"Swift Aurora Village Terminal", by Oran

The Community Transit Board will meet tomorrow to discuss the property condemnations necessary to construct two new Swift stations in each direction. From the press release, not online:

The four new Swift stations were in the original route plan but were deferred due to lack of funds. Everett has secured state funding for this project; Community Transit is overseeing construction. The four stations are at Highway 99 and 112th Street (northbound and southbound), Evergreen Way and Madison Street (northbound), and Evergreen Way and Pecks Drive (southbound).

ROW acquisition has been settled for all but one of these stations.

CT expects to put bids out later this summer and open the new stops in the first half of 2011.

Pecks Drive and Evergreen Way are a little less than a half mile apart. Oran whipped up a modified Swift map showing the new stations, below the jump.

Note, again, how beautiful CT’s bus route maps are.

21 Replies to “New Stops for Swift”

  1. I’ve always been intriqued by looking at the map “Puget Sound from Space”, first produced in 1992 when the RTA/JRPC/ST were struggling with routing concepts. Hwy 99 from Tacoma to Everett jumps off the map, as being the center of mass for existing development – ripe for TOD, and mass transit to replace what then was a mostly run-down WWII era speedway with few sidewalks. How things have changed in 20 years.
    I’ll never know, but back then when promoting light rail down the center of 99 (The Rhody Line)with center platforms every 1/2 to 3/4 mile, complete with all the street-scape improvements that have occurred since then, and flyovers at most major intersections,it seemed like a wonderful starter line for the Puget Sound. All 60 miles would have cost something like 2 Bil.
    Swift and Metro RapidRide mimic that concept, but with serious gaps between each system, making them much less useful as a coordinated seamless transportation corridor, IMHO. Another opportunity lost, as I see it.

    1. Link is it. The segment from TIB to downtown is where 99 is least useful from a pedestrian’s standpoint, so it follows the spirit of 99 routing if not the letter. The segment from downtown to Northgate is debatable, but clearly UW and Northgate mall are the highest priorities in north Seattle. The segment from Northgate to Lynnwood (Everett) has not been finalized, and there’s a (small) chance it can be diverted to 99 rather than I-5, where it would be more useful. And of course, the segment from SeaTac to Federal Way (Tacoma) is on 99 already.

      A local bus from Tacoma to Everett is impossible; it would be subject to delays, which are magnified by the length of the route. (An accident causes missed runs further up the line, which makes more people crowd at every bus stop, which makes the bus stop more often than usual, and by the time it reaches the terminus it can’t make up the missed run.) The 174 was already way too long, which is why it was split.

      Swift service would be good on Aurora. It’s not that significant whether you have to transfer at Aurora Village (and theoretically at downtown, TIB, and Federal Way), because a transfer would be a small part of the travel time over such a distance at such a speed, and transfers may help keep each segment on time.

      1. The long-term Link plans already cover 99 from Seattle to Tacoma. Between Seattle and Everett I’d love to see light rail, say something similar to the Interstate MAX line or the MLK segment of Link.

        I’m not sure it is worth dragging part of the Northgate to Lynnwood segment over to 99 though. I’d rather see the corridor get its own line down the entire length rather than just a small segment. I’m pretty sure there is enough current and potential transit ridership in North Seattle, Shoreline, and South Snohomish County to justify more than one rail line.

        In the near term I’d like to see RapidRide E turned into something more like SWIFT with local shadow service similar to the 101.

  2. I don’t know the Everett & CT route systems very well, but it sure seems like route 101 overlaps with the southern part of Swift and some combination of routes 3, 7 and 9, the northern portion. Given all of CT’s funding shortages, does it make sense to have overlapping routes providing local and limited service, or would riders be best served by a single route, with better headways and span of service, that has been through a stop diet, say stops no closer than every 1/2 mile. I think that’s what Metro’s doing with RapidA when it replaces the 174.

    In that sense, adding Swift stops is good, if it lets them combine resources and maybe restructure routes 3, 7, and 9 and 101. If a few more stops are needed to complete the restructuring, then maybe there can be a “light” stop design like Metro is doing if they don’t have capital funds. (Of course, that’s the slippery slope of BRT, just like rail but cheaper.)

    1. The “light” stop that RapidRide has is one of it’s worst features. It eliminates the “station” feel and consistency, both of which add a great deal.

