Get ready to ride the new Metro route 628 which begins running on Monday, February 16th. On weekdays during peak times this shuttle not only provides “fixed” service between Issaquah Highlands Park and Ride (P&R) and Snoqualmie and North Bend, but you could get around Issaquah Highlands as well, by reservation with the “flexible service” provided.
Even if you don’t ride this shuttle but you ride any bus from Issaquah Highlands P&R, you will benefit from this route. It is hoped that fewer commuters from the upper valley will drive to and park in the Issaquah Highlands P&R to catch their ride to points west. Parking at the P&R has been over-flowing for several months.
But it is the “flexible service” within Issaquah Highlands that may really cause you to jump for joy.
Flexible Service means that riders can connect to and from Issaquah Highlands P&R from the flexible service areas by reserving a pick up from one of five designated stops. Riders with reservations can hop a ride to the P&R or stay on the shuttle to Snoqualmie or North Bend. Follow this link to the Flexible Service Area Map for the designated stop locations along Park Drive and on Blakely Drive at Swedish Hospital.
Blakely Hall was considered as one of the stops but could not be accommodated at this time. Challenges such as shuttle stop space (which removes parking intended for local businesses) could not be overcome in time for the launch date of the route.
Reservations for pick up can be made by calling DART (Dial-A-Ride Transit) at 855-233-6043 or through Hopelink’s web site. Reservations must be made at least 2 hours in advance and you can make up to 30 reservations at a time, up to 30 days in advance. Only a limited number of pick-ups are available for any trip, provided on a first come, first served basis. (Though operated through Hopelink, the service is open to everyone.) Pick up is only available at the designated stops.
Be ready for pick-up at the stop at least 5 minutes before the scheduled time.
Route 628 was designed to assist westbound commuters in the mornings from Snoqualmie and North Bend, returning eastbound in the evenings. Convenient for us in the Issaquah Highlands, all routes are bi-directional, running as an express route via I-90 opposite to the typical commuter direction.
Consider this: When the west-bound commuter shuttle heads back east as an express to the upper Snoqualmie Valley, Issaquah residents can easily get to jobs, shopping and outdoor activities there. Similarly, in the evenings, when the commuters are running east-bound, movie-goers and diners from North Bend can hop a ride to Grand Ridge Plaza for an evening out.
Riders will typically catch the shuttle on the fixed schedule at fixed stops. The Issaquah stops are at the Issaquah Highlands Park and Ride and at 9th and Ellis Drive (Eastbound trips) (Highlands Drive and Ellis Drive for Westbound trips).
For complete information and links to the route details, see METRO 628.
This service has been ramped up very quickly. Stay tuned for more reporting from us in the coming weeks as we see how the shuttle actually works.