FOLLOWUP: SDOT launches ‘Flip Your Trip’ rewards

(SDOT camera image from this morning)

At last week’s meeting of the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force (WSB coverage here), SDOT previewed a rewards program for West Seattleites who try alternative ways to get around. Today – exactly a year and a half after the bridge closure, and as traffic continues to increase with schools and workplaces reopening – SDOT announced the “Flip Your Trip” initiative has launched. From the announcement:

Starting today, people who live or work in West Seattle can visit to sign up for a comprehensive travel options program that includes a $25 sign-up bonus for free rides on transit and scooter/bike-share, or free vanpool fares. The program also offers trip planning assistance, special informational events, as well as an opportunity to earn more free rides. …

Flip Your Trip West Seattle encourages people to replace car trips with other travel options such as transit, vanpooling, biking, scooting, or staying local. Anyone who lives or works in the West Seattle area is eligible to take a pledge to take the #FlipYourTrip pledge and receive an initial sign-up bonus worth $25 to use on the free rides of their choice. This incentive works on King County Metro buses, water taxis, Sound Transit, Seattle Streetcar and all local scooter and bike share companies (Lime, LINK, Spin, and Wheels).

The campaign will also support vanpooling—covering new King County Metro vanpool riders’ first month of vanpool costs and providing monthly fare beyond the first month for eligible participants. All official King County Metro vanpools can apply for access to use the West Seattle low bridge at all times of day.

The Flip Your Trip campaign features a new partnership with King County Metro, as participants can receive their free rides on Metro’s Transit GO Ticket mobile app (android | ios). Participants can redeem their initial sign up bonus by clicking on the new “rewards” button in the app menu, which will appear as 2,500 rewards points. Additional reward points can be earned by making transit and scooter/bike share trips. …

People who do not have smartphones can choose to receive an ORCA card and program updates through community organizations, instead of using the Transit GO Ticket mobile app.

Information about Flip Your Trip West Seattle is available in nine languages (English, Spanish, Somali, Oromo, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Khmer).

27 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: SDOT launches 'Flip Your Trip' rewards"

  • Jort September 23, 2021 (11:35 am)

    This is truly transportation virtue signaling. All image, no substance. While SDOT is correct that people should use any other method than their personal car to get in and out of West Seattle, it is laughable and silly that they’re providing a $25 subsidy, which is less than half of a tank of gas for most people.  If SDOT were serious, and wanted to provide ACTUAL transportation options, they would place a $20 each-way toll on personal cars entering and leaving the peninsula, quadruple transit coverage in West Seattle, offer free e-bikes for every citizen, close streets entirely to cars and reappropriate public space toward alternative transportation. SDOT will spend more on silly, pointless “Home Zone” 1-inch-tall “speed” humps and wasteful “redesigns” of the Highland Park/Marginal Way intersection than they do on this “Flip Your Trip” program. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up spending more on those stupid mailers they sent out warning about school zone camera tickets. SDOT is a broken agency stuck in a cars-first mindset that always finds millions of dollars to pointlessly, fruitlessly try to solve the unsolvable problem of “traffic.” And, best of all, despite dedicating nearly 99% of their budget to cars-first projects, car drivers will STILL scream ceaselessly at them and accuse them of being engaged in a “War on Cars.” But these corny, cringeworthy crumbs they throw out (with that ridiculous salmon mascot; note, salmon are dying because of cars and their pollution), it’s just so stupid and wasteful. 

    • M September 23, 2021 (12:49 pm)

      Do you really hope for a future with no personal transit option (such as cars) whatsoever?  I’m having surgery tomorrow.  What would you expect me to do when I am released?  Hop on an e-bike?  Hobble to a bus stop when I’ll be nauseous and weak?  How would anyone visit their friends or family in non-urban areas?   How would you transport any items larger that what you could carry?  Your vision is just not based in reality. 

