Snohomish County, Wash. – A new right-turn/transit lane has opened at the I-5 overpass heading westbound on 128th Street SW, a well-known congestion point.
The road-widening project is part of Community Transit’s Swift Green Line bus rapid transit project that began construction last summer.
Previously, westbound 128th Street had two lanes: one for through traffic across the overpass and another for both through traffic and vehicles turning right onto the northbound I-5 on-ramp. Now there are three lanes: two for through traffic and a new one that allows buses to get onto the overpass while other vehicles can make a right turn directly onto the on-ramp.
The new lane is open and available to all traffic; the bus-only feature will open in mid-August after WSDOT has completed a repaving project in the area.
At the traffic signal, buses in the new lane will get a special “queue jump” green light several seconds before other vehicles, allowing the bus to move ahead. A similar bus-only lane opened on the other side of the I-5 overpass last January.
The Swift Green Line is scheduled to open in the spring and will provide a bus every 10 minutes between the Canyon Park Park & Ride in Bothell and the Seaway Transit Center across from Boeing’s main gate in Everett.
The Seaway Transit Center is now under construction, as are 34 Swift stations along the route. Swift Green Line passengers will prepay their fare at the stations and board the bus quickly, similar to boarding light rail. With on-board bike racks and other passenger-friendly design elements, Swift buses usually stop at a station for only about 10 seconds.
The Swift Green Line will intersect with the existing Swift Blue Line, Community Transit’s highest ridership route, at Hwy 99 and Airport Road, providing fast transit connections throughout south Snohomish County. The Swift Green Line will also serve the new passenger terminal at Paine Field.
For more information, visit www.communitytransit.org/SwiftGreen.
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.