Spirits were high Wednesday morning as Lynnwood city officials along with Community Transit partners cut the ribbon for the transit agency’s new pilot program, Zip Alderwood.
“It’s not often we get to try something new and that’s what we’re doing today, so that’s cool,” said Ric Ilgenfritz, CEO of Community Transit.
Ilgenfritz said in past years, Community Transit has built transportation systems expecting commuters to come to them, but with Zip Alderwood, transportation is coming to commuters.
The Zip Alderwood shuttle will cost $2.50 for each adult and be free for anyone under 18 – the same as a local bus fare. The shuttles are also reduced-fare eligible. Like other transit systems in the area, riders must have the exact dollar amount if paying with cash, as drivers do not carry change. Zip trips can be paid for with cash, a bus ticket or with ORCA.
Commuters can also hail and pay for rides through the smartphone app, called GOIN’, or with a phone call. Shuttles can pick up and drop off customers from any location in the specified Zip Alderwood area.
“We’re trying to emphasize convenience . . . and affordability,” Ilgenfritz said.
The pilot consists of four vehicles: One four-passenger sedan, one seven-passenger minivan and two ADA-compliant vans that have one wheelchair space and can seat three additional passengers.
U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen also attended the event to congratulate Lynnwood on its new pilot program.
“Public transportation is so important because it breaks down barriers,” Larsen said. “Not only that, but the Zip line helps build a cleaner and greener transportation network.”
The pilot was funded by a $1 million grant that Larsen helped secure from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program.
Jennifer Hass, community program manager at Community Transit, said drivers and riders will be able to call one another through the app if they have any questions about the ride. Walking viewers through the app, Hass said commuters will be able to see on a map how close their Zip Shuttle is so they can be prepared for its arrival.
Riders will also be able to rate their drivers after being dropped off and have the option to leave other feedback if inclined. Hass encouraged all riders to leave feedback, whether positive or negative.
“This is a pilot project,” she said. “Which means it is brand new. There will be some bumps. But we’re really hoping to gain as much insight as possible during this pilot period.”
Larsen agreed, saying feedback from customers is essential to ensuring the Zip Alderwood shuttle becomes what the community wants and needs.
“Tell us how it’s working,” he said. “Tell us how it can be improved. Let us know how it’s going. This is truly a pilot project and we need your help to improve it.”
The one-year program will launch at 5 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 20 in the Alderwood Mall area and will be available seven days a week between the hours of 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Book a trip on a Zip Alderwood shuttle through the GOIN’ app or by calling 425-521-5600.
— Story and photos by Lauren Reichenbach