King County Metro has launched Transit GO Rewards that county residents and visitors can use to earn points that can be applied toward future transit trips or for credit on microtransit options such as e-scooters or bike share.
The county explains the program is part of Metro’s transit ridership campaign to let people know “It’s a great day to ride Metro” and encourage them to take public transportation rather than driving alone.
Riders can participate by downloading the Transit GO Ticket app and, after signing up, will receive 800 reward points, which can be redeemed for a free King County Metro adult day pass. Taking future trips on transit allows riders to earn more rewards to get around.
“Wherever you want to go, there’s never been a better time to use our award-winning transit network. This county-wide incentive will offer new riders the opportunity to see how reliable, safe, and stress-free transit is while giving current riders a chance to maximize their regular transit use,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “As more and more people get on board and earn Transit GO points, the biggest reward will be keeping cars off the road and reducing emissions with every ride. This is important not only in our fight against climate change, but for the benefits offered to those riding – fast, safe and reliable service, cost savings and the opportunity to read a book, play a game or catch up on work rather than staring at the car in front of you.”
From pilot to deployment
King County Metro and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) first piloted Transit GO Rewards in 2021 as part of the Flip Your Trip West Seattle program that encouraged transit use during the closure of the West Seattle high bridge.
The program was developed with Bytemark and Velocia. Bytemark explains that in addition to the existing functionality, in-app surveys will offer rewards for feedback on specific trips, larger ridership trends and demographic information to support new transit initiatives in the future. It will also enable the capture of valuable feedback to enhance the programs Metro already operates.
"We are focused on supporting our agency partners’ vision in growing their ridership in ways that are intuitive, valuable, and driven by technology," says Eric Reese, president and CEO of Bytemark. “Beyond rewarding passengers for their daily commute, we look for this program to help King County residents reinvest in their communities, as well as explore new locations and businesses to continue expansion.”
David Winterstein, CEO of Velocia added, "We know this program will incentivize both existing and new riders to further engage with the many transit options available within Seattle."
The West Seattle high bridge reopened in September 2022 yet support for the Rewards program and King County Metro’s ridership continued to grow. Bytemark reports 85 percent of active users in the pilot interacted with the platform regularly to claim their points earned by completing transit-focused trips—on average completing 18 rides per month. Redemption volumes were equally impressive, with 70 percent of active users redeeming their first reward within 24 hours of signing-up.
Metro’s ridership climbed in recent weeks to more than 240,000 average weekday riders. The agency’s all-day, frequent network includes 11,000 daily bus trips as well as Access Paratransit, Community Van, the King County Water Taxi, on-demand services, Seattle Streetcar, Vanpool and more.