ET7Everett Transit, the aunt-who-moved-to-Florida-before-you-were-born member of the Seattle Transit family has it’s fall service change tomorrow, August 23rd. I’ve only used ET about a dozen times so cannot comment much on the particulars, but I would like to praise the underlying philosophy of the changes. Unproductive tails, trips and routes are being cut with the hours reinvested in core service. In fact Everett Transit will now have its first all day (well 8 am to 6 pm) 15 minute frequency route after this shakeup (Route 7). Bravo!

Service Change: Effective August 23, 2015

Changes include:
Route 7 – frequency is increased weekdays and Saturday, added trips
Routes 4, 5 – schedule changes and added trips
Routes 2, 5, 12, 17 – select trips eliminated
Route 18 – added trips
Route 701 – route eliminated
Route 3 – View Ridge loop eliminated
Route 17 – Mobile Country Club loop eliminated

Holiday service is restored on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, reduced on Day after Thanksgiving.

Here is a link to the new schedule book.

49 Replies to “Everett Transit Service Change Tomorrow”

  1. I know Evergreen Way and Everett Mall way is an important intersection, but that’s a ridiculously sharp turn to make buses take.

    1. It may not be quite as sharp as it looks on paper, but the alternative would probably be a convoluted routing on 112th and 7th (or even Bothell-Everett Hwy).

    1. But they kept Sunday service going, while CT eliminated Sunday service — including “Swift” — for several years during the recession (mostly to save the cost of operating paratransit on Sunday). ET managed to maintain Sunday service without charging fares for seniors and riders with disabilities until last year.

      I’ll take clunky website over losing Sunday service any day of the week. Especially Sunday.

  2. Everett Transit ceased offering and accepting paper transfers on January 1, 2010. King County Metro still has them. Can the City of Everett teach us something about getting past long-outdated political impasses?

    Of course, they have the uncle who has hung around forever on the Sound Transit Board, who keeps saying it would be really neat to have light rail veer way off its spine to serve some random point in the vast expanse of Boeing’s Snohomish County facilities, and thinks commuters will cease using the parking lots all over that expanse, or at least the one right next to that random spot. And that the rest of Everett commuters won’t mind taking a few extra minutes to go there, and have a small handful of people get on or off (i.e. whoever works in the building served by the light rail stop, and lives somewhere right next to another light rail stop).

    Dear Uncle: Could you live with a spur from the light rail spine to the Mukilteo Ferry Dock? That spur could serve several stops in the Boeing expanse.

    1. I can live with that as long as the transfer is seamless and every train arriving has a spur train leaving within minutes. Otherwise no, the spine can serve the largest employer in the region, ST base, future airport, Boeing museum, and the many other businesses in the area that have never had decent transit service.

      1. Where does this come form? On what planet does it make any kind of sense to make a massive investment in high capacity transit to a sprawly location that has never demonstrated sufficient demand to support even an hourly all day bus? It’s completely bonkers. I don’t see how anyone can advocate it with a straight face.

    2. “Can the City of Everett teach us something about getting past long-outdated political impasses?”

      What?

      Really?

      How about this long-outdated political impasse – Everett Transit should have been folded in to CT years ago, and the City Of Everett has long opposed overtures to do so by many groups of politicians that see economies of scale in combining them, for years. At one point, CT ran a large chunk of local service in the City of Everett, passing through on its way to/from elsewhere, and making local stops. After one such attempt to merge failed, they cut all local service inside the city, and eventually concentrated everything at Everett Station.

      How about that political impasse?

      1. Beware of the “economies of scale” argument for mergers, because often the economies are illusory, or less than expected, or less than the negative impacts of merging. Before merging we’d need an accounting of what all is duplicative, how much it would save, and what the total impacts to service would be. I don’t know specifically about Everett Transit but I assume the resistance is to keep more service in Everett, going to destinations valued by Everettans, and to avoid impacts like CT’s loss of Sunday service during the recession. Clearly, if all the ET routes and buses are merged intact, then they would still need the same amount of maintenance, so the only economy would be consolidating the maintenance shop. Would that be a significant savings, or enough to bother about? We’d need an accounting to find out; we can’t just assume yes.

        Jazrrett Walker has an article discussing positive and negative impacts of agency mergers. A more significant issue than ET/CT are the calls to re-extract Seattle Transit from Metro, and the calls to merge Metro and Sound Transit. Jarrett notes that integrating (merging) transit agencies de-integrates them from their cities. The cities are the ones that control the streets they run on, the land uses around the stops, and have the most intimate knowledge of where the inhabitants want to go. A city can build good transit lanes and walkable stop areas, or not, and separarating the transit agency from the city can weaken the relationship between them and even lead to an antagonistic relationship.

