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Congressman Rick Larsen dropped into Community Transit today.  According to a Community Transit press release:

Cong. Rick Larsen Tours Swift II Route

January 16, 2015

Snohomish County, Wash. – U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen took a tour of Community Transit’s proposed Swift II Bus Rapid Transit line today, and took a Blue Friday photo with employees to support the Seahawks.

Community Transit last month received Federal Transit Administration approval to move forward with project development of the second Swift line, which would run between Canyon Park in Bothell and Paine Field/Boeing in Everett. Project development includes further route design and environmental review and must be completed before the agency applies for federal Small Starts funding to build the project. If all goes according to plan, Swift II could be operational in 2018.

“You can’t have a big league economy with a little league infrastructure,” Larsen said of the need for improved federal funding for transportation projects like Swift. “It’s the difference between being Super Bowl champions and being the Washington D.C. football team.”

As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Larsen said he is involved in writing a new Surface Transportation Authorization bill that would fund programs like Small Starts, which transit agencies rely on to fund small-to-midsized capital projects.

After addressing employees at Community Transit’s Merrill Creek base in Everett, Larsen joined them for a Blue Friday photo in front of a Swift bus before taking his tour of the route.

It’s important to remember however that although Congressman Rick Larsen is supremely awesome, Swift II needs all of the following:

  • Complete federal requirements for capital funding (stations and buses), including an environmental impact analysis
  • Develop plans for a northern terminal near Boeing
  • Work with the state to develop traffic efficiency improvements across I-5 at 128th Street
  • Continue to work with partner cities on infrastructure improvements along route
  • Get new funding to pay for Swift II operation

So let’s work together, make new allies and get this done.  BOO-YEAH!

4 Replies to “North by Northwest 41: Congressman Rick Larsen Visits Community Transit”

  1. On this service I’m totally on the team with you. This is what is right for Snohomish County at this time, not a bunch of expensive rail lines. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Build it [e.g. “density”] and they [e.g. “trains”] will come.

    But not until. Seattle doesn’t need the nation’s FIRST!!! $50 billion interurban.

    1. That’s news to many US cities including Seattle that have waited decades for trains or any kind of HCT.

      Also, you need to approve it fifteen years before you need it or it won’t be open when it’s needed. There’s arguments both ways on whether Lynnwood Link will reach capacity by 2030 or 2040, but if it does, then we should start building the Aurora line either this year or in 2025 or we’ll have a period of undercapacity … which is exactly the problem Metro has right now.

      1. Well put Mike, +1.

        Part of the problem of waiting for density instead of building the transit first is the density won’t come because the private sector thinks its more profitable to sprawl out.

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