Light Rail to Everett will provide a fast and reliable transportation option in a corridor where congestion is currently getting worse to the tune of a minute every three months. Business and political leaders in Everett have long favored a detour to Paine Field over a more direct line to Everett, in order to serve the Boeing Industrial Center and Paine Field, which is expected to have passenger air service in the future. We agree that ST3 should provide rapid transit to Paine Field but it is clear that the current Paine Field detour has unacceptable time impacts on transit riders, and the alternatives are much better for Snohomish County.
The Paine Field alignment would add nearly 10 years to the schedule for delivery of light rail to Everett. Once constructed, the detour would add 13 minutes to a trip from Everett to Seattle (and add fifty cents to the distance-based passenger fare). Further, the sprawling nature of the manufacturing center the Paine Field detour attempts to serve has so many “last mile” problems that most employees will continue driving to work, with or without light rail.
A better alternative for Everett
- Build a direct rail alignment with a junction for later rail expansion to Paine Field. This is a similar setup to both the Oakland and San Francisco airports, which have 3 and 14 times, respectively, the air traffic that is anticipated at Paine Field.
- Serve the Boeing Industrial Center with a robust BRT connection integrated into Community Transit’s popular Swift network, including Swift II, which is scheduled to begin serving Paine Field in 2018. Since the Boeing Industrial Center is so vast and dispersed, a combination of BRT routes would serve it better than a single rail stop. While the precise alignments require further study, BRT could allow new connections from downtown Mukilteo’s ferry dock and Sounder Station, through Paine Field, to the light rail “spine.”
This option would:
- Reach Everett up to 10 years before an alignment with a Paine Field detour;
- Reduce the length of trips to Everett by 7-13 minutes, while providing better service to dense South Everett destinations that will increase light rail ridership;
- Serve more areas of the Boeing Industrial Center than the Paine Field detour would allow; and
- Allow future extensions of light rail to Paine Field if and when commercial air service increases in the future
Sound Transit should also seek to move as much of the line to the west towards highway 99 as possible. This will increase the transit oriented development potential and serve more existing population centers and better serve transit-dependent riders.
Please join us in supporting this alternative plan, which provides the greatest benefits for Snohomish County and the region.
How can you help? Please do any or all of the below!
- Email the Sound Transit board with your input
- Fill out the online survey and encourage BRT over light rail to Paine Field
- Attend the Everett Open House, TONIGHT, Monday, April 25th, from 5:30-7:30, with a presentation at 6pm. IMPORTANT: Transit opponents are organizing for this meeting. You can support the pro-ST3 side by showing up.
- Encourage the community, business and neighborhood groups to which you belong to support light rail expansion to Everett and BRT to Paine Field. This plan will help us solve our transportation mess and get light rail to your door faster.