        So the case for merger is not all one-way: there are many tradeoffs that need to be weighed. All in all, it’s probably better to get the Pugetopolan agencies to cooperate and harmonize their policies, and share back-end facilities when feasable, than to formally merge them.

        Another approach is like Metra or the German transit regions. All the agencies and companies harmonize on a unified brand, fare structure, fare-purchasing outlets, schedule format, signage and outreach so that it looks to passengers like a single agency with consolidated schedules, but internally the money goes to the various providers that provide each trip

        ORCA is already a halfway step in that direction, so the agencies could consolidate their external interface on that basis. But some bus routes would have to be renumbered where they overlap. The New York model could be used (M123 = Manhattan, B456 = Brooklyn, Bx789 = Bronx). E.g., Metro routes could become K123 (King County), PT routes P456, CT and ET routes Sn789 (because S is too easily mistaken for 5). ST routes would have to be divided up, but several of them will be going away as Link expands anyway. Then something must be done for the “enhanced routes” (RapidRide, Swift, PT’s 1-digit routes) because that’s too many brands. I would separate them into limited-stop and local. The limited-stop ones can keep the name Swift. The local ones will need a new name (codename “NotSoSwift”). In the future we can expect the 120, 40, 48S, Madison BRT, Roosevelt BRT, etc, to become enhanced local routes. We also might expect the same for Covington-Kent-Des Moines, Rainier Beach-Renton-Kent, and Auburn-Federal Way, rtc.

    3. “Everett Transit ceased offering and accepting paper transfers on January 1, 2010. King County Metro still has them. Can the City of Everett teach us something about getting past long-outdated political impasses?”

      Metro covers a much larger number of poor and non-English speaking people and tourists/visitors than any of the other agencies do, so it’s harder for Metro to eliminate paper transfers without leaving tens of thousands of people in the dust and incurring heavy opposition. Snohomish County can blow these people off because there’s so few of them, and they drive anyway for non-commute trips because the bus network is too skeletal to be useful in many cases.

      1. I saw a passenger yesterday get on the F Line at Burien, and then ask if it was headed to Seattle. When told “no”, he said he needed to get off the bus. Multiple passengers who realized he would be lost told him to stay on and get off the bus at TIBS. Since he had bypassed the opportunity to get a $5 ORCA card, and instead got a paper transfer, he was advised to take the 124 downtown.

        He did not inherently understand the paper transfer program. It was just handed to him. An ORCA card could have been handed to him, Boston-style, and made his trip much easier. But … must profit off of ORCA card sales because … saving cardstock. Never mind passenger convenience.

        Metro holds onto ridership (and wastes bus hours) because of the paper transfers. Sound Transit retaliates with its printed Link tickets and passes, making sure to hold onto all the revenue, only to end up forcing passengers to pay a second time when they need to catch a local bus downtown…. because must save cardstock… Never mind passenger convenience.

        Everett Transit, thankfully, doesn’t play the game. But that means they have to share revenue with other agencies that are trying to not share revenue with them.

        Every agency should stop playing the game, and participate in the concept of Transit Acting as One. That means WSF joining PugetPass and honoring transfers (and raising passenger fares as the maximum rate it is allowed, knowing that regular passengers transferring to/from buses will end up paying less). That means no more intra-agency paper transfers. And that means making ORCA free or orders of magnitude cheaper.

        It also means every ORCA agency honoring the LIFT program, so that the poorest quadrant of the ridership can afford to travel between their housing in one county and their job(s) in other counties. Drop the barriers (including paper transfers)! And watch change fumbling evaporate.

        Thank you, Everett Transit, for having done the right thing at first asking in 2010.

      2. Brent,
        Doesn’t it strike you as odd that one would praise Everett Transit for eliminating paper transfers and criticize Sound Transit for doing exactly the same thing?

        Besides, many commenters on this blog have suggested a discount when using the ORCA card. Having people who pay cash each time a vehicle is boarded provides for that ORCA card discount.
        J.

      3. Incentivizing pervasive smartcard distribution and adoption is about enabling elasticity of demand, capturing economies of scale, and permitting more efficient distribution of service hours.

        It is not about the relatively piddling sums raised from cashpayer penalties.

    4. “Everett Transit ceased offering and accepting paper transfers on January 1, 2010. ”
      The was when CT stopped paper transfers, ET stopped long before then.

