Shuttle Bus Zone Permits

Permit Counter Temporary Closures

To protect the health and safety of our staff and customers, and to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, we closed our public-facing customer service counters on Monday, March 16, 2020. Our counters remain closed until further notice. This includes both the Street Use and the Traffic and Parking permit counters at the Seattle Municipal Tower on floors 23 and 37. We are still processing permit applications.

You can submit applications for all permit types online through the Seattle Services Portal.

Our staff will be available to provide application coaching and assist with issuing permits by phone or e-mail.

Proposed Director's Rule D-2022: Shuttle Vehicle Load Zone and Employer Shared Transit Stop Program

November 9, 2022

Today, we have published a draft of our proposed Director's Rule D-2022: Shuttle Vehicle Load Zone and Employer Shared Transit Stop Program for public comment.

The proposed changes would describe SDOT’s considerations when interacting with and advising upon employer shuttles, including shuttle operations, and in consideration of new shuttle vehicle load zones and application for shared use of select public transit stops by employer shuttles.

We are currently accepting feedback on the draft Director’s Rule. If you would like to provide feedback, please email us at or (206) 684-4209  by Monday, November 28, 2022.

2022: New permit fees and conditions proposed

The Seattle Department of Transportation is proposing legislation to the Seattle City Council that would move the Employer Shared Transit Stops Program (ESTSP) from the pilot phase into a permanent program. The City Council will consider updating permit fees and establishing new permit conditions. These include:

  • Increasing the Shuttle Bus Permit fee from $300 per year to $600 per year, beginning with 2023 permits and thereafter adjusted for inflation annually starting in 2024.
  • SDOT would request additional information from participating employers and impose new permit conditions starting with 2023 Shuttle Bus Permits.  
  • The proposed permit would include new conditions for data sharing with SDOT such as routes, service levels, delays, crashes, and ridership

More information about this and other proposed changes to Shuttle Bus Load Zone requests and the new Shared Transit Stop request can be found here.

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.

A shuttle bus zone is a designated area where shuttle buses are permitted to pick up and drop off their employees. These zones are recognizable because of their specific signage and white paint on the curb. Only permitted shuttle buses can pick up and drop off employees in this zone.

How to get a Shuttle Bus Zone Permit

Organizations interested in shuttle bus zone designations and permits may apply online or contact the SDOT Permit Counter at (206) 684-5086. 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. Permits are currently $300 per vehicle per year ($150 if issued after July 1 of any year).

How much does it cost?

$300.00 (Annual)
$150.00 (after July 1 of any year)


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.