Blog / Published on Apr 1, 2024

Dignitaries and community members celebrate opening of Community Transit Swift Orange Line

New bus rapid transit line, completed on time and under budget, will provide bus-to-light rail connection in Snohomish County

Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Acting Administrator Veronica Vanterpool holds scissors for ribbon-cutting at Community Transit Swift Orange Line opening ceremony at Lynnwood Transit Center.

Caption: Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Acting Administrator Veronica Vanterpool holds scissors for ribbon-cutting at Community Transit Swift Orange Line opening ceremony at Lynnwood Transit Center.

Snohomish County, Wash. – Community Transit Board members, elected officials, staff, and community members are celebrating the start of service on the Swift Orange Line today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and Block Party. Swift Orange Line will provide the premier bus-to-light rail connection in Snohomish County when the Link light rail extends to Lynnwood later this year, with buses arriving and departing the train station every 10 minutes most of the day.

The opening ceremony at Lynnwood Transit Center featured remarks from dignitaries who touted the unique features of bus rapid transit (BRT), which operates so frequently, riders don’t need to worry about schedules or timetables. After the ceremony, officials boarded the Swift Orange Line and traveled to Edmonds College to join a community Block Party.

“Providing high-quality, frequent transit service is the best way we know to get people where they need to go faster so they can work, visit family, receive healthcare and shop,” said FTA Acting Administrator Veronica Vanterpool, whose agency supported the project with $68 million in grants. “President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is making projects like the Swift Orange Line possible all over our country, and I’m so happy to be in Snohomish County to help make this new route a reality. Of course, it would not be possible without the tremendous team at Community Transit, which delivered a great project early and under budget.”

“You cannot have a big-league economy with little league infrastructure. Thanks in part to historic federal investments, Community Transit is expanding high-quality service to connect residents to jobs, school, the store, recreational opportunities and more,” said Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), the lead Democrat on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. “I will continue to work with local elected officials and community leaders to address infrastructure needs, create more jobs and build a cleaner, greener, safer and more accessible transportation system in Puget Sound.”

"We are eagerly looking forward to Link light rail arriving in Lynnwood later this year where it will connect with Swift service,” said Community Transit Board Chair and City of Snohomish Council President Tom Merrill. “With it comes opportunity – with light rail in place we can improve local service for our residents by redeploying the nearly one third of our service currently dedicated to commuting to downtown Seattle."

“Everyone deserves reliable, affordable transportation and when the mobility of our community increases, we see our economy grow and thrive right along with it,” said Washington State Senator Marko Liias, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee. “I am passionate about expanding public transportation in Snohomish County and the Swift Orange Line is especially exciting because it means everyone will have the opportunity to get around more efficiently, no matter what their circumstances are.”

Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell, U.S. Reps. Suzan DelBene (WA-01) and Kim Schrier (WA-08), Washington State Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar and Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers also offered remarks.

The Swift Orange Line is an $83 million project that has received $68 million in federal funding, including $37.2 million from Capital Investment Grant funds and $6.5 million of American Rescue Plan stimulus funding. The project also received $5 million as part of the Connecting Washington package. Local sales tax approved by voters provides $10 million. The project was completed on time and under budget.

Swift Orange Line, the agency’s third (BRT) line, will provide fast, frequent service linking Edmonds College, Alderwood Mall and Mill Creek. It is the first of many significant improvements coming to transit riders this year, including more new Community Transit routes and expansion of frequent, local, in-county bus service.

On the Orange Line, riders will enjoy upgraded features including 13 stops with rain shelters, additional seating, improved lighting, and real-time arrival and departure signage. A new transit center at Edmonds College and a redesigned transit center at McCollum Park Park & Ride will enhance the 11-mile route.

Swift BRT service begins at 4:15 a.m. weekdays, 6 a.m. Saturdays, and 7 a.m. Sundays. Buses run every 10 minutes on weekdays, and every 15–20 minutes on early mornings, evenings, and weekends.

Community Transit provides bus and paratransit service, vanpool, and innovative transit options in Snohomish County. The agency is expanding the Swift bus rapid transit network to connect people to light rail and provide fast, frequent service throughout the county.