Community Transit to eliminate commuter bus fare


The Community Transit Board voted Thursday to eliminate the agency’s commuter bus fare in September.

The Snohomish County transit agency currently charges a higher fare for commuter routes that travel to Northgate and downtown Seattle, according to a news release. After Link light rail extends to Snohomish County, Community Transit will discontinue those routes so there is no need for the higher fare category.

“The arrival of congestion-free light rail in Snohomish County will enable exciting improvements to Community Transit’s network,” said Ric Ilgenfritz, Community Transit CEO. “This change to a single, standard fare supports these improvements and helps make riding transit an even easier choice.”

Starting Sept. 1, all standard adult fares will be $2.50. This applies to local bus, Swift, Zip Alderwood Shuttle, and DART paratransit services. The new rate also applies to Community Transit Express routes that will be introduced on Sept. 14.

Reduced fares for ORCA LIFT, disabled and Medicare riders will remain the same at $1.25. Youth 18 and under ride free. ORCA cards are the easiest way to pay and offer savings when transferring between different transit agencies. Customers can also pay with cash using exact change.

Although Community Transit buses will no longer serve Northgate and downtown Seattle, Route 424 will be maintained; it does not travel on I-5 like the other commuter routes. Route 424 riders will move to the standard $2.50 fare.

Other Seattle-bound riders will connect to Link light rail at Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace or Shoreline to complete their trips to Seattle. Some Sound Transit buses will continue to serve Seattle.

Community Transit held a public comment period and conducted a federally mandated Title VI analysis which found that this fare change does not have a disparate effect on minority or low-income populations.

Community Transit provides bus and paratransit service, vanpool, and innovative transit options in Snohomish County. The agency recently launched the Swift Orange Line to provide fast, frequent service in the south county and will connect to Link light rail later this year.

  1. Will light rail be able to carry the commuter population from the discontinued bus routes. Especially to Seattle and back, that are usually full?

    1. Yes. Four-car light rail trains have capacity for 800 riders. And they run so frequently you don’t need a timetable. Trains will leave Lynnwood Station every 10 minutes, reducing to every 6 minutes next year.

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