Written by Audie
A new estimate shows that roughly 1,000 residents rely on the trails of King County, Seattle. For this reason, an initiative was launched, which gives hikers access to more routes.
Every resident can achieve something different and will have access to different starting points. Some will walk to school, work or enjoy a bit of exercise with the family dog. The city’s mayor looks forward to how things will play out. She thanks local voters “for being open minded.”
What the community has worked together to achieve isn’t limited to walking. With the help of King County, its Trailhead Direct shuttles will pick hikers up in an effort to cover more ground for them. The transit, a few designated locations and a set schedule offer rides directly to trail locations. A few bus models will hold as-much-as-27 passengers and even allow your dogs to board. Cash, Transit Go Mobile and the ORCA card are your paying options.
Working Together with the Commuter in Mind
King County Metro is working with King County Parks to make this project possible. There’s a simple objective that the two want to achieve: a reduction in traffic and a better flow of it. Getting over I-90, whether by avoiding it or crossing it, is even possible on holidays. Surprisingly, 10,000 trips were achieved last year in 2018, and this year promises even more commuters.
April 20th, of 2019, was the day the program officially launched, and it will continue on into October. The service areas, which shuttles now loop through, start from Mt. Baker, to East Sunset, to Margaret’s Way and back around to Eastgate station. You’ll only pay $2.75. Shuttles operate on both Saturdays and Sundays for a reliable weekend service.
Service for Tukwila and Renton with Mailbox Peak Added In
King County managed to add in new trails to the loop. Access points can also be found at local rail stations, which are set within walking distances. The Twin Falls Middle School benefits as the shuttles take hikers away from the school’s trails. King County’s initiative is being dubbed as Seattle’s very own “transit-to-trail service.” The forested mountains of the county are now entered into with greater ease.
It’s OK if you don’t own a car or if you want to avoid the train. Hikers only need to choose the location, to wait for a shuttle or to immediately access the closest trail. The entire system works with park-and-ride centers—if you need to leave the car behind.
How the Initiative Helps and What Residents Can Do:
More Use: Expect more-entry points with more trails to get acquainted with.
Greater Safety: The design of the new-access ways provide you with more safety. Trails are closer to public areas also.
Easier To Get To: Getting to each trail is easier because of the new entry points. When you don’t want to walk, a shuttle can then pick you up.
Less Crowding: The spacing of new trails reduces traffic and adds in more space.
The Geography Covered
The natural terrain, which you can expect to uncover, consists of:
- Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park
- Issaquah Alps
- Mailbox Peak
- Mount Si
- Little Si
Stations, Shuttles and Access Points
You’ll find a local list of stations and services to fit your needs. Consider these:
- Tukwila International Boulevard Station
- Eastgate Freeway Station
- North Bend Park-and-Ride
- Renton Transit Center
- Issaquah Transit Center
Trailhead Direct is a transit van pilot project sponsored by King County Metro’s Community Connections program and King County Parks that seeks to ease vehicle congestion, reduce safety hazards and expand access to hiking destinations in the Issaquah Alps and along I-90.
More information including Schedules, Fares, and Destinations: www.kingcounty.gov/trailheaddirect