On a cloudless Thursday morning, Community Transit was joined by U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Boeing Vice President Elizabeth Lund, State Senator Marko Liias, representatives from WSDOT, and members of the press at a corner of the Boeing Everett assembly plant to break ground on the Swift Green Line. The groundbreaking happened at the future site of Seaway Transit Center, which will serve the Boeing plant and has been under construction for several weeks.

Seaway Transit Center foundation
Preparation work for the foundation at Seaway Transit Center in Everett

The Green Line, scheduled to begin service in early 2019, will be Community Transit’s second bus rapid transit line and serve the Boeing-Paine Field area of southwestern Everett, the Mariner Park and Ride, Mill Creek, and the Canyon Park area of northern Bothell. The line’s end points, the Paine Field and Canyon Park areas, are two of the county’s largest job centers, and will eventually provide transfers with ST3-funded services (Link at Paine Field and I-405 BRT at Canyon Park) in the near future; the line will also cross the existing Blue Line at Highway 99, requiring street crossings for some transfers. One of the line’s stations will serve the new Paine Field passenger terminal, scheduled to open a few months before the Green Line enters service, and will be about the same distance from the gates as the Sea-Tac Link station (though lacking in its new comforts, for now).

Swift Green Line utility relocation on 128th
Utility relocation on 128th Street SW in Everett

One of the project’s crucial links, crossing Interstate 5 at 128th Street SW near Mariner Park and Ride, has also begun utility relocation and construction. Community Transit will add a queue jump signal and “bus refuge” to the overpass, as well as bus-only lanes. Most of the Airport Road corridor, between Mariner and Seaway Transit Center, already has peak-only carpool lanes that will be used by Green Line buses, but the Bothell-Everett Highway lacks them. Community Transit’s earlier plans recommended that BAT lanes or queue jumps be considered for the corridor in the future, as traffic congestion grows and threatens Swift’s reliability. The Green Line will also be aided by a series of transit priority traffic signals, similar to those on Highway 99 for the Blue Line, along the entire length of its route. The $73 million project, funded mostly with a federal grant, has been in the works for about five years, developing slightly slower than the original Swift Blue Line (which went from approval to opening in approximately four years).

Like the Swift Blue Line, the Green Line will run every 10 minutes on weekdays and stop at stations spaced a mile apart (or more). Stations will have off-board payment, level boarding for wheelchairs and bicycles (accommodated with on-board racks), real-time arrival signs, and the distinct Swift signs (with the addition of a small “Green Line” logo). Community Transit will order 15 buses for the Green Line, which will be branded identical to the existing Blue Line buses for fleet interoperability. The next Swift project, the Orange Line, is scheduled to connect the Green Line in Mill Creek to Link in Lynnwood by 2023. After that, according to Community Transit, lines to Marysville, Cathcart, downtown Bothell, and 185th Street Station in Shoreline are in the works. Until then, Community Transit has regular construction updates on their website that interested readers can subscribe to. STB will also cover any major news coming from the Green Line corridor. Stay tuned.

Swift Green Line logo
The new Green Line logo that will appear at Swift stations in 2019

4 Replies to “Community Transit Breaks Ground on Swift Green Line”

  1. Great photos, great writing and its’ great Green Link is a link to Paine Field going southeast. But what about a direct hourly or half-hourly link to the [ahem] Multimodal Terminal to the northwest a 15-minute or less bus trip away? Uh, um…. yeah it’s on the radar but no execution plan for the critical link to Sounder North, WSF and various Everett Transit & Community Transit routes.

    1. I’m not sure how best to do that. One approach would be to simply change the end of this line. Instead of taking a right to serve 75th, you take a left, then head to the Mukilteo Ferry dock (https://goo.gl/maps/4GsGRNpBHfE2). Losing 75th seems like a small price to pay, and that gives you the connection you want. Unfortunately there really aren’t a lot of people in downtown Mukilteo, so it may not be justified.

      Another approach is to send a bus on that basic route, and then end at SR 99, like so (https://goo.gl/maps/KH46S62AXbp). A 15 minutes (not ten minute) bus seems like a decent value for a run like that. You wouldn’t get huge ridership, but it is also fairly fast if you had limited stops. The big weakness there is that it doesn’t connect you to much — there is no easy way to get to Lynnwood or Seattle. You would still need buses running more directly (like the 417 and 880) so you’ve spread yourself pretty thin.

      I’ve long argued that once Link gets to Lynnwood, the express buses should be split up. A bus that goes from Everett to Ash Way and then further south is just not efficient, given the difficulty with serving Ash Way from the north. You are better off simply having one express from Everett/South Everett, and another from Ash Way. With that in mind, you still have lots of buses from South Everett, and that becomes another hub, with fast, frequent express service to Lynnwood (which will have fast, frequent service to Seattle).

      With that in mind, I think a bus that goes from Mukilteo to SR 99 and then on to South Everett Park and Ride (like so — https://goo.gl/maps/V8buTxvJaYC2) would make a lot of sense. That would intersect both Swift Lines, as well as the fast and frequent express to Lynnwood or Everett. If you are headed to Seattle than an express on the Mukilteo Speedway to Lynnwood would still be faster, but this would provide an alternative that is much cheaper to operate for those times when an express can’t be justified (which is most of the day).

  2. If you’re going to post an article like this why wouldn’t you include a nice, helpful map?

    1. The second hyperlink in the article (the one for “Swift Green Line”) links to the Community Transit page for the Swift Green Line. On that page, there is a map. Specifically, this one: https://commtrans-prod.azurewebsites.net/images/default-source/bus-service-images/system-maps/swiftgreen_systemmap_web2016.png?sfvrsn=0.

      Each one of the hyperlinks in this article can be selected to gather more background on the particular subject. This is a World Wide Web article published in Hyper Text Markup Language, so using hyperlinks in this manner is not only standard, but why this part of the Internet exists. If this was a print article, then it would be written differently, and probably contain more pictures.

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