FAQs about BFT CONNECT
Do you have questions about BFT's new CONNECT on-demand service? We've compiled a list of questions and answers below as a resource for our riders. Please note that Rider Guidelines apply to all BFT services.
If you have any additional questions about the service, please call BFT Customer Service at 509.735.5100.
Riding with BFT CONNECT
Q: Is there a minimum age requirement to ride with BFT CONNECT?
Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Minors between the ages of 13 and 18 can have their own member accounts and ride with BFT CONNECT unaccompanied, but they must have consent from their parent or guardian.
Q: How do I cancel or edit a scheduled ride?
In the Via app, you can easily cancel a ride by selecting the "Cancel Ride" option, at the bottom of your phone screen. To edit a ride, it's best to call CONNECT customer service at 509.204.4189.
Q: Can I schedule a ride for a later date/time?
This is an on-demand service, similar to other ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft. Rides cannot be scheduled for a later date or time.
Q: Can I schedule a ride for someone other than me?
Yes, you can request a ride for someone else as long as that person has a payment method available at pick-up.
Q: Will there be limited number of rides during a particular time or day?
Since this is a new service, we will be adjusting the number of vehicles and frequency of service based on actual usage. When you use the app to request a ride, it will tell you when the next ride from your starting point will be available.
Q: Are the CONNECT vehicles ADA equipped?
Yes, we have a limited number of ADA-equipped CONNECT vehicles, so please be sure to note that need when requesting a ride.
Q: How will I use CONNECT after the COVID-19 emergency?
All rides must either begin or end at a designated Transit Connection in the same zone where the ride is booked. If you live, work, or go to school within the specified zones, you can download the Via app and request a ride to or from designated Transit Connections. From these locations, riders can transfer to or from the BFT bus network to reach where they are going. Some additional notes:
- Riders are eligible for a free 90-minute transfer to the BFT system upon completion of their CONNECT ride from within a zone to a designated Transit Connection in that zone. On the return trip from the bus network, riders may show a valid transfer to cut their returning CONNECT fare in half.
Q: What is CONNECT’s holiday schedule?
All of BFT’s services follow the same holiday schedule. BFT does not operate and ALL BFT OFFICES ARE CLOSED on the following holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day (4th of July)
- Labor Day
- Christmas Day
- On Christmas Eve (December 24), BFT operates on a normal schedule, but will terminate service early.
Q: Where can BFT CONNECT take me?
There are six CONNECT service zones throughout the Tri-Cities. When booking a trip, you can travel to a "Transit Connection" offered within the zone where you are picked up. Watch this video to learn more:
Q: Will CONNECT take me back to where I was picked up?
Similar to other ride-hailing services, CONNECT vans take you from your location to your chosen Transit Connection destination. When you need a ride home, or to another Transit Connection location within your zone, you will need to request another ride using the Via app or by calling 509.204.4189. During the current emergency and until further notice, we do offer front door drop-off and pick-up at select essential businesses in each zone. As a reminder, all rides must either begin or end in the same zone where the ride is booked.
Q: Where do I wait for my ride?
After you book a ride, the app will display the pick-up location where the vehicle will meet you. You may be asked to walk to a nearby intersection to be picked up.
Make sure you are at the pick-up spot when the vehicle arrives. The app will countdown the minutes to your vehicle's arrival and will text you when the vehicle is two minutes away and again when it arrives.
Remember: BFT CONNECT is a shared service. If you are more than two minutes late, the vehicle will have to leave.
Customer Service & Feedback
Q: My driver was great! How can I thank them?
If you had a great experience with a driver, please let us know by filling out the feedback screen after your ride.
Q: How do I retrieve something left in a vehicle?
As soon as you realize an item is missing, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will put you in touch with your driver to track it down.
Q: My driver left without me!
If you were marked as a "No Show" and you still need a ride, please re-book directly in the Via app or over the phone with our CONNECT customer service, and send an email to email@example.com so we can look into what went wrong.
If your app is indicating that you were picked up, please text customer service directly by replying to any message sent to you, so we can cancel that ride and allow you to re-book. You can also call customer service directly if you do not have SMS.
Q: Will CONNECT customer service have Spanish speakers available?
Yes, we have operators who speak Spanish when you call 509.204.4189.
Q: How much will CONNECT rides cost after COVID-19?
For now and until further notice due to COVID-19, CONNECT is a free service. In the future, you will be able to use your BFT bus pass to pay for a portion of your ride. CONNECT will be a premium service with a $3.00 fare, but you will also be able to ride with a BFT Freedom Pass. You will show the CONNECT driver your transfer or other BFT fare media upon boarding the vehicle.
- TO Transit Connections: $3.00 per ride in a zone, which includes a transfer to board a BFT bus. A valid Freedom pass waives the $3.00 fee; other valid BFT fare media* discounts the fee to $1.50.
- FROM Transit Connections: $1.50 with a valid transfer or BFT fare media* when transferring into a van at a designated Transit Connection.
*BFT fare media includes BFT monthly passes, valid Columbia Basin College IDs, and single-ride tickets. One single-ride ticket may be used to receive the $1.50 discount, or two tickets may be used to cover the full $3.00 fare. Select your planned payment option when requesting your trip.
Q: When you begin charging for rides on CONNECT, can I pay with cash?
Once we begin collecting payment for rides, if you don’t have a smartphone or a BFT bus pass, you can pay for your ride with cash. However, please note that you will place your fare in a fare box and drivers are not able to give you change.