      • Jort September 23, 2021 (4:58 pm)

        This is always the go-to argument: that somehow one person having a surgery means every citizen should rely on cars for every single trip, every single day, in every single place in America. This is not a realistic portrayal of the majority of transportation needs. Nor is it realistic to expect that every single car will be fully eliminated. No city has ever done that. But cities have successfully designed their transportation around reducing reliance on single occupant car trips by de-prioritizing cars and prioritizing transit, biking and other forms of scalable, sustainable transportation. Because streets have limited space, this results in trade-offs, but intelligent cities, those whose transportation departments aren’t run at nearly the full behest of automobile drivers, have managed those trade-offs to make happier, better cities and citizens. No city anywhere on the entire planet earth, in the entirety of human existence, has been successful in fully relying on automobiles as its primary transportation method. There is no “light timing” or “secret design fix” or “automated driving” that will overcome the strict geometrical and physical limitations and inefficiencies of cars. Seattle will not be the first city in human history to solve this problem, because 1+1 will never equal 1. 

        • ALKI RIDER September 23, 2021 (11:46 pm)

          Jort, realistically, people could actually ride motorcycles as a best of all worlds! Space efficient, sustainable, high speed, quick time to arrival, efficient, and still preserves the freedom for scheduling the trip and navigating a city.And let’s not even argue “oh it’s so dangerous” or “it rains here all the time”. People seem to ride bicycles and advocate for that ridership, it’s time same people (or hopefully even more) advocate for riding motorcycles as a viable transportation option and *not* like it’s some sort of speed devil crotch-rocketeering toy as it’s perceived in this country.

          • skeeter September 24, 2021 (9:08 am)

            Alki Rider – I can’t speak for Jort, but my understanding is motorcycles are more sustainable than cars and SUVs.  Motorcycles take less space to park/store and take up less road space.  They do travel at high speeds, though, so motorcycles do contribute to traffic congestion because at 40 mph you’ll need to have a buffer of space in front of the motorcycle and behind the motorcycle.  So my understanding is adding a motorcycle to a public street does increase congestion, but not as much as a car or SUV.    Ride safe amigo!

          • Scubafrog September 24, 2021 (3:20 pm)

            Perhaps some might entertain the idea when they’re electric.  But still extraordinarily dangerous, the death rate amongst motorcycle riders is catastrophic.  They aren’t called “fool-killers” for no reason.  Motorcycles  will never be a safe option.  Bicylicing is safe and green, as is public transpo, and electric motoring (in safely-built automobiles).  Fossil fuels are destroying the planet, and are doing irreparable harm (causing pandemics, killing off species, amongst destroying the planet, and costing trillions in mitigation efforts).  

          • ALKI RIDER September 24, 2021 (8:20 pm)

            SCUBAFROG – That’s exactly my point – motorcycling is safer when a course through MSF is taken into account and overall culture changes. Worldwide in places like Britain, France, SE Asia, motorcycles and scooters are quite common and expected. Unfortunately it’s this specific “fool killers” culture that is toxic to the perception regarding motorcycles and it can also change. Electric high speed motorcycles are already available today (Zero, a company out of Portland), but they suffer the same issue as EVs today: high cost, low range, low repairability for longevity. Additionally, motorcycles get a higher MPG and many modern bikes are fuel-injected and come with catalytic converters to reduce emissions even further. If you want to get people to give up driving for their commutes and reduce emissions, motorcycling would be one way to appease them.

          • Scubafrog September 25, 2021 (3:33 pm)

            Now I get it, and that makes sense.  Per capita the death rate re motorcycles in the UK and the EU is way down, when compared to the US.  As their average car is quite small and so many people ride scooters/motorcycles (fuel’s expensive there).  So I get how if more took to motorcycling (with less cars), it would actually be safer + the proper safety courses.  Interesting.  Thanks for your patience, and explaining it.  

        • skeeter September 24, 2021 (8:31 am)

          I’ve been a Jort fan for years.  But I gotta say this post (September 23, 2021 at 4:58pm) is some of Jort’s finest work.  Definitely making my  “Jort top ten” list.     

      • Neighbor September 24, 2021 (10:54 am)

        Please don’t feed the trolls.

    • WSB September 23, 2021 (12:52 pm)

      They might actually be spending more on this – there was an RFQ earlier this year for a consultant contract up to a million.

    • Jim September 23, 2021 (3:32 pm)

      That’s not helpful to the situation at all!

    • Wseattleite September 23, 2021 (6:30 pm)

      I completely agree with Jort’s comment that this program is virtue signaling, all image, and no substance.

    • 1994 September 23, 2021 (8:09 pm)

      I agree with Jort’s observation “SDOT is a broken agency ” ….it has been broken for decades….and more recently  SDOT is NOT interested in efficiently moving motor vehicles about the city as evidenced by traffic bottle necks created by the SDOT.  Flip your trip = SDOT has already flipped our trip in West Seattle! What more flipping do they want from West Seattle?

