Public Transit Rideshare

The Public Transit Rideshare grant program—formerly the Vanpool Investment Program—supports rideshare programs at transit agencies across Washington.

Transit agencies use these grant funds to expand rideshare fleets, replace aging rideshare vehicles and provide incentives to employers to increase ridership. The funding allows transit agencies to purchase rideshare vehicles with alternative fuel types, including low-emission plug-in hybrids and zero-emission all-electric vehicles.

Washington has the largest public rideshare fleet in the nation. Each workday, around 18,000 commuters travel in more than 3,000 rideshare vehicles. These rideshares improve air quality, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce the number of cars on the road. The state's partnership with transit agencies began with 12 transit agencies in 2001, and has since expanded to 22 transit agencies across Washington.

Available funding

WSDOT anticipates being able to award as much as $2 million in grant funding for the 2023-2025 biennium. This program is supported by state funding.

Match requirements

No match is required.

Eligible applicants

Washington state transit agencies are eligible to apply, including:

  • City transit systems under RCW 35.58.2721 or chapter 35.95A RCW.
  • County public transportation authorities under chapter 36.57 RCW.
  • Metropolitan municipal corporation transit systems under chapter 36.56 RCW.
  • Public transportation benefit areas under chapter 36.57A RCW.
  • Unincorporated transportation benefit areas under RCW 36.57.100.
  • Special-purpose districts formed to operate a public transportation system.

Eligible projects

The Public Transit Rideshare capital grant program supports these types of projects:

  • Vehicle replacement and expansion
  • Incentives to promote ridesharing

Important dates

  • February 2023: Grant application is available in the Grants Management System for the 2023-2025 biennium.
  • March 2023: Applications are due in the Grants Management System.
  • March 2023: WSDOT's evaluation panel reviews and scores applications.
  • April 2023: WSDOT sends award letters to grantees.
  • July 1, 2023: 2023-2025 biennium begins.

Award prioritization

Tier 1

WSDOT will prioritize Public Transit Rideshare grant awards for:

  • Replacement rideshare-vehicle requests
  • Employer incentives

Evaluation criteria for replacement rideshare vehicles:

  • Must be beyond the Federal Transit Administration’s minimum useful life standards (i.e., four years or 100,000 miles).
  • Must be consistent with the applying agency’s transit development plan.

Transit agencies can apply for Public Transit Rideshare incentives to increase or maintain employee rideshare participation. Transit agencies can distribute incentives through employers.

Tier 2

WSDOT will give rideshare fleet-expansion requests the lowest priority.

Scoring criteria

The selection committee will evaluate applications in four categories:

  • Quality of application/application completeness
  • Demonstration of need
  • Readiness to proceed
  • Financial proposal

Awards

The 2021-2023 Public Transit Rideshare grants table below shows 10 projects funded for $2 million. This includes $1,443,000 for the purchase of 58 vans and $557,000 for employer incentives.

Organization

Project description

Legislative district(s)

Award

Asotin County PTBA (Asotin County Public Transportation Benefit Area)

Provides capital support the purchase of two vans (gasoline)

9

$72,000

Grant Transit Authority (Grant County Public Transportation Benefit Area)

Provides capital support the purchase of five vans (gasoline)

12, 13

$120,000

Grays Harbor Transit (Grays Harbor Transportation Authority)

Provides capital support the purchase of seven vans (gasoline)

19, 20, 22, 24

$168,000

Intercity Transit

Provides capital support the purchase of 12 vans (hybrid)

2, 22, 28, 29, 35

$324,000

Intercity Transit

Employer incentives to promote vanpool participation

2, 22, 28, 29, 35

$55,500

Island Transit (Island County Public Transportation Benefit Area)

Provides capital support the purchase of five vans (hybrid)

2

$135,000

King County Metro Transit

Employer incentives to promote vanpool participation in partnership with Pierce Transit and Kitsap Transit

1, 2, 5, 11, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 39, 41, 43, 45, 46, 47, 48

$501,500

King County Metro Transit

Provides capital support the purchase of 12 vans (gasoline)

1, 5, 11, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 39, 41, 43, 45, 46, 47, 48

$288,000

Skagit Transit (Skagit Transit System)

Provides capital support the purchase of nine vans (gasoline)

10, 38, 39, 40

$216,000

Valley Transit

Provides capital support the purchase of five vans (gasoline)

16

$120,000

Sign up for grant updates

To stay informed about WSDOT public transportation grants, you can register for updates by selecting “Public Transportation Grants” under “Funding” in the GovDelivery menu

For more information, contact your local WSDOT Public Transportation community liaison.

 

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