Merrill Creek, where the first ever bus rapid transit station in the state was unveiled six years ago next month, is a darkhorse candidate for the northern terminus of Swift II, Community Transit’s second bus rapid transit line. While extending the line from the planned, but not yet built, Seaway Transit Center adjacent to the Boeing Everett plant would eat up a non-negligible amount of bus hours, the lure of an already-built and sparingly-used station might be enough to entice CT to terminate their frequent, mid-quality BRT service in the middle of nowhere
But just what is with this BRT station you’ve never heard of? I visited the platform two months ago and I’ve only now got around to writing this analysis.
Transfers? Forget about ’em.
The final northbound Swift bus on Airport Road will most likely stop at Merrill Creek around 10 p.m., just as Swift I does at its termini. Unfortunately, this means that you’re thirty minutes late for the final run of the only connecting bus in the area, Everett Transit Route 8. Even if you’re not a night owl, the bus only runs half-hourly at best, making connections to a frequent route like Swift II more difficult than it should be.
At least ET 8 has Sunday service.
A new type of TOD: Warehouses & Asphalt
Merrill Creek is surrounded by zones designated for manufacturing and industrial use, unlike its counterparts on Evergreen Way that allow for mixed-use commercial and residential. While it is good to have a large amount of jobs within reasonable distance of the station, the lack of pedestrian amenities (consisting of a single sidewalk on one side of nearby Hardeson Road) cancels it out.
The station is completely surrounded by a sea of concrete parking lots belonging to a place called “CommTrans”, probably some kind of communications firm, further limiting any kind of TOD potential.
Is There Hope?
Sadly, no. None at all.
In case you haven’t noticed already, this is a work of satire, poking fun at how transit advocates will thoroughly analyze everything they can, such as the poorly-planned Mount Baker Station. Happy April Fool’s Day, STB.