A look into on-demand services around the state
It is still too early for flying cars, but the future of on-demand transit services is already here.
The experts at Community Transit were thinking ahead when the agency introduced the pilot Zip Alderwood Shuttle project in Lynnwood this fall. An on-demand service that operates like a taxi for just the cost of a bus ride. Isn’t that amazing?
Zip is the first in a line of “innovative services” that the Snohomish County transit agency is developing to provide the best possible service options for the local residents.
Other transit agencies in Washington are planning or have already implemented similar on-demand projects in their service areas.
We will explore some of these innovative programs and see how everyone is keeping up with changing transportation demands.
The Current, launched in January 2022, is an on-demand rideshare service providing point-to-point service within six service zones around Clark County. Riders can schedule their ride online or through a mobile app where they can track their driver’s arrival. Also, they can schedule a ride by calling.
Zip Alderwood Shuttle, started in October 2022 as an on-demand, point-to-point micro transit pilot project within a defined service area in Lynnwood. Riders use an app or call to book a ride and can pay with an ORCA card, credit/debit card or cash, and youth 18 and under ride free.
While Zip is a one-year pilot program, Community Transit is working with other cities in the county to explore similar innovative service options to meet their community needs.
King County Metro
The Seattle-based agency operates three different on-demand services, soon to be consolidated into one service in 2023:
Via to Transit, is public transportation that comes to your location. People book a ride straight from a phone and travel to/from key destinations across the Othello, Rainier Beach/Skyway neighborhoods, as well as Renton and Tukwila.
Ride Pingo to Transit is a ride on your schedule. The ride comes where the rider is located and takes them to the Sounder Train, bus, jobs and more in a defined neighborhood.
Community Ride on-demand, point-to-point pilot service in Sammamish and the Juanita area connects riders to shopping centers, transit, schools, etc.
BI Ride is an on-demand, shared-ride service for getting almost anywhere on Bainbridge Island. Riders request a ride and the bus will pick them up. People can book a round-trip as well as recurring trips up to seven days in advance.
SK Ride & Kingston Ride are two different shared-ride services that operate the same way within their own dedicated service areas by rider request only. There are no scheduled arrival or departure times from any specific location. Rides must begin and/or end inside the service area.
Dial-A-Ride, is an on-demand door-to-door shared ride service offered fare free to the general public. Mason Transit Authority’s Dial-A-Ride covers trip only within Mason County.
Snoqualmie Valley Transportation
Door-to-Door picks up riders at their location and takes them to their destination. It is an on-demand response system that requires advance scheduling by the rider. Also referred to as a shared-ride service, the daily routes vary and are generated by the rider’s demand.
Whatcom Transportation Authority
The Lynden Hop is an on-demand service operated where people can hail a ride anywhere within Lynden using a mobile app. It’s open to everyone, and just $1 per ride.