King County Metro will offer customized shuttle service to commuters in the Snoqualmie Valley and Issaquah Highlands, delivering on Executive Dow Constantine’s initiative to provide more transit options that meet the specific needs of communities.
Metro will work with other cities and community organizations to provide alternatives to fixed bus routes — including shuttles, rideshares, community vans and bicycles — to increase the number of transit options in King County.
“We’re doing more than ever to customize services to meet the specific needs of the communities we serve – and that includes transportation,” Constantine said. “By working with cities in the Snoqualmie Valley and Issaquah , we will provide our customers with more transit options.”
The new shuttle service, which will begin Feb. 16, 2015, is the result of a partnership between King County, the cities of Snoqualmie, North Bend and Snoqualmie Valley Transportation.
“The addition of Route 628 is a milestone for Issaquah, our neighboring cities and our entire region,” Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler said. “This vital route connects residents with the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride, regional retail destinations and opportunities for outdoor recreation. I applaud King County Metro and our partners for working together to increase the availability of convenient transit options for our citizens.”
Through a contract with Hopelink, the Metro shuttle — which will be listed as Route 628 once it starts — will offer trips each weekday between the park-and-rides in North Bend and Issaquah Highlands. Riders in the Issaquah Highlands will be able to call ahead to schedule off-route pickups and drop-offs.
Shuttles will operate from 5-8 a.m. and from 5-9 p.m. Monday through Friday. To see a complete schedule and route map, visit Metro Online.
“Kudos to King County Metro for working to enhance the well-used and highly valued Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride,” said Christy Garrard, executive director of Highlands Council & Blakely Hall. “We often hear from our residents about how important it is in their daily lives, so we’re excited that Route 628 will provide another option for our commuters, as well as relieve some of the pressure on our transit center.”
Morning service will operate westbound from North Bend, Snoqualmie, Snoqualmie Ridge and Issaquah Highlands (including the flexible service area in Issaquah Highlands), and then operate as an express route on Interstate 90 from Issaquah Highlands to North Bend.
Afternoon service will operate eastbound from Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride and flexible service area to Snoqualmie Ridge, Snoqualmie, North Bend, and then operate as express service on Interstate 90 from North Bend to Issaquah Highlands.
Standard weekday peak/off-peak fares will be charged. The shuttle will operate every 30 minutes during peak periods.
The Metropolitan King County Council included $12 million in the 2015-16 budget to fund the alternative services program. Metro will continue to work with cities, community groups and others to assess local service needs and preferences.