Transit-to-trails rides are catching on

Jan 14th, 2020 | By | Category: Adventures

Passengers with a passion for hiking boarded Trailhead Direct for more than 17,500 hikes in 2019 in the second season of the two-year pilot project co-led by King County Metro and King County Parks, a 75 percent increase from 2018.

The transit-to-trails service added a fourth route this season starting at the Tukwila International Boulevard Station. Ridership from Sound Transit’s Capitol Hill Link light rail station to Mount Si more than doubled, officials reported.

Trailhead Direct started with a single-route feasibility test in 2017 in response to dangerous overcrowding and illegal parking at popular trailheads. Metro and parks officials launched a two-year pilot project in 2018 with additional funding from the voter-approved Seattle Transportation Benefit District. REI Co-op and Cliff Bar and Company helped fund outreach and promotion.

Metro and the Parks Department are considering options for continuing the service next season, which will likely require a similar public-private partnership.