Over the past four decades, Community Transit has grown from a small, local bus service into a public transportation leader for the Puget Sound region.
From a thriving vanpool program to the Swift Blue Line (the state's first bus rapid transit line), Community Transit has been at the forefront of helping Snohomish County residents think transit first.
Community Transit (known then as the Snohomish County Public Transportation Benefit Area Corporation) began service on Oct. 4, 1976, after voters in Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mountlake Terrace, Snohomish and Woodway agreed to form their own local transit agency. With 18 leased GMC buses, Community Transit began serving seven routes in those communities.
That first year, Community Transit buses provided 951,200 rides. As one long-time driver recalled, the agency didn't have specific stops on routes back then. Drivers had to keep a sharp eye out for riders, who would flag down a passing bus.
After beginning with non-existent bus stops, the agency now serves more than 2,100 stops and 22 park and ride lots with more than 7,355 parking stalls, including the four-story Mountlake Terrace Transit Center.
Growth has been a big part of Community Transit's history. Since starting in the seven original communities, residents in every city in the county except Everett have voted to join the agency:
Community Transit's Public Transportation Benefit Area has a population of more than half a million people (542,727 in 2014). Click to download a PDF of a map showing Community Transit's PTBA (PDF).