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New signal at northbound Hwy 99 & 148th will give Swift buses a green arrow before general traffic
Merger into traffic where transit lane ends slows down rapid transit buses
Snohomish County, Wash. – Swift bus rapid transit buses save riders lots of time traveling the Highway 99 corridor by making few stops and using the right-hand transit lane. But when the transit lane ends and buses have to merge into regular traffic, it can slow down the buses.
Swift buses now will get a head start with a queue jump light at Highway 99 and 148th Street between Lynnwood and Everett, where the northbound transit lane ends. The project was funded by a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant.
The new traffic signal on the northbound traffic pole at 148th above the pedestrian light is visible only to those in the right-hand transit lane. When a Swift bus has a red light at the intersection, the queue jump arrow will light green several seconds before the regular green light is activated for all northbound traffic. This head start will allow time for the bus to cross the intersection and merge into the general traffic lane.
When a Swift bus is not waiting for a head start, the arrow will match the color of the regular signal – green, yellow or red.
“Thousands of people a day ride Swift to move between Everett and south county quickly without having to worry about parking or fuel costs,” said Community Transit CEO Joyce Eleanor. “The queue jump is just another way we are making buses convenient and swift.”
While the bus driver and passengers will see the new green arrow, other motorists may think the bus is running a red light. Traffic engineers made the queue jump light visible only to right-hand lane drivers so other cars would not accidently go at the same time. Despite how it may look if you are in the second or third lane, the bus movement is safe and legal.
Community Transit is responsible for providing transportation options for Snohomish County residents, including bus and paratransit service, vanpool and ridesharing options. Call Community Transit at (425) 353-7433 or (800) 562-1375 for bus information, or (888) 814-1300 for carpool or vanpool information, or go to www.communitytransit.org.