By Nina Milligan, Communication Manager, Highlands Council
The Metro Community Shuttle Route 628 began serving the Issaquah Highlands one month ago. Availability of transit is key to the success of our community and the Route 628 bridges the service gap between the majority of residents and the Park & Ride. It provides peak hours, reservation-based pick-ups at fixed locations on Park Drive, one at Fire Station Park (1280 NE Park Drive) and the other is at Central Park (2300 NE Park Drive).
According to Metro rider statistics, there is an average of one rider per day, which may be just one person taking advantage of the valuable service so far. Who is the pioneer among us? Could this convenience become a bandwagon? Maybe as the April showers approach more of you will prefer a dry ride up or down the hill to a soggy slog.
The Route 628 best serves riders who are going down the hill to the Park & Ride in the morning and back up the hill in the evening. For instance, you can schedule a pick up on NE Park Drive in the morning and the shuttle will take you straight to the Park and Ride. After a scheduled stop at the Park & Ride it heads out to North Bend and Snoqualmie. In the evenings, scheduled pick-ups at the Park and Ride will take you up the hill first before the shuttle heads out to North Bend and Snoqualmie.
Make reservations for the shuttle at least two hours in advance by calling DART (Dial-A-Ride Transit) at 855-233-6043 or through Hopelink’s web site. You can make up to 30 reservations at a time, up to 30 days in advance. Pick up times are scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Though operated through Hopelink (known for serving the disabled or others in need), the Route 628 Community Shuttle is open to everyone. Pick up is only available at the designated stops defined above. Be ready for pick-up at the stop at least five minutes before the scheduled time.
You can get a free transfer from the Route 628 to cover the fare for another Metro bus from the Park & Ride to Seattle or Bellevue. This is particularly convenient if you use an Orca Card for commuting. Cash or card, all you have to do is board your next bus within two hours. (Remember, transfers do not work on Sound Transit, such as the 556 or 554, though they might in the near future.)
A two hour window before you need to board your next bus? Why not plan ahead to stop in Grand Ridge Plaza for a latte on your way to work or meet a friend for happy hour on your way home!
When you consider the parking fills on weekdays at the Park & Ride, taking the Route 628 is a definite boon to those who routinely drive to the “Park” & Ride to catch a bus.
On another note, neighbors have been wondering about the loss of on-street parking. There are only four parking spaces system-wide used for bus-stops and only on weekdays. Two per stop, all are on the east-bound side of NE Park Drive. Stops were carefully selected to limit the amount of parking lost and to limit the impact on residents.
Who among you will make this a bandwagon and prove the value of this convenience? Perhaps we can lobby for increased service if we demonstrate demand for this simple ride.