Shuttle Vehicle Permits

March 31, 2023

The Seattle City Council voted to approve the Employer Shared Transit Stops Program (ESTSP) as a permanent program of the Seattle Department of Transportation. The program takes effect in March 2023, and SDOT will start accepting applications for new shared transit stops and new shuttle load zones from Seattle-area employers later in Spring 2023.    

The new permit fees and conditions are as follows:

  • The Shuttle Vehicle Permit fee has increased from $300 per year to $600 per year, beginning with 2023 permits and thereafter adjusted for inflation annually starting in 2024.
  • New for 2023, SDOT has added data sharing requirements to the Shuttle Vehicle Permit conditions. Employers will be required to share data such as routes, service levels, delays, crashes, and ridership. More information about this and other changes to Shuttle Vehicle Load Zone requests and the new Shared Transit Stop request can be found here. SDOT staff will be working with vehicle permit holders to collect this data in Spring 2023. 

A shuttle bus is a vehicle that carries 11 or more passengers on a fixed route that has been requested in advance by an organization. Shuttle buses are different from charter or sightseeing buses. For example, an employer may have many employees at two different job sites within Seattle and may wish to provide a shuttle service so that employees do not have to use their cars to move from one job site to the other. As an added benefit, these shuttles also help cut down on the number of employees driving alone, which reduces congestion, air pollution, and climate-warming emissions.

Any shuttle with a valid Shuttle Vehicle Permit can use any shuttle vehicle load zone in Seattle to pick up and drop off employees. A shuttle vehicle load zone is curbspace designated specifically for permitted shuttles. These zones are painted white and usually include “SHUTTLE ONLY” signs. 

How can I obtain a Shuttle Vehicle Permit?

Organizations interested in shuttle vehicle permits may apply online or contact the SDOT Permit Counter at (206) 684-5086. (Note: These permits were formerly known as Shuttle Bus Permits.) The permit application requires information regarding the proposed route, frequency of stops, a business license, and vehicle registration. The permit is valid for one calendar year. Employers must have a permit for each vehicle intended to be used as a shuttle. The permit decal must be permanently affixed to the vehicle’s windshield.  

How much does a Shuttle Vehicle Permit cost?

$600.00 (Annual, per vehicle)


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.