  3. Meanwhile Everett Transit should merge with Community Transit. Seattle doesn’t even have its own buses, why does Everett.

    Also, still no Everett Transit on Google Maps.

    1. Everett apparently doesn’t trust Community Transit to pay proper attention to its needs. Kind of like Seattle inside Metro, or for that matter Seattle inside Sound Transit. Can’t say as I blame them.

    2. I think a merger should be sent to the ballot. These separate agencies doesn’t make sense, as having a city sectioned off with its own transit agency for the most part isolates non-downtown Everett from the entire rest of the county. This was part of the dilemma in distributing Seattle Prop 1 funds, because lots of routes that have one end in Seattle connect to other parts of the county.

      Think about this: If Seattle were to secede from Metro and form Seattle Transit, routes like 120, 125, 131, 132, RR E, 316, 301, 303, 309, 305, 355, 372, 271, 277, 124, 179, 177, 178, 159, 158, 190, 192, I could go on (essentially every 3-digit route in Seattle) would either all need some inter-agency operating agreement (negotiations, hard), be split at the city line (less efficient), or Seattle would run their route to the city limit, while King County might run an express version of their route to downtown Seattle kind of like CT’s 201/202 (redundant, fewer use cases, and redundant).

      1. So what could happen with the merger?

        The 201/202 might go to local stop spacing along Broadway. Some of the CT express routes might call at Everett Station – or maybe not; there’s already the 510, so the benefit would be for north county commuters to Everett.

        There’d be more changes, I think, would be in the south. The 101 and 7 would probably be merged to provide a consistent local shadow to Swift. Service might be rationalized between Everett Mall, South Everett Freeway Station, and Mariner P&R – the 105/106, and later Swift II, would ideally go to the freeway station and maybe be extended to the mall. However, this’s more difficult, since there really is a neighborhood around the P&R that can’t lose all service, and it’s hard for a freeway bus to get between the freeway station and anything else north of Ash Way P&R.

        As it is, things are legitimately difficult to serve. If only the freeway station had been built a little ways north, in walking distance of the mall? The agency division definitely doesn’t help matters (try getting to Everett Mall from the south!), but a merger wouldn’t come close to solving everything.

      2. There are several Metro routes that already terminate at or close to the city limits … because of some sort of subarea parochialism inertia.

      3. It may or may not make sense to combine the 101 and 7. It depends on how long a distance people travel on them and how much they want to cross the Everett city limits. My guess is that people going longer distances walk to a Swift station because it’s faster and more frequent. But the biggest problem in that corridor is not the lack of a one-seat ride but the 16-block gap between the 101 and the 7. The 101 turns east at Airport Road (120th), while the 7 only goes down to Everett Mall Way (104th). The transfer is not the 7 but to the 8, which makes a big convoluted detour to the Boeing area and is hourly off-peak, 40-50 minutes weekends. There’s also the 2 but only goes to Everett Mall (where you can catch the 7), 40-50 minutes off-peak, no weekends. Or if you take the 101 to the end at Everett Mall, you can transfer to the 201/202 express to Everett, but if you’re doing that you might as well have taken Swift in the first place. In short, the 101/7 transfer is nowhere as convenient as the E/101 or E/Swift transfer. The issue is how many people want to take a local route through the gap area, and that I don’t know.

      4. That really means, “Does anybody want to?” Does anybody want to take a local route from south of 120th to north of 104th? Perhaps the routes do represent riders’ preferences? That would imply that for people coming from south of 120th, they’re either on Swift or they’re going to the Boeing area or Everett Mall, not to Evergreen Way or south Everett.

        Along these lines, how similar is Highway 99 to to 15th Ave NE between 80th and Mountake Terrace? The 73, 347, and 348 travel on different of it but nothing goes all the way. People have drawn idealistic maps with a route from UW Station to Mountlake Terrace, but Metro has never been very enthused about that because it misses all the surrounding destinations (Northgate, Crest Cinema, Shoreline center, etc), so Metro doesn’t think people would ride it. Could that be the same case with 99, especially with the Swift overlay available? Does the 373 function like the Swift overlay on 15th? Should it be expanded to all-day frequent service?

      5. “…form Seattle Transit”
        How about resurrect Seattle Transit, then all my old tokens would become good again. Hooray.

  4. Looks like route 12 only has one trip eliminated on Saturday and one weekday trip moved to earlier in the day when it’s more useful.

    1. It’s not a divorce. They were never combined.

      A search of news archives should give you all the background reading you can handle on a multitude of proposed mergers, none successful.

