Snohomish County, Wash. – The Community Transit Board of Directors has approved the agency’s 2021-2026 Transit Development Plan (TDP). The six-year plan calls for expanding the Swift bus rapid transit network, connecting bus routes to light rail in 2021 and 2024, and increasing bus frequency and daily service hours to provide better access and more transit options in and around Snohomish County.
The TDP is a state-mandated report that forecasts revenue and service levels for the next six years and is updated every year. This year’s update highlights the agency’s priority of ensuring a safe and healthy environment for customers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; increasing ridership by ensuring former riders feel comfortable returning to transit, and encouraging new customers to use our services; providing equitable access to transit and expanding public engagement and customer research programs; connecting with Link light rail in 2021 and 2024; and expanding and developing new service options.
This year’s approved plan includes a positive revenue forecast that exceeds last year’s forecast, laying the groundwork for added transit service. It also takes into account one-time federal stimulus funds that allow Community Transit to offset operating costs and boost its capital infrastructure investments.
The final, approved 2021-2026 TDP is available at communitytransit.org/TDP.
Lynnwood Link Light Rail Service
A significant milestone Community Transit’s growth over the next six years is aligning and connecting bus service with Lynnwood Link light rail in 2024.
This major effort includes the development of a 2024 fixed-route network plan that provides improved connections between buses and light rail, expands the frequent service network, adjusts service to changing markets and ensures equitable access to service. Strategies include restructuring the existing commuter service, evaluating underperforming routes to reinvest resources in an equitable and efficient way, and recommending options for service innovations that complement the improved fixed-route service.
Swift Orange Line
The Swift Orange Line will run along the 196th Street/164th Street corridors. The line is 11.5 miles long, with 13 station pairs and 2 terminals (see image below).
The terminals will be located adjacent to Edmonds College in Lynnwood and McCollum Park near Mill Creek. The project also includes priority treatments for speed and reliability. A total of 42,500 annual service hours are planned for this service.
The total project budget is $81 million, which includes project development, design, environmental review, construction and the purchase of up to fifteen 60-foot articulated buses. Planned funding for this project includes federal, state and local funding:
- $37.1 million Federal CIG Small Starts Grant for construction
- $16 million FTA and competitive grants towards project development, construction of stations, and bus purchases
- $5 million Connecting Washington funding towards the Swift BRT network expansion
- $22 million local funding
Overall Service increases
The TDP outlines these priorities for service increases:
- Redesigning the commuter bus network to serve Lynnwood City Center Station and Mountlake Terrace Station when light rail opens in 2024
- Implementing the new Swift Orange Line and Swift Blue Line expansion, which will connect to light rail in Lynnwood and Shoreline, respectively
- Restructuring local routes within the Highway 527 corridor to better connect the Swift Green Line with surrounding neighborhoods
- Restructuring local routes in Lynnwood to better complement the Swift Orange Line and provide more connections between Swift and surrounding neighborhoods
- Providing improvements to local route frequency and daily service hours, as well as possible new service in North and East Snohomish County
- Development of new service options, such as microtransit, with an initial pilot project underway in Lynnwood
Public outreach will begin this fall to solicit input for many of these service changes.
The TDP outlines capital infrastructure investment in these areas:
- Operating base expansion and upgrade to support increased service
- Swift bus rapid transitnetwork buildout (Orange, Blue and Gold lines)
- Ongoing fleet replacement and facility preservation
- Zero-emission vehicles and supporting infrastructure
- Bus stop improvements
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.