This month, Community Transit held our first event with invited dignitaries since the pandemic began. It was an opportunity to thank employees for all their dedication over the past 16 months and celebrate breaking ground on our Merrill Creek Operations Base expansion.
The event drew quite a crowd! Along with many Community Transit Board Members, we welcomed U.S. Reps. Rick Larsen and Suzan DelBene, State Sen. Marko Liias, State Reps. April Berg, Shelley Kloba, Mike Sells and Emily Wicks, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, and Economic Alliance of Snohomish County President and CEO Garry Clark. Staff for U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal also attended. This great turnout reflects the incredible federal, state and local support for Community Transit’s mission to help people get from where they are to where they want to be.
The guests expressed the community’s gratitude for Community Transit employees, noting the indispensable lifeline our dedicated staff provided for people during the most uncertain days of the pandemic. They also had an opportunity to walk through the maintenance building, get a look at current operations, meet several team members, and hear about the expansion and renovation project. After delivering remarks, the group participated in a ceremonial kick-off for construction.
Two buildings at the Merrill Creek base will be renovated, one each for maintenance and operations. The maintenance building will be expanded by adding six large bus bays that are capable of servicing articulated and double-deck buses. In addition, two current bays will be upgraded for larger buses, and new hoists will be added at all 20 bays. This expansion will provide Community Transit the capacity to maintain the new buses needed to operate the planned Swift Orange Line in 2024.
More information on this project is available in the agency’s Transit Development Plan here: https://www.communitytransit.org/TDP. For those of you who were not able to attend, please visit this link to watch video of the event: https://vimeo.com/572293249/8f5b8354c2.
Slowly but surely we are turning the tide on this pandemic, to the point where we can look ahead to the future, welcome more of our customers back, integrate with Link light rail this fall, start construction on our third Swift line, plus many more exciting initiatives.