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Shuttle service to light rail launches in South Seattle, Tukwila

(AP)

In an effort to increase connectivity to public transportation, Seattle area officials are launching an on-demand shuttle service to carry more people to Sound Transit trains in southeast Seattle and Tukwila.

Beginning this week, customers in designated service areas will be able use the Via to Transit app or call 206-258-7739 to order van rides to and from five light rail stations, including Mount Baker, Columbia City, Othello, Rainier Beach, and Tukwila International Boulevard.

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The shuttle cost will be the standard adult fare, which users will be able to apply as transfer toward a trip on a bus or train. The service is intended to increase access to light rail for those who don’t own a car, live far away from transit hubs, and/or want to avoid driving and parking.

“As we continue to build a city of the future, we are providing new ways for our neighbors to access transit. Reliable, affordable transit creates pathways to jobs, training, school, and opportunity, and we will continue to provide more choices for Seattle residents,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.

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“Thanks to the City’s investment and strong partnerships, this new first-last mile connection will help ensure that South Seattle residents have more options for safely and quickly getting to key transit hubs as we continue navigating the Seattle Squeeze.”

A partnership between King County Metro, Sound Transit, and the City of Seattle, the program is part of a yearlong pilot project funded by $2.7 million from the voter-approved Seattle Transportation Benefit District, as well as a grant from the Federal Transit Administration.

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