Local Department of Transportation Offers Free and Discounted Rides to Seniors, People with Disabilities, and Caregivers, Seattle, WA, 2022
5 minutes Date Launched: Mar 1, 2022 Pilot Project Timeframe: 3 months
Credit: Seattle Department of Transportation
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has launched Ride Now, which gives taxi and ridehail vouchers to people over the age of 65, people with disabilities, and caregivers. In this pilot, eligible participants can request up to six $20 vouchers by completing an online form or calling a hotline. Participants can apply the vouchers to rides with Seattle Yellow Cab, Lyft, and Uber starting or ending in Seattle. If a fare amounts to $20 or less, the rides are free; customers must only pay fares that exceed $20 (for example, if a fare amounts to $26, customers need to only pay $6). Customers can also use any remaining fare value on a voucher as a tip for drivers through Yellow Cab, but not for Lyft or Uber. Vouchers expire at the end of each month during the pilot.
SDOT is piloting the Ride Now service to improve connections to transit stations and other essential destinations throughout Seattle for people with mobility challenges. A paid steering committee of community members informed the development of this program. SDOT is supporting this pilot with a grant from Transit Planning 4 All, hoping that participants use this as a first-/last-mile option on their trip journeys; the $20 trip voucher is estimated to cover fares up to 3 miles. Pilots like these can demonstrate how taxis and transportation network companies (TNCs) can support paratransit services.