Fall is birthday season for Community Transit, as we mark our 45th year of serving Snohomish County on October 4th. This year, we’re celebrating with new connections for transit riders to light rail at the brand new Northgate Station. We’ll start the celebration on October 2nd when people in Snohomish County will have direct access to fast, frequent, and reliable light rail for the first time.
On Monday, October 4th, our 800-series buses will begin connecting to light rail at Northgate. From there, a whole new world of possibilities opens up. The University of Washington and downtown Seattle will be a short light rail ride away -- six minutes and 14 minutes respectively -- on Sound Transit’s 1 Line (Link) The trip will be more predictable because light rail bypasses I-5’s notorious traffic, so you might be able to sleep in a little longer or spend more time with family, knowing you won’t run the risk of being caught in traffic. In some cases, you can expect to get to your destination more quickly, particularly during peak commuting hours or any time traffic is snarled up due to car accidents or construction. Some of the excitement also comes from knowing there are a lot of other places people want to go around the region: medical appointments, sporting venues, shops. With the frequent trips on offer via light rail, the sky’s the limit and the ride is fast and reliable.
But with the new light rail connection comes some big changes. Since Community Transit’s 800-series bus routes will no longer go to the U District and University of Washington, you’ll transfer at Northgate Station and ride light rail to your final destination. Sound Transit Routes 511, 512, and 513 that currently run between Snohomish County and Seattle will also connect to light rail at Northgate. While you won’t see Community Transit buses on the UW campus, you will see 48 new bus trips departing Northgate station in the afternoon and evening, which translates to more frequent bus service back to Snohomish County at the end of your day. If your destination is downtown, you’ll have the choice of riding 400-series buses, ST Route 510, or transferring to light rail at Northgate.
Community Transit has worked closely with Sound Transit for more than two years on a plan that integrates both of our agencies’ buses serving Northgate, and we have reached out to our shared riders to communicate the many advantages of this bus-to-light rail connection.
The Northgate connection is just the beginning. In 2024, Snohomish County riders will get even more options to upgrade their commutes or trips -- four more light rail stations will open up and add Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, and Lynnwood to the system. We’re excited to learn from this experience as Northgate comes online, and later this fall we will look for more feedback from the community as we prepare for more transit options in 2024.