The aging Alaskan Way Viaduct will close permanently Jan. 11. Crews will then need three weeks to connect surface ramps before the new Highway 99 tunnel can open in its place. Uber and Lyft are offering discounts to and from public transit hubs, to help with the expected heavy traffic.
Lyft and Uber are offering reduced fares to and from some transit hubs to ease the traffic pinch between the upcoming closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the opening of the new Highway 99 tunnel.
Starting Monday, and continuing through Feb. 15, Lyft will discount $2.75, the price of an adult transit ticket, from the cost of all shared rides to and from 10 transit centers in Seattle.
Lyft’s discounts can be applied to the following transit hubs:
- Burien Transit Center
- Northgate Transit Center Park & Ride
- Olson Place & Myers Way Park & Ride
- Columbia City Station
- Mt. Baker Station
- Othello Station
- Rainier Beach Station
- Tukwila International Boulevard Station
- University of Washington Station
- West Seattle Water Taxi
Uber is offering the same discount beginning Monday for the same transit hubs, except Olson Place & Myers Way Park & Ride, and adding the Beacon Hill Station, SeaTac Airport Station and the Angle Lake Station to the list.
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Lyft’s reduction will be automatically applied to accounts for users who have taken a Lyft ride in the last 30 days. First-time users should enter the discount code REALIGN99 in the Lyft app or go to www.lyft.com/i/realign99 to receive a discount.
Uber users can enter the promo code COMMUTESMART.
In addition, Uber, which owns the portable bike rental company JUMP, is waiving $1 fees to unlock bikes between Jan. 11 and Feb. 15 and increasing the number of bikes available on streets.
The ailing Alaskan Way Viaduct will close permanently Jan. 11 after 66 years in operation. Crews will then need three weeks to connect surface ramps before the new Highway 99 tunnel can open in its place.
During that time, traffic is expected to be worse than the 2011 “Viadoom” destruction of the southern part of the viaduct, or the 10-day closure in spring 2016 while tunnel-boring machine Bertha drilled under the viaduct at Yesler Way.
Highway 99, including the viaduct, will be closed in both directions between Spokane Street and the Battery Street Tunnel, while Aurora Avenue North will be reduced to one lane each direction through South Lake Union. Traffic may use the Battery Street Tunnel to and from the short Western Avenue ramps at its south end.
Transportation officials have encouraged commuters to allow extra time for traffic, to use public transit, and to ask their employers to adjust their work schedules, including telecommute during the three-week squeeze.