SDOT launches new ‘Flip Your Trip West Seattle’ initiative to help travelers

Sept. 24, 2021
The initiative encourages use of transit, vanpool, shared bikes and scooters during the West Seattle Bridge closure.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) launched its Flip Your Trip West Seattle initiative to support non-single occupancy vehicle mobility options and reduce the impacts of the West Seattle Bridge closure. 

People who live or work in West Seattle can visit to sign up for a comprehensive travel options program that includes a $25 sign-up bonus for free rides on transit and scooter/bikeshare, or free vanpool fares. The program also offers trip planning assistance, special informational events, as well as an opportunity to earn more free rides.  

SDOT and King County Metro Transit are working together to increase West Seattle transit service. Last week, SDOT announced it would provide the funding needed for King County to increase Water Taxi service and continue sailing seven days a week all winter long.  

On Oct. 2, King County Metro will increase bus service on West Seattle Routes 50, 60, 120 and RapidRide C Line thanks to SDOT funding from the 2020 voter-approved Seattle Transit Measure. 

“It is our hope that this program will incentivize people to use different modes of transportation over the Duwamish River that can also support long-term changes in travel patterns even when the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge reopens next year,” said SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe. “Duwamish valley communities along the detour route have been severely affected by increased traffic and speeding through their neighborhoods, and we can all do our part together.”  

“We know how difficult the West Seattle Bridge closure has been, and we want to do what we can to support people making travel choices that help reduce congestion,” added SDOT West Seattle Bridge Program Director Heather Marx. “Every trip someone takes riding a bus, biking, walking or rolling means one less car on the road.”  

Flip Your Trip West Seattle encourages people to replace car trips with other travel options such as transit, vanpooling, biking, scooting or staying local. Anyone who lives or works in the West Seattle area is eligible to take the #FlipYourTrip pledge and receive an initial sign-up bonus worth $25 to use on the free rides of their choice. This incentive works on King County Metro buses, water taxis, Sound Transit, Seattle Streetcar and all local scooter and bike share companies (Lime, LINK, Spin and Wheels). 

The campaign will also support vanpooling—covering new King County Metro vanpool riders’ first month of vanpool costs and providing monthly fare beyond the first month for eligible participants. All official King County Metro vanpools can apply for access to use the West Seattle low bridge at all times of day.  

The Flip Your Trip campaign features a new partnership with King County Metro, as participants can receive their free rides on Metro’s Transit GO Ticket mobile app. Participants can redeem their initial sign-up bonus by clicking on the new “rewards” button in the app menu, which will appear as 2,500 rewards points. Additional reward points can be earned by making transit and scooter/bike share trips. 

“We’re excited to find new ways to move more people away from getting stuck in their cars in traffic, and instead traveling by buses, boats and vanpool,” said King County Metro Mobility Division Director Chris O’Claire. “Transit is also critical to making access to opportunity more equitable and improving our air and water quality.” 

People who do not have smartphones can choose to receive an ORCA card and program updates through community organizations. Information abou Flip Your Trip West Seattle is available in nine languages (English, Spanish, Somali, Oromo, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Khmer).  

SDOT will continue to provide updates about neighborhood-specific travel options throughout the Flip Your Trip West Seattle campaign through educational events. 

The West Seattle Bridge closure has impacted travel to and from the West Seattle peninsula, including Duwamish Valley communities, where detour routes have increased traffic and pollution from people driving.  

The West Seattle High-Rise Bridge remains on track to reopen in mid-2022. The bridge was closed in March 2020 after city engineers discovered rapidly growing cracks in multiple locations. SDOT crews immediately set to work on emergency stabilization work which halted the cracks from growing larger and kept the bridge standing, but additional work is needed to further strengthen the bridge to support the weight and stress of daily traffic. 

SDOT will resume construction for the final phase of repairs later this year.