Metro, Local Services introduce Community Van Program to Skyway

SUMMARY

The Skyway Community Van will provide residents with 24/7, reservation-based transportation for group trips. Metro provides the vans, and volunteer drivers are managed by a local Community Van Coordinator.

STORY

The community has requested the van program – already a hit on Vashon Island –for some time.

Fittingly, the program’s first coordinator is likely familiar to locals. Community Van Coordinator Kahdijah Jackson is a Skyway native. She is a product of Thompson and Campbell Hill Elementary, Dimmitt Middle and Renton High Schools.


She has also worked with several groups and nonprofit organizations that serve the Skyway area. She can speak firsthand to the community’s need for transportation services beyond what’s already there.

Jackson realized there was a need for a community van program as a youth, and later working with youth. She said too often, families chose to opt out of onsite programs throughout Skyway that they need to access because there isn’t a direct commute. Kids would have to walk long distances to reach the closest bus stop, and families aren’t comfortable with that.

Now, Jackson realizes the need for direct service for Skyway residents of all ages.

“My mom is currently a caregiver” Jackson said. “She has a few clients who don’t drive. Working with clients and seniors who prefer not to or can’t drive can be difficult. I think this is going to be more helpful for them.”

How it works

The Skyway Community Van is a reservation-based rideshare service, available 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Riders with trip needs and those requiring an accessible vehicle are invited to request additional accommodation at the time of their reservation request.

  • Community members travel together to local destinations during the day, evening, or weekend.

  • Group trips and stops are preplanned (at least two weeks in advance) by a Community Transportation Coordinator.

  • Riders contact their Community Transportation Coordinator to join pre-scheduled Community Van trips.

  • Each trip must have at least two passengers in addition to the volunteer driver.

  • Each rider pays a standard Metro fare. The driver doesn’t pay a fare.

  • Riders can request a new trip by submitting an online form or contacting the Community Transportation Coordinator.

  • Riders can also suggest a trip they know will be popular with their friends and neighbors.

  • Accessible Community Vans are available on request. Tell the Community Transportation Coordinator about your needs before your trip.

Each rider pays a standard Metro fare. That’s $2.75 for a regular adult.

  • Use the Transit Go Ticket app on your phone

  • Use your ORCA Card

  • Use King County Metro Paper Tickets

Safety

  • All drivers and passengers are required to wear face masks when riding in Community Vans as required by Federal Law. Should a passenger arrive without a mask, one will be provided.

  • Each van provides hand sanitizer, Lysol spray and disinfectant wipes. All vans have vinyl safety screens between the driver and passengers.

Volunteer drivers wanted

The Skyway Community Van needs volunteer drivers! You can support your neighbors and your community and help the environment by becoming one. You can choose which trips you drive and how many times you drive each week.

  1. Download, complete, sign, and email your Community Van Driver Application to communityvan@kingcounty.gov.

  2. Complete Driver Orientation

  3. Start Driving! Once you become an approved driver, you will be able to use the van.

“It’s not a fulltime commitment,” Jackson said. “One day a month, twice a week - if you can only give four hours, please sign up because we need those four hours. Let’s build this together.

To find out how to schedule a trip, contact Kahdijah Jackson by phone at 206-477-7660 or by email at kajackson@kingcounty.gov. You may also visit the Community Van website for a current trip schedule or submit a trip request form. Calls, emails and trip requests will be responded to within 24-48 hours, or next business day if received on weekends or holidays.

QUOTES

  • King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay: “I am excited for the launch of the Skyway Community Van program. Over the years, Skyway has lacked options for public transportation. The Van Program will be a great benefit to providing accessible transportation to the community.”

LINKS

  • Community Van Driver Application