This past winter, Community Transit launched the Journey 2050 plan to update the agency’s long-range vision for public transportation in the coming decades. Journey 2050 will update Community Transit’s last adopted long-range plan from 2011.
Over the next 30 years, transportation in Snohomish County will undergo immense transition with new light rail connections and a growing population. As the public transit and transportation landscape changes, Community Transit wants to lead in planning how best to serve shifting travel patterns due to COVID, evaluating new service types and integrating with regional light rail extensions.
The first phase of public input focused on the importance of public transportation options, as well as some initial ideas for areas of investment. Respondents were primarily current or former transit riders, with only 4% saying they have never ridden transit.
The results overwhelmingly pointed to the important role public transit serves as Snohomish County continues growing, with 66% of respondents saying high-quality public transportation is very important. An additional 14% said it is somewhat important for the county’s future.
Survey participants identified the top four key features of a high-quality transportation system being convenience and accessibility (31%), reliable and on time (16%), being fast and efficient (11%) and including multi-modal roads (10%).
In questioning what people feel are the most important investments for Community Transit to make, “adding service to areas where there currently isn’t bus service” (64%) and “real-time information at bus stops showing arrival and departure times,” (52%) were the top two preferences.
In looking at what type of new services people want, most respondents were supportive of looking into micro-transit and apps or online services that help people share rides. Other ideas like self-driving vehicles, scooter share, bike share, and car-sharing programs received less than 50% support.
Agency leadership and the Board of Directors will be conducting exercises and workshops to further develop ideas for the next phase of public outreach. This work is based on Journey 2050’s three main priorities:
Equity: expanding access to opportunities and services for priority populations, including Black, Indigenous, and people of color; people with lower incomes; and people in communities who have historically been underserved and not had opportunities to participate in transit planning.
Efficiency: balancing operational efficiency with serving as many communities as possible across Snohomish County.
Environment: reducing transportation greenhouse gas emissions by converting car trips to transit rides and planning for a zero-emissions fleet.
The next phase of public outreach will take place in the summer of 2022 and look more in-depth at some of the preferences for future investments. To receive updates on the project, you can visit: communitytransit.org/journey2050.