Pierce Transit to use ride-hailing service to fill bus gaps

TACOMA, Wash. -- Pierce Transit is exploring the use of ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft and traditional taxis to connect people to bus lines.

The agency recently won a $205,000 federal grant for a yearlong pilot program that will test the use of such ride-hailing services to help close service gaps.

Pierce Transit says the grant will pay for as many as 15,650 subsidized rides during the pilot project.

Riders in certain zones would be able to use a smartphone app to request a ride to or from a specific bus stop or transit facility.

The News Tribune reports that growing numbers of transit companies are turning to the private sector to help fill public transit gaps.

The agency will study whether the project helps increase mobility with an eye toward possibly creating a more permanent "feeder system" using ride-hailing companies.