Junction business district. Commuters also can call 855-233-1880 to hail a van.

The West Seattle service area for Ride2 includes several neighborhoods: Alki, Genesee, North Admiral, Fairmont Park, High Point, North Delridge, and Riverview.

The vans in West Seattle will be operated by Hopelink, the same nonprofit organization that operates other innovative services that Metro is piloting, including Trailhead Direct and Metro’s DART service.  

Ride2 Transit will cost the same as a standard Metro bus ride. Passengers can pay with their ORCA card, use a Transit Go Mobile ticket, or pay with cash. Passengers who board a Water Taxi from a Ride2 van will need to have enough money in their ORCA e-purse account or have cash to the cover the difference in costs.

The added Water Taxi sailings and shuttle service will continue until March. The Ride2 Transit pilot is scheduled for one year.


Service maps

A map showing the Ride2 service boundaries in West Seattle.
A map showing the Ride2 parking and shuttle zones.

Relevant links


Quotes

There is no doubt that traveling around the region will be more difficult next month, and perhaps beyond. We pulled in additional resources and deployed new innovations to provide commuters with reliable, stress-free alternatives to sitting in traffic. When the dust settles, we will have a spectacular new waterfront, open to all. We will have a truly regional light rail system, and a downtown convention center second to none. Getting there won’t be easy, but our region will enjoy the benefits for decades to come.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

As the City prepares for a new era of tough traffic, we have been working hard to develop new, innovation solutions to help our residents access transit. Access to transit creates pathways to jobs, training, school, and opportunity. Ride2 Transit will be a great tool to help our residents access transit and build a city of the future. Thanks to the City’s investment and strong regional partnerships, Ride2 Transit will help ensure that West Seattle residents have more options for safely and quickly getting to key transit hubs.

Jenny A. Durkan, Seattle Mayor

Ride2 is certainly a timely and important service for residents here in West Seattle as we face a tough commute in the coming year. This is also an important expansion of Metro’s use of mobile technology, a service and resource that residents should expect in the year 2018 and one I’m proud that the county can deliver.

Joe McDermott, Chair of King County Council
For more information, contact:

Jeff Switzer, King County Metro, 206-477-3833


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography