Other transit agencies, take note: this is how you make your system accessible to newcomers.

The opening ceremony will be at 2pm today in Lynnwood, at Crossroads Station (the intersection of 196th St. SW and Highway 99).  Rides are free today with regular service beginning tomorrow at 5am.

The trip planner result to get there from Downtown Seattle is below the fold.  You can also follow us on twitter all afternoon.

Depart 4th Ave S & S Jackson St At 12:33 PM On Route ST 511 ASH WAY P-R via LYNNWOOD TC
Arrive LYNNWOOD P-R & BAY D2 At 01:07 PM
Transfer to
Depart LYNNWOOD P-R & BAY C4 At 01:15 PM On Route CT 118 AURORA VILLAGE via 84th W
Arrive 196TH ST SW & SR 99 At 01:21 PM

50 Replies to “Swift Opening Day is Here”

  1. The only trouble I have is having to buy tickets each way. I’d much prefer to buy a RT ticket. Other than that, sounds great. Might have to take a trip to Everett!

  2. That video is great! Transit riders are a very diverse user group but this video does a very good job at specifically targeting the needs of new users, especially those with no prior transit experience. Community Transit has also made a video that shows the exact steps for buying a ticket with cash or a credit card.

    Have fun today! Take lots of picture. Oran could you get a timelapse video for the whole route?

    1. After meeting with the CT rep, I recognize him in the video!

      That depends. I know the person who made a few timelapses for the MAX Green Line, Central Link, etc. and he has an inaugural ticket. But lots of pictures and video, yes!

    2. It would’ve been hard to get a time lapse today. Inagural rides didn’t start until 3ish, and the sun starts going down at 4.

  3. BRT seems like the right thing for that corridor, and they do a good job of selling the whole quick boarding thing, AND those bike racks are extremely cool… but the cheesy instructional video music! and the “calm” voice that sounds like a serial killer barely holding it together! And the weird arm gestures made by the “ambassador”! Oh, and the attempts to sell the Aurora Village to Everett corridor as fun and exciting: “Shopping! Work! Errands! Appointments!” This sucker is gonna show up in a found footage festival twenty years from now…

    (also: I can’t be the only one who thinks it’s a total rip that a round trip always costs twice the cost of a one-way trip… I’ve gotten used to being able to use my transfer to come back home, if I’m just on a short errand).

    1. I agree. The calm-voiced guy creeps me out. “Shall we take a ride together?” I get the feeling he’s asked that before.

      1. Are you sure that isn’t restricted to only connecting buses?

        Why isn’t there a CT daypass, or an ORCA day pass. Wasn’t there sort of one with PugetPass if you bought a full fare ticket?

    1. Rapidride will be a great improvement over current service but it won’t be any Swift. Swift is a much more significant system than what Metro is looking at.

  4. If you don’t want to get there too early, you can ride the 511 to the Lynnwood TC a bit later, and catch the free shuttle that they’ll be running beginning at 1:15pm

    Depart 4th Ave & Union St At 01:09 PM

    On Route ST 511 ASH WAY P-R via LYNNWOOD TC

    Arrive LYNNWOOD P-R & BAY D2 At 01:37 PM

    Info on the shuttle is on the right of the SWIFT page (http://www.commtrans.org/Projects/Swift.cfm) – see you all there!

  5. This looks like a pretty nice project. My only issue is the issue I seem to keep coming back to with transit service in the region: totally uncoordinated between entities. This would make more sense running all the way into Seattle rather than operating in a vacuum within Snohomish County. One will still have to transfer at the county line, which is a big disadvantage. Meanwhile, Metro is spending money to develop a similar concept that will operate, be branded, and likely have a separate fare structure.

    1. If a similar service is put in place from Aurora Village to Seattle, then the pain of transfer will not be great. And look at lines like 7 and 43 which got split up into two sections even though they were within Metro.

      1. RapidRide line E will go from Aurora Village to Seattle via 99. In the meantime, the 358 is already pretty frequent on that same route.

    2. Swift is currently a coordinated effort between Community Transit and Everett Transit, so a partnership between the three agencies along Hwy 99 isn’t unimaginable.

    3. A route from Seattle to Everett along 99 would make a long route – so the farther you get away from the terminal, the more unreliable it would be.

  6. I was just in SF and I took an AC Transit bus from Transbay Terminal to Berkeley. It appears that all of the transbay AC Transit buses are three-door forty foot buses or four-door artics, with backwards facing seats and a backwards facing wheelchair area, and all other “BRT” elements, showing that there’s really no reason why we should restrict the Swift or RapidRide things to just those routes and not put them on all our frequent routes.

