Community Transit: Six-year plan highlights increased bus frequency, security, connections to light rail

Community Transit Swift bus. (Photo courtesy Community Transit)

The Community Transit Board of Directors last week approved the agency’s 2023-2028 Transit Development Plan (TDP). a plan that is updated every year. Community Transit said its 2023 TDP summarizes activities and accomplishments from 2022, outlines agency goals and strategies for 2023-2028, provides a financial forecast for these years, and identifies resources needed.

Key initiatives include:

Expanding service

The opening of Lynnwood Link light rail in 2024 will change how people travel in Snohomish County and the entire region. In response to these once-in-a-generation changes, Community Transit is reimagining bus service by making changes to the bus network. The agency will expand local service and connect people to frequent transit services throughout the county and the region.

More frequency, new connections: Riders will have frequent, all-day local service in their community and throughout the county. They can also expect access to destinations in King County, including Northgate, UW, downtown Seattle, Sea-Tac Airport and the Eastside via light rail. Bus routes that serve Northgate and downtown Seattle will eventually be eliminated since light rail will make those trips faster, without traffic interruptions.

Bus rapid transit expansion: Next year will also include expansion of the agency’s bus rapid transit (BRT) network with the launch of the Swift Orange Line in early spring and the extension of the Swift Blue Line. The agency is planning for future BRT expansion with the Swift Green Line Extension in Bothell, and the Swift Gold Line in north Snohomish County, both of which are currently in planning stages.

Investment in services like Zip shuttles

Communities will have more transportation options with new innovative transit services such as the Zip Alderwood Shuttle in Lynnwood. Zip provides flexible and affordable solutions that connect people with regular transit services and popular destinations in their communities. In 2023, the Innovative Services team began community engagement in Arlington, Darrington and Lake Stevens. Implementation of tailored Innovative Services pilot projects for these communities will begin in 2024. These projects will expand throughout the county over the next six years.

Increased security

Community Transit is emphasizing security on buses and at facilities to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for riders and employees. This year, the agency implemented a Transit Security Officer (TSO) program and is continuing to expand the number of TSOs. TSOs help enforce the Community Transit rules of conduct, working closely with transit deputies, field supervisors, service ambassadors, and a social worker who is contracted through Snohomish County to work exclusively on transit. 

Zero Emissions Study

Community Transit is conducting a Zero Emissions Feasibility Study to determine the right vehicle and fueling technologies to sustainably serve customers and further reduce carbon emissions in the region. In 2023, Community Transit began a pilot program with a leased 60-foot battery-electric bus and engaged Snohomish County Public Utility District in a system impact study. In 2024, the agency will embark on a “side-by-side” pilot with one battery-electric 40-foot bus and one hydrogen fuel cell 40-foot bus. The agency said its objective is to compare and evaluate technology performance and engage staff in its mission to migrate to a zero-emissions fleet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.