  • Chas Redmond September 23, 2021 (12:26 pm)

    For a “once-in-a-blue-moon” situation, I totally and thoroughly agree with Jort. SDOT could not be more failed, or more broken.

  • wsalien September 23, 2021 (1:48 pm)

    The less cars the better, e-bikes, scooters, and four wheel scooters for old people. Those could all be on the street if we had less cars. LESS cars not 0 cars…for now anyway.

  • helpermonkey September 23, 2021 (1:53 pm)

    Flip My Trip? How about Fix Your Transit? signed, all of Arbor Heights 

  • anonyme September 23, 2021 (1:53 pm)

    I completely agree with Jort.  SDOT has come up with pretty ridiculous campaigns to squander taxpayer dollars, but this one takes the cake.   Why pay people to take the bus when we don’t have adequate bus service as it is?  Why not take this money and just improve the damn service?  It also discriminates against low-income people and seniors who already rely 100% on public transit and are therefore ineligible for any “reward” – a taxpayer-funded reward that many will be very happy to claim and then continue to drive.  I don’t know which is worse, SDOT or Metro, but both are miserable failures in terms of providing a sustainable and workable transportation system.  And a little advice for M: I’m 70, have never owned a car, and have managed to do all the things you mentioned, including getting to and from two major surgeries.  While I agree it’s not realistic to think that we could do away with most personal transportation (cars) we definitely could do without most of it.

    • Auntie September 25, 2021 (4:07 pm)

      Although I agree this is a weak effort on the part of SDOT, I don’t see how it discriminates against low-income people and seniors. They can get the $25 “reward” in the form of an Orca card, if they so desire.

  • SadAboutBridge September 23, 2021 (2:58 pm)

    Another prime example of wasted time, money, and resources by SDOT. $1M for what amounts to a Google Survey page and a $25M bonus for signing up?!?!?!? At $2.75 to ride metro that will get me to and from work downtown for 1 WEEK. Meanwhile we are suffering in traffic that is so bad it is making West Seattleites more callous. I’m convinced SDOT does not want to improve traffic flows as evidenced by poor light creation (Holden/Delridge, no right turn on red??), speed bumps on what is now the main drag to get out of the island (Holden/17th & 18th), no left turn on BRAND NEW Delridge southbound at Cloverdale, and of course the dreaded Highland Park and Marginal way disaster that is only now getting attention 18 months later. Is the only prerequisite to work at SDOT a pulse?

  • inthebldg September 23, 2021 (3:30 pm)

    They’re trying to pacify us by making a sort of game out of this. How insulting.

  • natinstl September 23, 2021 (4:15 pm)

    staying local? We’ve been doing that for almost two years. Haven’t we all been forced to do this stuff regardless? How about stopping all the additional construction going on until we can actually leave our homes?

  • bill September 23, 2021 (5:24 pm)

    Jort wins the internet today.

  • Joe Z September 23, 2021 (7:59 pm)

    I’ll remember this when SDOT says they can’t afford $100K “Your vote your choice” neighborhood safety projects. But I did sign up for my $25, those e-scooters are convenient but pricey. 

  • Reality Chick September 23, 2021 (8:04 pm)

    Well, I think we have all seen plenty of “flipping” during trips in and out of W Seattle–of the middle fingered kind. And like others, agree with the Jortster (sorry, had to) that this is a monumental waste of resources, including the patience of West Seattleites. Who is putting this “stuff” forward and approving it?  

  • Ant September 24, 2021 (8:50 pm)

    I give SDOT credit for thinking creatively and trying something unorthodox for a $hitty situation. It won’t move the needle much but it will get some to try alternative modes of transportation. But more hilarious is the immense amount of whining from this crowd. Maybe complain on the blog some more, I’m sure it will  speed along the design, engineering, and construction phases to get the bridge back open.

  • Auntie September 24, 2021 (9:31 pm)

    I don’t know how much this whole project cost (or if it will help anyone in any way) but when I asked SDOT to put some center lane markings at the crest of the hill at 34th & Juneau because most cars were flying up or down over the hill in the middle of the road (having been almost crashed head-on many times), I was told they didn’t have the funding for a dozen or so road turtles or a twenty foot stripe. Yipes!

Sorry, comment time is over.