For the Reporter:
As the Puget Sound Region prepares for greater regional congestion from major public and private construction projects like the pending closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, King County Metro and carpooling apps Waze Carpool and Scoop are offering a new pilot program to make it more convenient for commuters to travel together.
Building on commuter services that Metro already offers, the program provides county residents and employees with additional mobility options to cut congestion, cut energy consumption and improve equitable access to mobility.
For commuters heading to or from Seattle, the program creates a travel option to mitigate commute impacts owing to the upcoming, permanent state Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. With expected traffic delays during peak hours, commuters who can’t telecommute or who use vanpools or transit may reduce their stress by leaving their car at home and sharing rides.
Commuters can choose to be a passenger and join a carpool trip at a discounted rate, or be a driver and offer a ride to earn incentives. The carpooling apps are free to download.
By piloting carpool incentives, King County Metro expects to learn more about how to better serve commuters. The initial project will last through the Viaduct-closure period and, depending on the results of the early phases, Metro may make adjustments to the program and consider whether to make it a longer term initiative that evolves over time.
Incentives are available for a limited time. The program is available for all trips starting or ending in King County. Service areas and pricing vary across apps.
To learn more about the upcoming closures and how best to prepare, visit the King County Metro Get Ready website.