    2. CT was established in 1976 on its third attempt, with the first two failing primarily because of Everett residents who wished to keep their lower sales tax rate for their municipal system.

      Personally, I benefit from the split. My route (201/202) runs express-like service through North Everett, serving only three stops between Marysville and Everett Station, but would likely be forced to serve every local ET 7 stop if the two agencies were merged.

      1. The 201/202 make one or two stops on Broadway, not all of them.

        What was there before CT? The 4xx were Metro routes before CT took them over; when did they start? Did Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, and Edmonds have any local transit before CT?

      2. There were private companies that had some intercity service, but I’m not fully aware of the details. A few Seattle Times articles mention them during their coverage of CT’s early days and they’re easily accessible with a Seattle Public Library card (which can be acquired with a Sno-Isle one).

  5. I wonder what’s up with that knot-like routing through downtown Everett that route 7 takes? It’s confusing and slow.

    Also, about Everett’s “first frequent route,” isn’t Swift Everett’s first frequent route? And doesn’t Swift also go down Evergreen Way like route 7?

    1. Swift is operated by Community Transit. So this is Everett Transit’s first frequent route, but not the first frequent route to operate in Everett.

      1. Good point. And let’s not forget the 201/202 and 512 either. They’re both frequent routes with a couple stops in Everett.

      2. That is a point of irony: Snohomish got the frequent 512, while dealing with multiple local agencies and lower ridership.

        Pierce has one county agency, higher ridership to Seattle, and can’t get frequent service along the I-5 spine on the 594 (which would mean adding an off-peak stop at Federal Way). Sumner politics seems to have trumped the needs of the many.

    2. Swift replaced a local route from Aurora Village to Everett. Now Swift goes all the way and makes Swift-spaced stops in Everett, while the 101 serves outside Everett, and an ET route serves inside Everett. The 201/202 run local outside Everett and express inside it (essentially to Everett Station and one or two other stops). The underlying pattern is to connect Everett to the county but not spend service hours in Everett. Swift is kind of an exception because its mandate is to serve the entire corridor including in Everett, but I think I heard that ET pays for the segment inside Everett.

      1. The stop spacing for Swift is a bit insane. I mean, I guess it has to be far to keep it, you know, swift. But since Everett Transit is funding the portion inside Everett, I think a smarter idea would be to push CT to reduce stop spacing (maybe compromise between RapidRide spacing and current Swift spacing).

        Then what ET could do is take the south part of route 7 (which is almost completely redundant with Swift) and reduce that to hourly (since frequent service is covered by Swift), and reinvest the regained hours to add more route 701 trips (instead of deleting the route), and maybe run the 701 to evergreen highway to fill in the gaps.

        CT route 101 is also almost completely redundant with Swift, and runs every 30 minutes all day on weekdays, with the only advantage being closer spaced stops. This would also seem to indicate that Swift is inadequate at serving many places along its route merely because its stops are too far apart.

        I think it makes more sense to sacrifice a little travel time on Swift and space the stops closer so we can replace 3 routes with just one, and reinvest that service on other roads. Not only will this essentially give people more service with fewer hours, but it eliminates some ridiculous transfer scenarios (like transferring from Swift to 101 or 7 because the Swift stop is too far from where you’re going).

      2. CT and et do swift right. They both have local shadow routes (101 and 7) which cover local stops that swift misses. A rider could hop on the 101 at 99 and 224th and ride to 216th and transfer to swift there. Or continue on the 101 until airport road and transfer there to swift or et local service. King county metro does it all wrong. They delete stops so now in places people have to walk a half mile on pacific highway in some places just to get to a stop!

      3. Sorry, what is the point of a “frequent” service that few can reach without also enduring a long-ass wait for the “shadow” service they can actually reach?

      4. What other BRT route in the world remains at a standstill so sheriffs can board, inspect fares, and get back off?

      5. “CT route 101 is also almost completely redundant with Swift, and runs every 30 minutes all day on weekdays, with the only advantage being closer spaced stops.”

        That would make Swift like RapidRide. The E is too slow. It should have been like Swift. People are making trips like N 105th to Lynnwood, N 85th to Aurora Village, and N 130th to Everett.

        The one extra stop Swift really needs is at 200th southbound, for Edmonds Community College. The college is already several blocks away from Swift, and there’s a northbound stop at 200th but the southbound stop is at 196th. Luckily that station is in CT’s plan, although I don’t know if it’s scheduled. 200th and 196th is just the kind of denser area that deserves closer stop spacing (what passes for a “downtown” in Snohomish County).

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