Faster bus service coming soon on Highway 99

It’s called Swift for a reason. Community Transit will unveil a new 17-mile transit service along Highway 99 at the end of November that promises to cut 25 percent off the travel time from the Aurora Village Transit Center through Edmonds to downtown Everett.

Swift bus - photo courtesy of Community Transit
Swift bus - photo courtesy of Community Transit

Known as bus rapid transit, or BRT, the Swift system includes 12 stations instead of the usual 50 stops in that Highway 99 Shoreline-to-Everett corridor. Two of those stations are in Edmonds –at 238th Street Southwest (at the Aurora Marketplace/Safeway going southbound and the Family Pancake House northbound) and at 216th Street Southwest (just a block east of Stevens Hospital).

Buses will run every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 20 minutes on nights and weekends. The route now has 10 miles of transit signal priority intersections, which means that the green light will be extended at intersections for a few seconds to keep the buses on schedule.

Riders pay fares at the Swift station before they board, and can enter at any one of three doors on the 62-foot articulated (bends in the middle), hybrid diesel-electric buses. That means no more waiting in lines to board the bus but it does mean you have to remember to pay your fare at the station (ticket vending machines take cash, but you must have exact change, or VISA/MasterCard). Swift “ambassadors” will be on board to randomly check for fare payment, so keep your ticket!

Bike riders can use one of three on-board bike racks. No more attaching your bike to the outside of the bus.

Community Transit is launching Swift with a community celebration at the Crossroads Station, Highway 99 and 196th Street in Lynnwood, from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 29. Full service starts Monday, Nov. 30.

For more details about Swift service, visit the Community Transit website.

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