In anticipation of light rail extending to Lynnwood, the Community Transit Board of Directors yesterday approved the “Transit Changes in 2024 and Beyond” plan to enhance bus service throughout the county beginning next year. The multi-year vision will increase frequency on local bus service and include connections to light rail in Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, and Shoreline.
“People have told us they want more transit options and more frequent connections on local bus service,” said Community Transit CEO Ric Ilgenfritz. “This new network will significantly improve frequency and coverage for our customers, including direct connections to three new light rail stations. We look forward to delivering this service to upgrade mobility in Snohomish County.”
The plan includes 35 bus routes operating with approximately 480,000 annual service hours, a 32% increase over current service. These changes will increase bus frequency and shorten wait times for riders by more than doubling the number of routes with 30-minute or better frequency, and tripling the number of routes with 20-minute or better frequency on weekdays.
The plan calls for increasing service in phases from 2024 to 2026 based on evolving plans for the opening of Sound Transit’s Lynnwood Link extension of light rail, recruitment of new drivers, and other projects that may affect bus service on the I-5 corridor.
Community Transit gathered feedback from people who live and travel in Snohomish County over the last two years to inform the plan. Details are available at communitytransit.org/transitchanges.
The changes reduce Community Transit bus service from 46 to 35 routes. In exchange, buses will run more often in the county. Routes that serve Northgate and downtown Seattle will eventually be eliminated since light rail will make those trips faster without traffic interruptions. With frequent light rail service to Seattle starting next year, the agency can operate more local bus service in Snohomish County.
The plan also includes more bus rapid transit (BRT) service with a bus every 10 minutes along some of the most heavily used corridors in the county and attracts high ridership. The Swift Orange Line will connect with both the Swift Blue and Swift Green lines as well as provide a direct connection to light rail in Lynnwood. The Swift Blue Line will also connect to light rail at I-5 in Shoreline. Planning is also underway to build the Swift Gold Line which will serve north Snohomish County.
Community Transit is responsible for providing bus and paratransit service, vanpool, and innovative transit options in Snohomish County. The agency is expanding the Swift bus rapid transit lines to connect to light rail and provide fast, frequent service throughout the county.
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