Editor’s note: This blog post was released on April Fools’ Day 2022.

Tukwila resident Diane Lindsey loves riding the bus — and Link light rail, streetcar, Vanpool, Via to Transit, and Water Taxi, too. She enjoys taking transit to work, friends’ apartments, stores, the park, and everywhere in-between. Recently, however, she began replicating her transit experience without ever leaving home.

Lindsey is one of roughly 60 area residents who were beta testers for “King County Metro Metaverse.” Soon to be launched publicly, the fully-immersive virtual reality app is one-half mobility simulator and one-half video chatroom.

“Taking transit is often the most reliable and stress-free way to get around,” said Lindsey. “But my favorite part is actually seeing other people and exploring new parts of King County on the way. The app does a surprisingly good job of simulating both of those experiences.”

Lindsey says she has made friends in real-life on transit and has more recently had great conversations with people “virtually” joining her on boats, buses, and more.

“I describe Metro Metaverse as sort-of-like an ever-changing journey on Google Maps Streetview, with the added benefit of meeting new people,” said Lindsey. “We live in a really geographically and culturally diverse county and you can get almost anywhere on transit. Sometimes I discover places virtually first and then revisit them in-person, and sometimes it’s the other way around.”

In addition to traditional transit mode, the app also includes the ability to travel to places outside of King County, and even to the distant past or the far future.

Metro Metaverse is compatible with Facebook Oculus and other VR devices, and is available in various app stores. The app is free to ORCA cardholders and otherwise costs $4.01.

YouTube link:
“Metro Metaverse welcomes transit fans”

Media contact:
Sean Hawks, sean.hawks@kingcounty.gov