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Demonstration program will bring new mix of transit services to the Snoqualmie Valley

Summary

Recognizing that traditional transit services don’t always meet every community’s needs, Metro Transit has a new approach to serving riders in less populated areas -- and the Snoqualmie Valley will be the first to try it out.

Story

Proposal will introduce new shuttle funded by Metro and Snoqualmie Valley Tribe

Recognizing that traditional transit services don’t always meet every community’s needs, Metro Transit has a new approach to serving riders in less populated areas -- and the Snoqualmie Valley will be the first to try it out.

Metro plans to partner with the Snoqualmie Tribe to launch an intra-valley shuttle to improve transit service in the communities of Duvall, Carnation, Fall City, Snoqualmie and North Bend. The service is part of a five-year demonstration program aimed at developing more cost-effective alternatives to fixed route service in rural areas of the county.

The proposal now goes to the King County Council. If approved, the intra-valley shuttle, along with adjustments to current fixed routes, will begin this fall.

Metro has been working with Snoqualmie Valley stakeholders and residents since last fall to develop a plan that meets the needs of residents in a way that puts every available transit dollar to best use. The end result was the creation of a partnership with the Snoqualmie Tribe and local service provider, Snoqualmie Valley Transportation (SVT), to operate intra-valley service at a lower cost. 

“Working directly with these Snoqualmie Valley communities and partners, we’ve been able to put together an innovative proposal that is both affordable and tailor made to meet the transit needs of more residents,” Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond said.

The shuttle will provide 90 minute service weekdays between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. and will offer variable routing in Duvall and North Bend. In these areas, the shuttle will be able to deviate from its regular route to pick up and drop off passengers just as Metro’s DART service does.  Service will:

  • Be open to the general public
  • Operate on a regular schedule with a variable schedule in Duvall and North Bend
  • Not have a Metro route number
  • Have a suggested donation on intra-valley trips

Changes are also being proposed for fixed routes to improve service in areas of the Snoqualmie Valley that have a higher population and employment concentration.

"The Snoqualmie Tribe supports the citizens of the Snoqualmie Valley and embraces this unique opportunity to partner with King County and provide necessary transportation services," Snoqualmie Tribal Council Member Jake Repin said.

Looking to the future, alternative services will be an increasingly important strategy in helping to address transit needs in areas where fixed-route bus routes would otherwise be candidates for reduction or elimination due to funding reductions. Longer term, Metro could propose alternative transit services to complement existing bus service if additional revenues became available.

Throughout the five-year demonstration period, Metro will monitor ridership, cost and rider satisfaction with the Snoqualmie Valley intra-valley shuttle.  Performance will be compared to the fixed-route services being replaced and will be evaluated for suitability for future demonstration projects.

For more details about the Snoqualmie Valley alternative services being proposed, go to: https://metro.kingcounty.gov/have-a-say/projects/alternative-service/snoqualmie-valley.html