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Rideshare load zones start in Seattle’s Capitol Hill to help ease curbside congestion

SDOT is introducing designated pick up spots for companies like Uber and Lyft in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood for peak nightlife hours.

Editor's note: The above video previously aired on KING 5.

SEATTLE -- Passenger loading zones are now available in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood for rideshare pickups. The program started Nov. 14 in order to alleviate congestion along East Pike Street.

Too many cars during peak travel times make it harder for police patrol and emergency response vehicles to access the popular nightlife neighborhood, especially late at night when bars and restaurants begin to close, according to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) 

The curb space will be available Thursday through Saturday between midnight and 3 a.m. 

Anyone requesting a ride-share service within SDOT’s designated geo-fence will be directed to the closest loading zone. Orange signs greet passengers to make it clear they are waiting at the right location.

The below map shows the geo-fence area and where loading zones will be:

Credit: SDOT
Anyone requesting a ridehail service within the geo-fence (see blue area in map) will be directed to the load zone closest to them, with the option of choosing another if it suits their needs better.

“With this dedicated curb space pilot, riders out late in Capitol Hill can find a convenient ride home at the touch of a button, while helping to alleviate traffic congestion in the busy nightlife area. We’re proud to support this initiative with SDOT. It’s part of our commitment to collaborate with cities in developing innovative transportation options for the communities we serve,” said Ben Kemp, Sr. central operations manager at Uber.

Programs will be monitored by the city of Seattle and rideshare companies closely during the first 30 days.

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