April 28, 2022

Via to Transit celebrates three years of providing King County with efficient, equitable on-demand public transportation

Since April 2019, Via to Transit service has used technology to provide convenient first-and-last mile trips that fill transit gaps in the Seattle metropolitan area

April 28, 2022 (SEATTLE) — Via to Transit is celebrating its 3-year anniversary of providing on-demand public transportation service in partnership with King County Metro.  

Via to Transit launched in 2019 to provide an affordable, equitable, and efficient transportation option in King County. Since then, this pilot project has provided over 400,000 rides to-date to residents, visitors, and commuters in Renton Highlands, Rainier Beach, Skyway, Othello, Tukwila, and other areas of South Seattle. 

“Via to Transit is providing mobility options to communities that need more than fixed transit routes. This King County Metro service gives access to work, school, medical services, and much more. Metro looks forward to continuing to expand on-demand transit options throughout our regional mobility system.” —  Christina O’Claire, Mobility Division Director, King County Metro

The goal of Via to Transit is to use technology to make it more convenient for riders to connect with King County’s robust public transportation system by providing first-and-last mile transit connections. The service is powered by software from Via, the global leader in TransitTech. Via’s intelligent algorithms allow riders to book an on-demand ride by app or phone, and then create quick, efficient shared trips that provide more flexibility than traditional public transportation options with fixed routes and schedules. 

Via to Transit serves some of the most diverse neighborhoods in the county; 66% of residents are Black, Indigenous, or other people of color, 37% were born abroad, and 45% speak a language other than English at home (including Somali, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Spanish, Amharic, and more). 

Recent survey results illustrate how Via to Transit is expanding access to equitable, affordable, and inclusive transportation for riders in King County: 

  • Almost half of survey respondents said their primary use case for the service was getting to and from work. Other popular use cases included traveling to school, medical appointments, errands, and visiting family and friends. 
  • Around 58% of respondents said they do not own a private vehicle at home. 
  • Around 57% of respondents reported they earn less than $45,000 per year. 

“Via couldn’t be more proud to celebrate 3 years of working with King County Metro to bring affordable, efficient, innovative public transportation to the Seattle area,” said Dillon Twombly, Chief Revenue Officer at Via. “In those years, Via to Transit’s on-demand model has transformed transit in King County: it’s filled transportation gaps, solved first-and-last mile challenges, and created new opportunities for the community. King County Metro is a transit agency that represents the future of equitable urban mobility.”

How to use Via to Transit: 

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 a 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.

Expect to be picked up within 15 minutes of your trip request; pick-up location may require a short walk. Pay upon boarding with your ORCA card or pay with Transit GO Ticket or using a credit/debit card with the Via app/call center. Rides may be shared with other Metro customers. Wheelchair-accessible vehicles are available. 

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About Via

Via builds innovative software to enable our customers – cities, transit agencies, transport operators, school districts, universities, and corporations – to transform their legacy transportation systems into advanced digital networks. As pioneers of the TransitTech category, Via’s mission is to expand access to efficient, affordable, and sustainable transportation. Via’s software enables organizations to digitize their existing transportation networks and launch new and innovative services, simultaneously lowering operating costs and increasing quality of service. Our software is used in over 500 communities in more than 35 countries around the world.

About King County Metro 

King County Metro is the Puget Sound region’s largest public transportation agency. Metro provides bus, paratransit, vanpool, and water taxi services, and operates Seattle Streetcar, Sound Transit Link light rail, and Sound Transit Express bus service. Metro is committed to providing safe, equitable, and sustainable mobility, and prioritizing service where needs are greatest.

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