If Boeing’s needs are a truly a major consideration in crafting the next state transportation package, then lawmakers may give serious consideration to what Community Transit is provisionally calling “Swift II:”
The proposed Swift II line under study would serve Boeing-Everett at the north end, wind east across Airport Road/128th to 132nd, then turn south at the Bothell-Everett Highway. There are two options of a southern terminus: just south of Mill Creek Town Center or Canyon Park.
According to spokesman Martin Munguia, CT is in the middle of a feasability study that could enable Federal Small Starts funding. Half of the $200,000 cost of this study was provided by the legislature in 2012.
There no capital cost estimates yet, although Munguia expects that, being shorter, it will come in under the $30m cost of the first Swift line. The House’s last attempt at putting together a transportation bill last spring included $10m over 12 years for this project, before Boeing became a priority, but no one knows what will happen next session.
Of course, there is also the issue of operating funds. Community Transit has already made the painful cuts King County Metro is trying to avoid, including the elimination of all Sunday service besides Sound Transit Express. Even with the capital money, it’s inconceivable that CT could operate this line without new authorization from the state, a (substantially new) CT board, and the voters.
Swift is generally agreed to the be the best example of BRT in the region, with full off-board payment, direct routing, partial right-of-way, and uniformly high-quality stops. CT should be commended for continuing to seek improvement in terrible fiscal headwinds.