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 Transitâ€™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.