  7. Just got home after riding Swift and my biggest complaint is …..surprise surprise …… the stop announcements.

    a) Those speakers are terrible TERRIBLE! They were scratchy and muffle, and a little too quiet.
    b) On both the northbound and southbound trips, the driver would announce the next stop as soon as we left the previous one. This may work when the stops are only a couple blocks apart, but with the significant distance between them, it’s hard to keep track. When you announce the stop that early, it’s hard to know how close to the stop you actually are. Since I can’t see well, I don’t know if the bus is slowing down because we’re at a light, or if it’s slowing down because we’re at the stop. At least re-state the stop when you’re approaching the stop.

    I know they’re working on getting ASAs set up, but this is still a pretty bad temp solution.

    1. It’s like the Pierce Transit buses before they went to automated announcements. The driver records the announcement and then it plays back after he/she finishes it. Both CT’s and PT’s were unintelligible.

  8. just got back from the opening – best opening ceremony ever. the link opening was like a wake compared to this one. great swag, a hillarious dance number and just kind of low-key genuine happiness about good transit service on a corridor that will benefit from it. i’ll upload some pix later.

  9. The interior bike racks seem like a potential problem. What happens when there are people standing in the aisle on a busy day? Bicyclists would be ostracized for the hassle they wrought, or perhaps they wouldn’t be able to use Swift at all. The planners must have considered this when they approved the design, so I’d be curious to hear their official word on the matter. (Intrepid reporters? Anyone there from the respectable (ha) press?)

    1. I don’t see too much of a problem. There’s some circulation room, and anyone forward of the racks can use the middle door if the bikes are “blocking” them.

    2. I was fascinated by the bicycle racks and asked many questions during one of the media tours. CT’s official reasons for this design were:

      — Rolling the bikes aboard is swifter than cinching them to a front-loaded rack outside the bus.
      — The floor-mounted rack design, about 2-3 feet high, is considered easier to use than hanging the front wheel from a hook, as on Seattle and Portland LRT vehicles.

      These in-bus racks, with the spring-mounted spool to clamp the front wheel, were designed by CT and manufactured by inmates in Grays Harbor County.

      — Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times

  10. Just got back from the opening. I won a ticket for the inaugural ride in the CT lottery, and erroneously assumed that the opening ceremony would take place in Everett, giving us a free Swift ride from the Aurora Transit Center right away. I was very surprised when we only rode to the ceremony location in Lynnwood. Since dark was approaching at 4pm decided to wait until some other day to ride all the way to Everett.

    1. I was kind of disappointed that the rides didn’t start shortly after the ribbon was cut like on Link opening day. Never mind, I stood there chatting with follow transit geeks for about an hour and munching on popcorn before we got to ride a Swift.

      1. I got to ride with O2 man back to Everett. Kinda cool it was a Swift Express–we made no stops between Crossroads and Everett Station. It’s still a looooong route.

      2. I ended up riding the “express” back to AVTC, then got on the first regular bus with Oran, right at 4.

  11. I drove on 99 corridor and didn’t see many people waiting at the swift stations….it’s not like they’re excited to check it out compared to Central Link light rail.

    1. On the contrary, there were a ton of people waiting for the Swift I was on (the first northbound trip after 4).

    2. A person or two got on at each stop on the trip I went on at about six. So some riders but not that many. I wonder if it will ever come close to capacity…

  12. The fold-up seats in the wheelchair area are very uncomfortable. My back ached and I’m in my 20s! I fixed that by facing backwards and rested my back on the large wheelchair cushion.

    The other seats were comparable to Link but with a little more flex. The backs were plastic, not metal. However, nothing compares to the comfy adjustable seats with foot rests on Sound Transit’s coaches.

    1. i have severe back problems and ended up having to stand :(

      that said, i didn’t mind the wheelchair seats too much.

      took the 510 back to seattle after making it to everett. that was a nice ride…

  13. I didn’t get a chance to go :(

    How does wheelchair access on SWIFT work exactly? Might try and get up there this weekend with my brother Adam

    1. It’s pretty simple; there’s a sliding ramp at the front door which looks a lot like a LINK ramp, except it’s driver-deployed. The ramp is short and gradual, as the platforms are significantly elevated.

      The interesting thing, which makes it a lot more like light rail, is that they pulled off a passive restraint system; back in against the backboard, put down the armrest, lock your brakes, and you’re good to go, If you like the 9000 straps of doom, that’s an option, too. I think the passive restraint system is the first i’ve seen on buses in the States that don’t have an exclusive grade-separated ROW, so yay on that.

      1. Uhhhh…i meant Tacoma Link. Yeah, that’s it. Yep. Uh-huh.

        You’re correct, Alex. Apologies for the error…and yeah, it does remind me of the SLUT. We were just so busy being excited about NO STRAPS!!! YAY!!! that it slipped by my mental fact checker.

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