Sound Transit begins test of shuttle service from light rail stations

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SEATTLE — Sound Transit, in conjunction with King County Metro and the city of Seattle, launched a new on-demand shuttle serving five Link light rail stations in southeast Seattle and Tukwila.

Service is provided by Via, which also operates in New York, Chicago, Washington, and Los Angeles. The shared rides cost the same as a Metro bus trip and automatically apply as a transfer between Via and the train. Riders can pay with their regionally-accepted ORCA card.

The project is a one-year pilot funded by $2.7 million drawn from Seattle voter-approved funds. Additional funding comes from a $205,000 Federal Transit Administration grant awarded as part of the $8 million Mobility on Demand Sandbox program.

The MOD Sandbox program, launched in 2016, enables the FTA to conduct research on innovative mobility options that integrate with existing transit services. LA Metro launched its program with Via in January, also as a yearlong pilot.

“We have the same first mile/last mile issues as most places have,” Sound Transit’s deputy executive director of planning and innovation, Matt Sheldon, tells Trains News Wire. Looking for solutions, he says, “We're starting to reach out and test some of those ideas with partners right now.”

Users can request a ride either from the Via smartphone app or by calling a local number. Up to six riders to the same destination will share the Via shuttle.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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  • April 16, 2019
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