King County Metro is always working to improve mobility around our region and we’re committed to sharing our approaches with other agencies, too. This week, Seattle hosted attendees of the WTS International Conference and we rolled out the welcome mat.

WTS promotes the advancement of women in the transportation industry, and its conferences attract some of the most influential and innovative thinkers in transit. Dozens of attendees took advantage of the opportunity to learn more about the history and operations of several of our exciting transportation projects and innovations. WTS participants took the tours around the region by light rail, trolley and flexible service vans.

One tour offered a glimpse of Via to Transit. Via is an on-demand service that connects riders to and from transit and community hubs in four service areas: Othello, Rainier Beach/Skyway, the Renton Highlands and Tukwila. Anyone in the service areas can download the Via app or call to request a ride. The goal of the pilot program is to make getting to and from transit and key destinations easier and more accessible.

How we rethought transit for the U District

Another tour included a look at Seattle Department of Transportation and Metro capital projects implemented on the streets around the new U District Link Light Rail station to improve transportation options.

These projects include: 

  • Transit access to the “front door” of the new U District Link station (with new trolley infrastructure).
  • A redesign of NE 43rd Street to prioritize pedestrian and bicycle access between the station and the nearby University of Washington campus.
  • New bus-only lanes on NE 45th Street and 15th Avenue NE to improve transit speed and reliability for 10 bus routes serving more than 20,000 daily riders.

Finally, WTS attendees had the opportunity yesterday to learn about Metro’s full spectrum of zero-emissions fleet technologies and facilities. This includes electric trolley buses at our Atlantic Base in Seattle, first-generation battery-electric bus technology in Bellevue, and our newest battery-electric buses, bus charging infrastructure and fleet electrification at our South Base campus.

We loved providing the opportunity for our WTS attendees to learn about some of our current projects, and we hoped they enjoyed it as well!