      And one of the complaints about RapidRide E is that it is essentially a rebranded 358 – The 101 provides complimentary service to and feeds Swift.

      These new stations fill in some of the larger gaps, but once it’s complete, stop spacing throughout the line is fairly uniform and any additional infill would just slow it down.

    2. It’s a hard choice to make. Do you dilute the Swift brand by making it more like a local bus/RapidRide, or do you duplicate services? Think of it like this: would Link or any rail system be as good as it is w/o its local transit connections? Putting the Swift in a fixed-guideway sense, where it cannot deviate from it’s limited stations, and it really can’t!, it needs the local stops to infill the corridor. Just as the Link uses (used?) the 8 (?) for filling in along MLK.

      One BIG advantage of Swift is it really is FAST. I can take Swift to Everett in the same time I can drive (from the Edmonds area). The local 100/101 was painfully slow. Being able to transfer from the limited service to local service is really nice too, as they’re both frequent and allow a transfer.

    3. NO! The Swift/101 combination is an example for the entire region. Both routes are the highest-ridership CT routes, and the closest thing Snohomish County has to a transit-liveable corridor. The two routes serve different markets:

      (1) Coming from King County and going to a major destination (196th, Edmonds CC, Everett): take Swift.

      (2) Coming from King County or from a Swift station and going to another Swift station (like 176th): take Swift.

      (3) Source or destination not at a Swift station: take the 101. Or maybe take the 101 and transfer to Swift.

      I think (without doing a survey), that (1) and (2) account for the majority of trips. Stops are located at major institutions, and businesses and naturally congregate at major intersections, as does multifamily housing. So the only things not at a Swift station are single-family houses and the unlucky minor businesses/apartments — which just can’t be served by rapid transit, sorry, relocate yourself.

    4. The CT101 is such a *ridiculous* waste of money now that Swift is in service. It completely overlaps the Swift route except for a single mile of service at one end of it’s route where it shoots off over to Mariner Park & Ride.

      Additionally, this last mile of connecting route is an overlap of service ALREADY PROVIDED by the Everett Transit #2 circulator that runs on a pretty regular basis.

      In other words, this route 101 does not cover a SINGLE INCH of untouched street. It is a complete wasteful duplicate of service that exists elsewhere and it should be cancelled.

      Instead, CT, in all its wisdom, chooses to eliminate Sunday service everywhere claiming lack of funds, when there is such obvious waste going on with 78 trips on the 101 every weekday. How much does fuel cost for 780 miles PER DAY on an already serviced route? What about staffing? And accelerated bus maintenance expenses?

      Obviously, cancelling the 101 wouldn’t solve CT’s whole finance problem, but it would surely make a little dent. Instead of just throwing their hands up in a panic shrieking “there’s nothing else we can do! We have to cancel all the Sunday service!” CT could take a calm, reasonable look at current routing and eliminate some of the obvious waste.


  3. I wonder about the reason behind the Madison/Pecks set being so far apart. It’s worse than the 200th/196th set and that distance makes using that station pair really confusing. Probably a good question if I can get to the next Capital Projects and Planning committee meeting. :-)

    1. As an Everett resident, I think it’s because of the space available. If the SB stop was at Madison, that would require taking street parking away (from Rodland Toyota). Plus, there are way too many driveways and business accesses in that vicinity. The Pecks stop, on the other hand, has this long space fronting a giant parking lot to Value Village, so there would be space to fit a SWIFT stop and the local ET stop. Also, I think more people use the SB Pecks stop than the SB Madison stop, but i’m not sure.

      However, circumstances have changed. In my opinion, the Madison/Pecks combo would only work well with Everett Transit’s Route 8 still traveling from Madison to Evergreen to Pecks. But, since Route 8 was rerouted in November, the Pecks stop doesn’t really serve any connection purpose (besides connected to Route 7 or 9).

      1. Oh the horror of it – Toyota can’t park in the street. And all those pesky little driveways, ouch!
        Sorry in advance Dylan. I’m just being a smart ass.

      2. No worries, i’m sick of driveways and that Toyota dealership too. If it weren’t for the random driveways along Evergreen, SWIFT would be A LOT faster haha

      3. Actually, I’ve heard it was designed in a previous incarnation of Everett Transit’s Route 8 before they streamlined it to stay on Madison.

