The Ride Free Area has been an essential service to people experiencing homelessness and living on low incomes in downtown Seattle for 39 years. When the King County Council directed Metro to eliminate the Ride Free Area, SKCCH members immediately took up the cause and advocated across the County for the implementation of a robust mitigation plan. SKCCH members contacted King County, Metro, and City of Seattle officials, testified at County Council meetings, and organized a postcard campaign to provide relevant and vital about the impact the loss of the Ride Free Area will have on people experiencing homelessness.
As a result of coordinated advocacy efforts, the City of Seattle has partnered with Solid Ground to provide a free alternative bus service in the downtown area. The two Solid Ground circulators stop at 7 Metro bus stops along a 4.5 mile route about every 30 minutes. This new route includes Harborview Medical Center and other important First Hill services which could not previously be accessed via the Ride Free Area. The circulator buses provide necessary access to downtown health and human services for people experiencing homelessness; however the days, hours, and stops are significantly reduced compared to the Ride Free Area due to funding constraints.
More information about the Solid Ground Circulator can be found at: http://www.solidground.org/Programs/Transportation/circulator/Pages/default.aspx
Do you have any feedback regarding the word from clients, staff, residents, and guests about the Circulator and the effects on people’s daily lives and health due to the loss of the Ride Free Area?
Do you have feedback related to the circulator buses you think SKCCH should know about?
If so, contact me at Kathariner@homelessinfo.org or 206-357-3144.