Des Moines Marina District

If you have been down to Angle Lake Station lately, you may have noticed signs attached to the ORCA readers announcing a new bus route: King County Metro Route 635, the Des Moines Community Shuttle.

Click to enlarge.

Starting today, the new route runs between Angle Lake Station and the Des Moines Marina District, picking up westbound at 200th St below the station, and serving ten more stop pairings, along 26th Ave S / 24th Ave S, S 216th St, and Marine View Dr S.

26th/24th features the Des Moines Creek Business Park, which opened in 2016, and includes office buildings for AmerisourceBergen, Greencore, Partners Crackers, XPO Logistics, and the new Federal Aviation Administration regional headquarters. The office park is expected to have roughly 2500 on-site employees, including 1600 at the FAA, per King County spokesperson Scott Gutierrez.

It will also feature a dial-a-ride zone for off-street service, where feasible, within the Wesley Homes senior living community, with pick-ups and drop-offs booked at least two hours in advance. Some of them had permanent stops on the pre-2012 version of routes 131 and 132, at which there rarely was anyone boarding or alighting, so the dial-a-ride process is a happy medium.

Route 635 operates every 15 minutes during weekday peak periods.

Departures from Angle Lake Station run from 5:21 am to 8:52 am, and from 2:30 pm to 6:44 pm.

Return trips to Angle Lake Station depart from 7th Ave S and S 226th S from 5:29 am to 9:01 am and from 2:12 pm to 6:39 pm.

The stops at 24th Ave S and S 216th St are a short walk from the Rapid Ride A Line stops at S 216th St.

For now, going out to lunch at the restaurant row on Marine View Dr. will mean catching the infrequent route 156, and walking a bit, or by other mode.

More information is available in the route’s brochure

Per Gutierrez, the route is largely in response to a community survey Metro did last year as part of its Community Connections program. It is funded in part through a partnership with the City of Des Moines.

Route 635 is the first Dial-A-Ride Transit route to connect to a light rail station. It is also only the second bus route to connect to Angle Lake Station (with the other being the A Line). Sound Transit Express route 574 was proposed, to be re-routed to serve the station, but that proposal got tabled.

A launch ceremony will take place at 10:30 Tuesday morning, at Angle Lake Station.

Frank Chiachiere assisted with this post.

18 Replies to “Des Moines Community Shuttle (Route 635) Starts Today”

  1. Great idea! Other Link shuttle fixed-routes even in Seattle like Route 50 don’t operate at this frequency for four whole hours. I will be curious if this feeder schedule concept works better than Route 50 does.

    The afternoon schedule is rather weird. Arrival-departure times are not that memorable and are close to even but seem to be a minute or two out of sync. The last bus leaves Angle Lake at 6:44 which is ok for Downtown Seattle commuters leaving work by 6 — but for SLU commuters it means they must leave earlier and for Downtown Bellevue commuters it means they must leave work not much later than 5. I’m not sure of the scheduling challenges in terms of driver work rules, but I think this should get adjusted if the service becomes popular.

  2. I always thought that truncating route 157 at Angle Lake and putting the saved service hours into expanding span of service is a good idea. It definitely wouldn’t pay for midday service, but it would at least double the 3/4 trips per direction, which is quite low even for peek only service.

  3. Service hours for Mercer Island’s community shuttle (630) would be far better utilized in this way. Keep that shuttle on Mercer Island and provide far better connectivity to the 550 now and Link Light rail in the future. Right now the shuttle doesn’t even provide full rush hour coverage and is effectively a glorified vanpool.

  4. Pretty astonishing this, after over a year of operations, is the first dedicated transit route designed to serve Angle Lake Station. And it still doesn’t provide all-day service.

    1. I agree it should provide all day service.

      I believe the thing preventing this from getting off the ground was the lack of a direct road connection, which was just completed recently.

    2. This is the sort of useful, common-sense routing that should have been in place when Angle Lake opened.

      The 156 should be re-routed to follow this alignment between Angle Lake and Des Moines. Let this section of the current 156 alignment get the peak-period shuttle, and have the all-day every-day service direct between downtown Des Moines and light rail (and continuing on to the airport and Southcenter, like the 156 does).

      1. I agree completely! I’m on the 156 route, and was shocked and sorely disappointed that Metro did not reroute it to go to the Angle Lake Station (a dumb name if you ask me, it’s nowhere near Angle Lake!). I’ve only used the station a couple-three times since it opened, when I’ve either been dropped off or picked up at the station. Otherwise, I just take the 156 north to the SeaTac station.

        It’s pretty clear that Metro really wanted only riders with cars to use Angle Lake.

    3. Angle Lake station is not located where other routes can efficiently serve it. 200th Street does not cross I-5. Buses from the east would have to detour from 188th to 200th, which is backtracking if you’re going to the airport or any other part of Link. The airport is a major destination and travelers have luggage, so we should think twice about diverting a route from it. In any case, the 180 already takes 20 minutes to get to SeaTac station: it would take longer to get to Angle Lake Station, and it’s already too long to make 180+Link competitive with the 150 for going downtown. Or it could approach 180th from the south side, which either means KDM Road + 99, KDM Road + Military Road + 216th, or 212th + small zigzag residential streets up a steep ridge to 216th.

      We don’t need routes to go out of the way to serve Angle Lake station. We just need to keep serving SeaTac station and open KDM Station as soon as we can. When KDM Station opens, a direct RapidRide can run on KDM Road from Kent to it, with just a tiny unfortunate detour at the west end. A detour that’s much smaller than trying to get to Angle Lake Station. Oh, did I mention that SeaTac station and KDM Station have an airport and a college, and Angle Lake Station has nothing that size?

  5. I thought they might do this after they completes the highway near the station. Looks like I guessed right.

    Its a welcome service addition.

  6. We can hope that this will become a template for short-fast-frequent shuttles from suburban business districts to Link. The stop spacing supports quick trips and running on secondary arterials will make for higher average speeds because there are fewer traffic signals than on PHS.

    1. Agreed – hopefully this is a good framework for many of the more suburban Link station.

    2. Absolutely – such services seem best practice in many systems. It doesn’t necessarily need to be at suburban stations, either – and stations wherever possible should be designed with simple transfers to through buses (130th, I’m looking at you – platform entrance on each side of the street, please), not as termini like 145th (147th).

    3. I would love to see the 57 in Genesee Hill morph into this after West Seattle Link opens. Heck, I’d love to have this today as a shuttle to the C Line, to get more than 4 chances a day (in a 1.5 hour window) to catch transit within a kilometer of my house. It would also be a great backup for mornings where the last 57 just never materializes.

      Right now I suspect that West Seattle north of Alaska has broader areas of 0 middday/weekend coverage than anywhere else in the city. Even View Ridge and Magnolia get coverage via the 71 and 24.

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