New late-night rideshare pickup zones debut on Capitol Hill

If you're going for a night out on Seattle?€™s Capitol Hill and plan to take an Uber or Lyft, there are new late-night pickup spots for riders on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

SEATTLE — If you're going for a night out on Seattle’s Capitol Hill and plan to take an Uber or Lyft, there are new late-night pickup spots for riders on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The pilot program is being tested in the core of the neighborhood, which the Seattle Department of Transportation says is one of the busiest for weekend nightlife.

The city worked with Uber and Lyft to add designated passenger loading zones for late night pickups within a specific area between midnight and 3 a.m. on three days of the week.

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The reason is simple.  When bars, restaurants, clubs and other businesses begin closing, a large number of people begin heading home. Many request rideshare services, especially along East Pike Street. Drivers stopping on busy streets to pick up fares cause congestion.

To ease the traffic and make sure police and emergency vehicles can get into the area, anyone getting a rideshare within the busiest part of Capitol Hill will have to wait in late-night passenger load zones.  The zones are clearly marked with orange signs that say "Catch your ride here."  See the zone map and pickup spots here.

And you don’t have to worry about trying to find the nearest load zone. When you use the Uber or Lyft app within the "geo-fence," it will display a map showing the rider the closest pickup spot. The rider will then have the option of choosing that zone, another zone or leaving the area for a ride.

During the first 30 days, the program will be monitored closely by Uber, Lyft and the city. It will then be reviewed, and adjustments will be made as needed.