On Wednesday morning, a small ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the intersection of Highway 99 and 204th Street SW in Lynnwood to open the newest—and final—Swift bus rapid transit station, located two blocks downhill from Edmonds Community College. Community Transit CEO Emmett Heath was joined by Edmonds Community College President Dr. Jean Hernandez and Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith at the ceremony at 11 a.m., with regular service beginning shortly thereafter. The station is unique in not having a matching northbound stop, the closest being 200th Street SW only four blocks north; the nearest southbound station is eight blocks to the north at 196th Street.
The community college, which also houses classrooms for Central Washington University, is already served by a small transit center with three routes: 115 and 116 (which form a frequent link to Lynnwood Transit Center), and 120. Community Transit estimates that about 1,500 weekday boardings occur at stops around the college, with the three routes at the transit enter accounting for 900. The two nearest Swift stations to the college, Crossroads at 196th Street and Heron at 200th Street, see 600 boardings each weekday. The college also offers a commuter “EdPass” that is tied into the ORCA system, and encourages its 11,600 students and 1,600 employees to commute via transit.
The station was part of five stations that were deferred when the line opened in 2009; the other four, located in Everett, were opened in January 2011. The 204th Street station was forced to wait for the City of Lynnwood to complete an extension of the street uphill to Edmonds Community College and the construction of a traffic signal at Highway 99. The city project was completed in August of last year and Swift station construction began in the following two months.
Community Transit is also moving along with its planned second Swift line, which has gained operational funding through a 0.3% sales tax increase passed via a ballot measure last November and is awaiting federal funding for capital construction. The line would run from the Boeing Everett plant through Mill Creek to Canyon Park via Airport Road, 128th Street SW, and the Bothell-Everett Highway, some segments of which already have business-access transit (BAT) lanes. The new line would cross the existing Swift line at Airport Road and Highway 99 in southwest Everett, creating an in-system transfer.