This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
Lots of good stuff in this HeraldNet op-ed: on the increase in transit use up North:
Community Transit’s next big project is its Swift bus rapid transit service, slated to begin operation in 2009. The new route will run 17 miles along Highway 99 between Everett and Aurora Village, with 15 stops in each direction. Some 1.5 million people use the existing bus routes on that corridor, and the frequency and efficiency of the Swift system should further increase those numbers.
15 stops over 17 miles. That’s how you do BRT! With a connection at Aurora Village to Metro’s RapidRide, you’ve got a pretty nice commute down Hwy 99. Assuming, of course, that the bus-only lanes are all up and running (a project that WSDOT is working on). By 2009, transit options along the Aurora corridor will be much, much better.
Complementing that, you’ve got an increase in Sounder rail:
Through May, Sound Transit’s Sounder commuter rail line had made 1,315 total trips this year. Sound Transit plans to increase the number of weekday round trips between Everett and Seattle from four to eight next year, and to add a new stop in Mukilteo. (It currently stops in Edmonds.)
Four to Eight? I see two round-trips on Sounder’s site, plus two Amtrak trips. Either way, it’s a good development. Still, one hour from Everett to Seattle on Sounder is a bit long, and presumably the trip will get even longer when the Mukilteo stop is added in. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with sharing the BNSF tracks. And certiainly an hour from Everett to Seattle is actually quicker than driving most days. Still, if there’s a chance that you can do it in 30 minutes by car every now and then, many people will still opt to drive. That’s just how the human brain works.