Six-Year Plan Includes Swift Network Expansion & 250 New Jobs

Jun 1, 2017

Agency expected to hit service level and ridership highs in 2019

Snohomish County, Wash. – Community Transit’s Draft 2017-2022 Transit Development Plan (TDP) calls for hiring about 250 new employees by 2022 to help provide 38 percent more transit service for Snohomish County residents. While most of those jobs will be bus drivers, there is a need for mechanics, IT professionals and other support staff that will push agency employment above 800 in the next six years.

The employment forecast is one aspect of the new Draft TDP. Each year, the transit agency looks ahead six years to forecast sales tax revenue, and to match proposed future service expansions with the labor and fleet needed to provide that service.

Following a successful 2015 ballot measure, Community Transit has been focused on expanding service, including the build-out of a bus rapid transit network called Swift.

The Swift Blue Line, serving Everett-Shoreline since 2009, provides about 6,000 rides a day, or 1.7 million rides a year. Construction started this spring on the Swift Green Line, which will serve Canyon Park/Bothell-Boeing/Paine Field in early 2019.

A third bus rapid transit line, the Swift Orange Line, is planned to connect with Link Light Rail at the Lynnwood Transit Center in 2023. At the same time, the Swift Blue Line will be extended south to connect with Link at the 185th Street Station in Shoreline.

The expansion of the Swift network, as well as creation of other new routes, added trips and a south county network restructure to connect with light rail over these six years, will provide 55 percent more transit service than the agency provided in 2015, when county residents voted for more service.

“The best thing we can do for Snohomish County residents who supported transit expansion is provide more service and improve access to that transit service as fast as we can, and that’s what we are doing,” said Community Transit CEO Emmett Heath. “

Other highlights of the Draft TDP:

  • By 2022, Community Transit will increase its fleet to 310 buses, 462 vanpools and 52 DART paratransit buses. 
  • Bus service levels are expected to reach an all-time high in 2019 and are forecast to exceed 500,000 annual service hours by 2022 (78 percent higher than in 2012 when service was cut).
  • Annual ridership is expected to reach an all-time high of 12 million in 2019 and could hit 14 million by 2022.
  • The agency will order 543 new vehicles over the life of this plan to replace or expand the bus fleet, vanpool fleet and paratransit fleet.
  • Expenditures over these six years total $1 billion in transit service and capital investment.

Draft TDP review and public comment

The Draft TDP was presented to the Community Transit Board of Directors today and is available for public comment through July 7. The report can be found online at www.communitytransit.org/TDP.

Public comment on this proposal will be taken through July 7. Comments may be made in several ways:

People can offer their comments before the Board of Directors at a public hearing at 3 p.m., Thursday, July 6 in the Community Transit Board Room, 7100 Hardeson Road, Everett, accessible by Everett Transit Route 8.

Community Transit is hiring! Find out what jobs are available and how to apply at www.communitytransit.org/jobs.

Community Transit is responsible for providing bus and paratransit service, vanpool and alternative commute options in Snohomish County. The agency is building a network of Swift bus rapid transit lines with Swift Blue Line along Highway 99 and the Swift Green Line between Canyon Park/Bothell and Boeing/Paine Field coming in 2019.