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Community Transit receives $6.5 million in ARPA funding for Swift Orange Line

Snohomish County, Wash. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has announced that Community Transit’s Swift Orange Line bus rapid transit (BRT) project will receive $6.5 million in American Rescue Plan funding.

The Swift Orange Line is one of 22 projects in the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program to receive federal funding as part of the American Rescue Plan. The FTA stated that these federal funding allocations will protect the jobs of workers involved in constructing transit projects across the country, ensuring the continued advancement of those critical pieces of infrastructure, despite the impacts of COVID-19. 

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“We are incredibly grateful to Transportation Secretary Buttigieg and our federal delegation for their ongoing support of transportation infrastructure and economic development in Snohomish County and the Puget Sound region,” said Community Transit CEO Ric Ilgenfritz. “The Swift Orange Line is a critical piece of an expanding bus rapid transit network, providing local jobs today and connecting people to jobs and services when it opens in 2024.”

The Swift Orange Line will run between McCollum Park Park & Ride and Edmonds College, traveling through Mill Creek and Lynnwood. The Orange Line will serve the Lynnwood Link light rail station when it opens in 2024 and connect with the existing Green Line to provide even greater access to local and regional destinations.
The Swift Orange Line project is funded by a $37 million FTA Capital Investment Grant, $6.5 million in American Rescue Plan funding announced today, FTA 5307 funding, Federal Highway Administration Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funding, Connecting Washington State funding, and local sales tax revenues. As noted by the FTA, funding from the American Rescue Plan is meant to assist project sponsors with their local grant match and does not count toward statutory Federal or CIG funding limitations.

About Swift Orange Line and the Swift Network

Community Transit introduced Swift bus rapid transit service to Snohomish County in 2009 with the opening of the Swift Blue Line between downtown Everett and Shoreline. The Swift Green Line opened in March 2019 between Seaway Transit Center and Canyon Park. The two Swift lines are Community Transit’s highest ridership routes.

Swift is quicker than regular local bus service, with stations spaced further apart, fare payment at the station, not on the bus, and simultaneous boarding and deboarding at the bus’s three doors. Swift buses arrive every 10 minutes weekdays, and every 20 minutes nights and weekends. The average time a Swift bus spends at a station is about 10 seconds, and the average trip on a Swift route end-to-end is about 25 percent quicker than a regular local bus route.
The Swift Orange Line will provide easy access to destinations such as Mill Creek Town Center, Alderwood Mall, Lynnwood City Center, and Edmonds College, while serving park and rides at McCollum Park, Ash Way, Swamp Creek, and Lynnwood. As a part of the project, the transit facilities at McCollum Park and at Edmonds College will be renovated to better accommodate future services at each site.
The Swift Orange Line is in final design, with construction expected to start in early 2022, and service starting in 2024.

Community Transit is responsible for providing bus and paratransit service, vanpool and alternative commute options in Snohomish County. The agency is building a network of Swift bus rapid transit lines with Swift Blue Line along Highway 99, the Swift Green Line between Canyon Park/Bothell and Boeing/Paine Field, and the new Swift Orange Line coming to Mill Creek and Lynnwood in 2024.

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