This morning, King County Executive Dow Constantine, joined by other local dignitaries, will christen a new South King County bus route. The new Des Moines Community Shuttle, which started yesterday, is operated by King County Metro Transit and directly links locals and commuters from Downtown Des Moines with light rail at Angle Lake Station. A few blocks east of the station, riders can reach the RapidRide A Line for more localized trips.

The new community shuttle is signed as Route 635 and primarily operates on 26th Ave S/24th Ave S, S 216 St, and Marine View Dr S. This new service fills in a service gap between Des Moines’s growing city center and light rail station. Routes 121, 121, 156, and 166 provide alternative service, but none with as direct connections to light rail. The bi-directional peak-hour route will also provide service to the booming Des Moines Creek Business Park, which is a large complex of flexible spec office and warehousing. A portion of the community shuttle route offers flexible service to Wesley Homes, a retirement center, for pickups and dropoffs. Riders from the retirement center need to make special requests to Metro at least two hours before pickup.

New Route 635 stops and path. (King County)
New Route 635 stops and path. (King County)

The route runs frequently during peak morning and evening periods on weekdays. Generally, headways are designed to provide service every 15 minutes. Southbound trips run from 5.21am to 8.52am from Angle Lake Station in the morning and 2.30pm to 6.44pm in the evening. Likewise, northbound trips run from 5.29am to 9.01am from Downtown Des Moines in the morning and 2.12pm to 6.39pm in the evening.

Weekday schedule for Route 635. (King County)
Weekday schedule for Route 635. (King County)

The community shuttle is made possible a by a partnership between the City of Des Moines and Metro. In recent years, Metro has formed similar partnerships to provide tailor-made service to communities, such as Trailhead Direct and Southeast King County through the Community Connections program. The new route is still not available on apps like Transit or OneBusAway, but it is showing up in Google Maps. Riders can take free trips on the community shuttle through Friday, February 12th as part of an introductory period.

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