King County Metro

King County Metro

King County Metro is the public transit authority for of King County, Washington, which includes the city of Seattle. They piloted a series of on-demand first/last mile access to transit services that connect people with fixed-route transit. Customers within predetermined service areas are able to use smartphone apps to request to be picked up on-demand and share rides with other customers to/from the nearest transit hub. The services will also be available to customers through call centers and will offer wheelchair accessible vehicles when needed.

King County Metro Facts

47
%
Seattle Riders Using Transit
400
k
Rides Provided Daily
85
%
Car Owners Who Ride The Bus
14
Ride2 Passenger Vans

Avoiding the "Seattle Squeeze"

West Seattle is a large community that houses commuters who work downtown and is nearly completely surrounded by water. Commuters utilize a major expressway called the Alaskan Way Viaduct, which is a 3 mile stretch of high traffic road that services over 100,000 vehicles daily and connects West Seattle to the downtown city center.

The Alaskan Way Viaduct is being replaced by a tunnel and during the transition, King County Metro put together a planning team to help alleviate the challenges commuters would be facing with their journeys to work.  This team identified two major hubs in West Seattle that people could connect to mass transit or the sea taxi in order to commute downtown without a car, whereby avoiding the “Seattle Squeeze”.

The next challenge Metro faced was getting riders to these hubs which do not have parking structures designed for this large influx of vehicles.  The solution was Ride2 Transit: an on-demand transit service that connects people from their home to these hubs and back.  The launch of a new On-Demand transportation service in West Seattle connects commuters to these hubs using dedicated vans equipped with tablet technology for drivers.

The Power of Ride2

Ride2 is powered by Routematch’s Mobility technology platform which includes an iOS and Android app for riders to hail Ride2 vehicles in real-time.  This platform automatically dispatches ride requests from riders to drivers using an autonomous ride matching engine and unlike a taxi service, matches similar passenger trips together to maximize ridesharing.  Passengers are able to see their vehicle in real-time through the app as well as receive estimated time of arrival details.

Overall, Ride2 has been successful in providing West Seattle commuters with new options for traveling in the region and will continue doing so following the opening of the new tunnel.