Whatcom Transportation Authority launches on-demand van service in Lynden

June 15, 2021
The Lynden Hop is a mostly funded by an FTA grant and will operate for one year as a pilot project.

The 15,000 residents in Lynden, Wash., have a new on-demand van service operated by Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) in Bellingham, Wash.

The Lynden Hop is a one-year pilot mostly funded (80 percent) by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) through the Integrated Mobility Innovations (IMI) grant program, which supports innovative technologies that improve access to public transportation, increase efficiency and enhance the overall rider experience.

WTA’s Lynden Hop service was one of 25 projects to receive IMI grant funding in March 2020.

WTA serves both dense urban areas and less dense smaller cities. The authority explains it finds the standard offerings of fixed route and paratransit service to be less effective for residents of small cities. This pilot project will test whether on-demand service could increase the effectiveness and usage of public transportation in a small city. Though it will be open to everyone, marketing will target seniors, people with disabilities and people with limited incomes.

The $1 fare can be paid in cash or with valid WTA bus passes and the authority expects most riders to book the Lynden Hop through its new mobile app. However, rides can be booked via phone or through a web browser, as well.

“Like other WTA services, the Lynden Hop will be safe, reliable and friendly. It will also provide a new level of convenience, as people can travel point to point anywhere within Lynden. I encourage everyone to try this new service,” said WTA Board Member and Lynden Mayor Scott Korthuis.

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