SEATTLE — The City of Seattle said it reached an agreement Wednesday with King County that will allow increased water taxi services for residents as long as the West Seattle Bridge is closed.
The summer sailing schedule was set to end on October 15, but now the West Seattle water taxi will continue to operate at summertime service levels from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.
"There's no better way to go Downtown than a straight line across the water," said Buick MacNamara who took the water taxi to Wednesday's Mariners game.
King County Metro will also add bus service to Route 50 between Alki and SODO beginning on October 2.
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) hopes to see more people use public transit to ease vehicle traffic around the West Seattle detour.
Ridership data from SDOT shows there has not been a significant increase in public transit ridership since the bridge closed in March of 2020, but there has been a significant increase in traffic on both the South Park and 1st Avenue Bridge.
SDOT announced Wednesday it will begin a new program called 'Flip Your Trip.' The program gives people who live or work in West Seattle or South Park incentives to take public transit. It's connected to King County's Transit GO Rewards program, where points can be redeemed for free rides. The city expects to launch the program in late September.
"You can sign-up and pledge to be apart of the campaign to really try to change the way you travel around, if you can and when you can. Even if it's just for one trip a week," said Sara Zora with SDOT.