Community Transit will launch a one-year pilot of the agency’s first on-demand ride service in the Alderwood area of Lynnwood on Thursday, Oct. 20. The service, named Zip, will be available anywhere within the defined service area in the Alderwood neighborhood. The flexible service can be used for any reason, including running errands, getting to work, going to the movies or making connections to a bus. The service will run from 5 a.m. – 10 p.m. every day and will cost the same price as a standard, local bus trip.
“People will be able to summon a ride on Zip using a smartphone app,” said Community Transit CEO Ric Ilgenfritz. “Our goal with Zip is to introduce an innovative new transit service that provides an easy way to get around locally for the price of a bus ride. We look forward to hearing feedback as we consider additional pilot projects in the county.”
Customers will be able to request a ride when they need it, similar to ride-hailing services, eliminating the need to keep track of set schedules or plan far in advance. Ride requests can be made using a mobile phone app or by making a phone call.
Unlike existing transit services in the city, which mostly operate on fixed routes, Community Transit Zip shuttles will run anywhere within the Alderwood service area and will pick riders up and drop them off at locations of their choice. The Zip shuttle does not have prescheduled stops and though wait times will vary based on demand, customers can expect to wait 10- 15 minutes for the shuttle to arrive. If requested, Zip will also provide rides to the Lynnwood Transit Center.
Community Transit Zip shuttle riders will pay the same price as they would on a standard, local bus trip: $2.50. Riders 18 and under can ride for free. ORCA cards, ORCA LIFT, credit/debit cards and cash will all be accepted. Those using ORCA cards can transfer to other transit services or make a return trip within a two-hour transfer window at no additional cost. Zip shuttles will be ADA-accessible, and drivers are trained to assist people who use mobility devices.
To develop this pilot, Community Transit began working closely with the City of Lynnwood and local community organizations in 2021 to better understand how to meet local transit needs. The Alderwood area was chosen as the first test area because of its growing population, popular destinations and the new Link light rail station being built in Lynnwood. A detailed assessment found travel gaps and barriers to accessing transportation in Lynnwood. Zip’s quick-trip, on-demand shuttle solution was proposed to address these needs. Community Transit is currently exploring three additional community pilot projects and have begun discussions with the cities of Arlington, Darrington and Lake Stevens.