Public-private partnership pitches in to make outdoor getaways more affordable

Eilís O'Neill May 27, 2019
HTML EMBED:
COPY
pxhere

Public-private partnership pitches in to make outdoor getaways more affordable

Eilís O'Neill May 27, 2019
pxhere
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Enjoying the great outdoors is good for you. But not everyone has access to the outdoors. According to National Parks surveys, visitors to the parks tend to be whiter and wealthier than the population as a whole. That’s in part because going hiking or camping can be expensive. You need a car, gas, sometimes special equipment.

Now, a Seattle-area program is trying to remove one of the barriers to getting outside, and out of town, by offering affordable transportation. Last year, the county metro system started running regular shuttles out to popular trails on weekends and holidays, from spring to early fall. The program will cost about $900,000 to continue this year.

It’s funded by public money and support from the outdoor recreation company REI. Last year, hikers took 10,000 round trips on the new service. In an informal survey of about 400 riders, King County found they more or less matched the city’s racial demographics and had slightly lower incomes than the Seattle area as a whole.

This year, the program has added new routes that start in several lower-income neighborhoods.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.  

😱 Halfpriced hoodies! 😱 

This weekend only, when you donate $90 or $8/month, you can snag our cozy new Marketplace zipup hoodie. Don’t wait– this offer ends Sunday at midnight.