Every hour or so Saturday and Sunday morning starting this weekend, hikers could set out from Broadway on their start of a climb up the most popular trail in the region.
The Trailhead Direct service Saturday celebrated its expansion to Capitol Hill Station with a bus breaking through a ceremonial banner and a collection of urban hikers ready for a day on the mountain. You can now take the bus from Capitol Hill to Mt. Si and Mt. Teneriffe on weekends through October, weather permitting.
“I don’t really drive. To get out to these places is really inconvenient if you don’t have a car,” hiker Chetanya Robinson said before getting on the next bus to Mt. Si.
Trailhead Direct includes 19- and 27-seat vans with capacity for two bicycles for each trip. Passengers pay Metro’s standard off-peak adult fare of $2.50 until July, when Metro implements a $2.75 flat fare.
Officials hope the expanded program will do more to open up access to the area’s natural resources. They also desperately looking for ways to help manage soaring demand for that access and the swollen parking lots of the area’s most popular trailheads.
“We’ll continue to build more parking lots and trailheads but we realize it’s not a sustainable solution,” Ryan Dotson of King County Parks said. The goals include helping to meet that increase in demand by reducing the number of personal vehicles driven to trails.
Dotson said the service is also ideal for those of who might lack in the planning department. “What’s great about the service,” he said, “is it’s not much longer, even with the stops, than driving” and the service comes with “guaranteed access” because you don’t have to worry about finding a place to park — even if you leave for the trail in the middle of a busy, sunny Saturday.
You can learn more about the service and view the full schedule at trailheaddirect.wordpress.com.
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