NEWS GLEAMS: On-Demand Ride Service Increasing Mobility Access, Duwamish River Community Hub Opening, & Free Trees!

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

Flyer depicting Via to Transit’s South Seattle service areas, community hubs, and hours. Photo courtesy of King County Metro.
Flyer depicting Via to Transit’s South Seattle service areas, community hubs, and hours. Photo courtesy of King County Metro.

‘Via to Transit’ Service Expands, Increasing Mobility Options for Rainier Beach, Skyway, Tukwila, and Renton

Via to Transit (Via), a flexible, on-demand ride service connecting riders to community hubs, is expanding to four service areas that include Othello, Rainier Beach/Skyway, Renton Highlands, and Tukwila.

Community members (those who live, work, or go to school) within the specified service areas can book a ride from Via by downloading the Via app or calling 206-258-7739. The on-demand ride service then connects riders to public transit (buses and trains) or helps them get to select community hubs, such as grocery stores, parks, libraries, and health care facilities. One end of the trip just has to be a designated hub for the service area.

Via rides have the same cost as riding the bus ($2.75 for adults, $1.50 for ORCA LIFT and youth, $1.00 RRFP, and free for children 5 and under) with no extra cost when transferring between bus or light rail routes and Via. Riders can pay for Via using their ORCA card, a Transit GO Ticket, or credit/debit card within the Via app/call center.

Service will not start until Tuesday, August 10.

For more information about Via to Transit, visit or download the app for iPhone or Android.

Second Wave of Seattle Rescue Plan Includes $50 Million of Recovery Investments

From the Office of the Mayor: “On Tuesday, Aug. 3, Mayor Jenny Durkan, City Council President Lorena Gonzalez, and Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda announced the second wave of Seattle Rescue Plan investments totaling over $52.2 million. This targeted aid from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 builds on the first wave of Seattle Rescue Plan investments. With this second wave of investments, relief from the Seattle Rescue Plan will total over $180 million.

“The legislation includes grant acceptances for rental assistance ($28.7 million), support for seniors ($7.4 million), revenue replacement for the Monorail ($1.8 million) and Streetcar operations ($700,000), the Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project ($10.9 million), and aid to McCaw Hall ($2.2 million). 

“Through the funding announced on Tuesday, the City will deploy $28.7 million in rental assistance once approved by the City Council. The funding will continue to help renters pay current and overdue rent as well as help individuals and families keep their housing. The City will partner with United Way of King County to administer rent assistance and provide support to tenants and landlords, including proactive outreach to small landlords who may be struggling with mortgage debt. The City will also continue to provide partnerships with community-based organizations to provide rental assistance in communities most impacted by the pandemic and housing instability as well as support tenants in publicly subsidized affordable housing.

“The City will also invest over $7 million countywide in seniors’ supportive services, congregate meals, home-delivered meals, preventative health, family caregivers, and vaccine access as well as other strategies aimed at alleviating negative health effects of social isolation due to long-term stay-at-home recommendations for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“The funding announced on Tuesday will also include lost revenue replacement for the Monorail and Streetcar as well as a $10.9 million grant to expedite the Madison BRT project.”

Photo of the Duwamish River Community Hub logo.
Duwamish River Community Hub logo. Photo courtesy of Port of Seattle.

Duwamish River Community Hub Opening Celebration This Saturday!

The Port of Seattle and Duwamish Valley Port Community Action Team (PCAT) invite community members to celebrate the opening of the Duwamish River Community Hub this Saturday, Aug. 7. 

The Community Hub is located at the former Napoli Pizzeria on 8600 14th Avenue South, which closed its doors in 2019. During the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn, Duwamish Valley community partners saw the former pizzeria and cafe space as an opportunity to bring community together, and in January 2021, the Port of Seattle Commission passed the motion to lease the space for the next three years. The Duwamish Valley Community Hub will further the Duwamish Valley Community Benefits Commitment by meeting the commitment’s three main goals through “building local capacity to manage neighborhood change; increasing access to Port-related jobs and careers; creating healthier environments for the community; and providing a physical space to help community members promote economic prosperity in place.”

The Community Hub will feature two main meeting room spaces available for reservation; bookable office furnishings, including chairs, tables, and laptops; a kitchenette space; a 10,000-square-foot parking lot for daily use and outdoor events; internet access; and accessibility to multiple bus lines.

The opening celebration on Saturday begins at 11 a.m. with programs and refreshments, and a Construction Jobs Outreach Fair, held in conjunction with the 15th Annual Duwamish River Festival, will run from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m.

For more information about the Duwamish River Community Hub, visit

Free Trees From the City’s ‘Trees for Neighborhood’ Program

Applications for the Trees for Neighborhood program, which helps Seattle residents plant trees in their yards and along the street,  are now open!

Residents who participate in the program receive “help selecting the right tree and planting location; FREE trees (up to four per household with a lifetime max of six); a watering bag and mulch for each tree; training on proper planting and care; assistance applying for street tree planting permits; ongoing care reminders and future pruning workshop opportunities; planting assistance (on a limited basis due to COVID-19 concerns); and street tree evaluations for the first couple of years” to let residents know about the health of their planted tree.

The deadline to apply for the 2021 Trees for Neighborhood program is Monday, Aug. 9. To apply, visit the “Trees for Seattle: Trees for Neighborhood” website.
For more information about the Trees for Neighborhood program, including application requirements, visit

Council President Lorena Gonzalez raises a fist during her speech
Seattle City Council President Lorena Gonzalez gives a speech at her watch party for the 2021 King County Proposition and Primary Elections. (Photo: Ashley Archibald)

2021 King County Proposition and Primary Election Results

🗳️ In case you missed it, the Emerald covered this year’s King County Proposition and Primary Election early results on Tuesday, Aug. 3, in the following article, 2021 King County Primary Election: Early Results Indicate González and Harrell to Head to General Election, City Attorney’s Race Tightens. Check back on the article as we’ll post the updated tallies as the King County Elections Department releases them on weekday afternoons.

Before you move on to the next story …

The South Seattle Emerald is brought to you by Rainmakers. Rainmakers give recurring gifts at any amount. With around 1,000 Rainmakers, the Emerald is truly community-driven local media. Help us keep BIPOC-led media free and accessible.

If just half of our readers signed up to give $6 a month, we wouldn’t have to fundraise for the rest of the year. Small amounts make a difference.

We cannot do this work without you. Become a Rainmaker today!

Leave a Reply