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The Alternative Services program brings service to parts of King County that don't have the infrastructure, density, or land use to support traditional fixed-route bus service. In such areas, alternative transportation services may be a better match for community transportation needs. They may also be more cost-effective.

This 2-year demonstration project is an opportunity to experiment with innovative transportation models. By partnering with local governments, King County Metro will develop transportation options tailor-made to the needs of the community.

Programs goals

We will seek services that…

  • More effectively serve communities where fixed-route transit may not be cost-effective.
  • Match services to an area’s land use and infrastructure characteristics.

We will seek opportunities to…

  • Collaborate with stakeholders to design a service that meets their needs.
  • Partner with communities to deliver and market these services.
  • Develop services that can be sustained over time.

Examples of alternative services

There are a wide variety of transportation alternatives to fixed-route transit service. Learn more about these options:

VanPool
Vanpools are for commuting together regularly to work or school in a Metro van. Participants share the cost of fuel, while the volunteer driver rides free.
Metropool
Ridesharing in Metro’s fleet of 100% electric, zero-emission vehicles.
VanShare
VanShares are Metro vans which groups can use to travel between transit and work on a regular on-going basis. Participants share the cost of fuel and the volunteer driver rides free.
TripPool
TripPool is a new service available in select communities. Neighbors ride together in a Metro van between their home neighborhoods and the nearest Park & Ride or Transit Center.
SchoolPool
An online ridematching service that helps students to find walking buddies, biking buddies, or parent carpools to and from school.
Real-Time Rideshare
Mobile carpool matching services that help people find one-time carpools in real-time.
Carpool
Metro participates in an extensive regional ridematching service to help drivers and riders connect with others going their way.
Community Shuttles
Small Metro vehicles that travel a regular route with designated Flexible Service Areas.
Emergency Ride Home
Some participating communities and some select programs include an Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program.
Community Van
Community Van is a new Metro service for non-commute group trips such as trips to the grocery store or special events.

Alternatives into action

Strong community partnerships are the key to a successful alternative services project. Thanks to the contributions and efforts of our municipal partners, alternative services are already rolling out across the county!

Projects in progress

We are currently partnering with the following communities to develop Alternative Services projects. Learn more about each project:

Success stories

We have already had successful Alternative Services partnerships in the King County. Learn about all the great mobility options now available in the following communities:

Customer services offices
Lost & found
Comment forms