South King County residents came to the Skyway Library to celebrate the launch of expanded transit service into Rainier Beach, Skyway, Renton Highlands, and Tukwila. Via to Transit on-demand service has started in their neighborhoods, and County officials, community representatives and members of the King County Library System joined in the recognition of improved access to work, school, services, and activities in these communities.
Launched in collaboration with Via, a leader in TransitTech, the service provides access to affordable, efficient, and equitable transportation in King County.
Via to Transit is available in four service areas: Othello, Rainier Beach/Skyway, Renton Highlands, and Tukwila. One end of a trip must be a designated hub for the service area. People who live, work, or go to school within the specified service areas can download the Via app or call 206-258-7739 and request an on-demand ride from Via to Transit to connect to buses and trains or get to select community hubs like grocery stores, parks, libraries, healthcare, and more.
The expanded service into these communities is part of Metro’s Mobility Framework— which helps the agency adapt to the changing transportation landscape in an equitable and sustainable way. These neighborhoods have been identified areas of opportunity due to the challenge of meeting their transportation need with fixed-route services.
The community celebration recognized the role residents had in the expansion of Via to Transit. Metro has worked closely with these communities to understand their needs. Residents have expressed strong support for an on-demand flexible service and have helped identify which community and transit hubs are most important to serve to increase access.
The cost for Via to Transit is the same as riding the bus: $2.75 adult, $1.50 ORCA LIFT and youth, $1.00 RRFP, free for children 5 and under—and there is no extra cost transferring between your bus or light rail, and Via. You can pay using your ORCA card, a Transit GO Ticket, or using a credit/debit card in the Via app/call center. Accommodations can be made for riders with disabilities.
“This celebration is the culmination of partnership not only between Metro and Via, but the partnership between Metro and the communities we serve. The expansion of this service started by Metro asking the residents of these communities a question: ‘What can we do? What can we do to make it easier for you to get to school, to work, to appointments, and to the services you depend on?’ The response was they wanted options beyond fixed bus routes. Thank you to Via, to community organizations in these neighborhoods, and to the King County Library System for partnering with us in providing these services to the riders who depend on us.”
Metro Deputy General Manager Michelle Allison
“The residents of Skyway have been calling for better transit in their community. This new service will help provide the community with increased mobility and access to opportunity.”
King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay, whose district includes Skyway
“Equitable access to transit is at the core of Via’s mission, and our long-term partnership with King County Metro is a perfect example of the way that technology can help connect communities to jobs, healthcare, and educational opportunities. We are proud to work with the team at King County Metro to continue to redefine public transit so that it best meets the changing needs of residents.”
Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via
“Metro and King County have been working with neighborhoods to explore ways to expand transportation choice beyond a bus route. Via to Transit is a solution that provides on-demand service to locations within these neighborhoods. It means instead of waiting for a bus, access to transportation could be just a ‘click away’ on the Via app. This nationally recognized partnership with Via is a positive step in meeting the transportation need of communities that have traditionally been underserved by transit.”
De’Sean Quinn, Interim Assistant General Manager for Strategy and Partnerships, King County Metro
“The King County Library System is proud to be part of this joint effort to remove transportation barriers and improve access to information, technology, services and resources. Via to Transit offers an innovative and convenient way to help connect King County residents to the vital spaces, services and programs they need.”
Lisa Rosenblum, Executive Director, King County Library System