Snohomish County, Wash. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced 31 transportation projects that are in President Obama’s budget for new federal funding. One of them is Swift II, Community Transit’s proposed bus rapid transit line between Canyon Park in Bothell and Boeing/Paine Field in Everett.
“Each of these projects announced today has undergone a rigorous, highly competitive process to get the President’s recommendation for funding to address our nation’s transportation needs,” said Foxx.
The President’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget includes a placeholder of $43 million for Swift II. It would represent the most significant funding piece to make the project a reality.
Swift II is in early design stage, but has already received a $6.8 million WSDOT grant for construction of the Seaway Transit Center, its northern terminal across the street from Boeing; and a $10 million state appropriation for additional capital and operational costs.
“This is great news for Snohomish County!” said Community Transit CEO Emmett Heath. “While the funding isn’t guaranteed yet, inclusion in the President’s budget keeps us on track to open in fall 2018.”
Swift II will build on the success of the original Swift line, which opened in 2009 – the first bus rapid transit line in the state.Swift runs along Highway 99 between Everett Station and the Aurora Village Transit Center in Shoreline.
After opening, Swift met its one-year ridership projection in three months and its four-year projection in one year. About 5,500 riders board Swift each weekday, making it Community Transit’s highest ridership route. The final station on the original Swift line opened last week two blocks from the entrance to Edmonds Community College.
Swift II buses will run every 10 minutes between Bothell and Boeing, stopping at 15 stations in each direction. The route will serve the growing Mill Creek area and intersect with the first Swift line at Airport Road and Highway 99.
Swift II will also connect the 25,000 high-technology jobs in the Canyon Park area with the 65,000 aerospace and manufacturing jobs around Paine Field. Community Transit, Everett Transit and King County Metro Transit buses that serve the Boeing-Everett plant will coordinate their service at the Seaway Transit Center.
Today’s announcement of Swift II’s inclusion in the President’s FY2017 budget coincides with the project receiving a “Medium” rating for the Small Starts grant program. This means the project has qualified for federal funding. When the project design is more complete, Community Transit will work with the FTA on final scoping that could change the amount of federal funding this project receives.
The final hurdle is for Congress to pass a 2017 budget that fully funds the grant programs. If that happens, construction on Swift II stations could start in early 2017.
More information about the Swift II project, including a route map, is available online here.