  4. Does anyone have any recent ridership figures for SWIFT?

    If not, does anyone here ride SWIFT regularly, and can give us their impression of whether ridership has been steadily increasing, or not?

    This is the latest information I can find on SWIFT ridersihp:


    Swift, Highway 99 ridership
    · Nov. 29, 2009, Swift begins service with 1,523 boardings that day
    · December , 1,699 average weekday boardings
    · January, 2,367 average weekday boardings
    · February, 2,660 average weekday boardings

    While many Swift riders have switched from Route 101, the local bus route that runs from south Everett to Aurora Village along Highway 99 as a companion to Swift, Route 101 ridership remains healthy and is second highest in Community Transit’s system, with an average of 2,218 weekday boardings in February.

    Combined, Swift and Route 101 carried 4,878 passengers each weekday on February 2010, compared to the 4,376 combined weekday boardings of Route 101 and Route 100 (which Swift replaced) in February 2009. That 11 percent increase on the Highway 99 corridor came as other transit ridership in the system dropped 8 percent February 2009 to February 2010.

    1. May data had Swift around 3150 average weekday boardings, so still growing.

  5. All of the complaints about BusSortaRapidTransit and other half measures are legit. But, the only solution is more revenue. That may possibly require a less anti-transit governor.

  6. I have a problem with how Community transit names the stops. The NB and SB station need the same name. So instead of having a station named Madison or Pecks it should be something like Madison-Pecks. I say this because when you leave from one station when you head back you are looking for the same name. Why make it so complex. You shouldn’t have to know that Madison is the same station at Pecks. Just confusing.

  7. Hummm…….Thats interesting, in the video I made on opening day, the CEO/Board Memebrs mentioned that Swift was completed “Under Budget”. So now they are saying a lack of funds? I have a lack to trust in their CEO at this point.

  8. The City of Everett erred in deleting these stops to begin with, as they’re the only logical transfer points to their #8, which heads to Boeing, Fluke, Intermec, Stockpot Soups, etc. I wrote them about it, and once they actually responded (a rarity in my experience). The response said they were considering re-routing the #8 west on 112th, then SE to Airport to connect with Swift there, but I never received a follow-up to that, and obviously they decided not to do that. Instead, they kept the lightly-used 4th Avenue North, which would have been a more logical one to defer instead of either one of the others. This fixes that. The one SB stop won’t be at Madison, but at Pecks due to the property and driveway issues, and Dylan’s right, SB connections to #8 west will be lacking due to the latter’s changed route to stay on Madison past Evergreen. It’s also a longer walk to the EB connection. The station names are picked by the communities, I think, as some have them, e.g. “Heron,” and others do not, e.g. “174th” (the latter’s another instance where the other side is different (176th). Swift average weekday ridership was estimated at 3,150 in May, 3,030 in April, and 2,833 in March. Having a local underlying service – CT #101 south of Airport Road and ET #7 and #9 north of there makes a ton of sense: BRT is supposed to be express. #101 had 2,096 AWB in May. 2,095 in April, 2,126 in March. What’s important is average riders per revenue hour: in that department, Swift was at 21.5 weekdays, 27.6 on Saturday, 20.1 on Sundays, and 21.4 on holidays vs. the #101’s 34.4, 37.5, 29.3, and 26.2. (No Sunday or holiday service anymore, though) The latter is CT’s most productive local route by far, while four other routes exceed Swift and one is the same (weekday). On Saturdays, Swift is #2, no small feat for a new service. Anecdotally, I’ve noticed more riders on Swift, which I ride a few times a week, both directions. It’s usually only 1 person per each group of 2 seats. Swift is almost all grant funded until 2012, but I think they could get away with every 12 or even 15 minutes instead of the present 10 without losing that funding, 10 minutes presenting problems with buses bunching and there’s plenty of capacity. Re: having underlying service, you’ll see the difference when King County Metro opens “rapid” ride line E from Aurora Village to downtown Seattle, scheduled in 2013. Nathan’s nailed it: in Shoreline’s 3 miles (145th-205th), there are 12 stops envisioned (every ¼ mile); in the next almost 3 miles (90th-145th), 9; in the next ~3 miles, just 5; in the next, just 3. CT has a blog at http://www.communitytransit.blogspot.com

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