Will this bus travel further or more frequently? (photo by author)

Everett Transit’s ongoing work on a 20-year Long Range Plan has reached its halfway milestone, marked by the presentation of service options for the public to discuss. The service options will be up for public feedback until the end of the month, either in person or via an online open house. A draft Long Range Plan will be released early next year and a final version is planned to be adopted by the end of March, guiding the agency’s service standards well into the 2030s.

Frequent service option (Everett Transit)

The two service options are as basic as it gets: frequency vs. coverage. The frequency option is estimated to serve 16,000 individual trips (up from today’s 6,500), covering about 15% of daily commutes. The average wait time would be reduced from today’s 17 minutes to 10 during peak periods, and down from 23 to 12 off-peak and on weekends. There would be a 10% reduction in the number of people and jobs within walking distance of transit, particularly in the sprawling south and west reaches of the city, but roughly the same amount of trips would be direct (not requiring a transfer) compared to today. The representative map of frequent corridors shows new service opening up between Paine Field and Everett Mall (today served by a one-way, hourly loop that runs clockwise), as well as the waterfront and naval base (served by a peak-only milk run).

Coverage service option (Everett Transit)

The coverage option would serve 14,000 individual trips (14% of all commutes) and come with 13-minute wait times during peak periods and 20-minute waits off-peak, still an improvement over today’s service levels. A full 70% of residents and jobs would be within walking distance of transit service, and 82% of trips would be direct. Travel times between major destinations, including waiting and walking to/from the stop, are estimated to be slightly higher than the frequency option and comparable to today’s service, taking about 40-45 minutes between Everett Mall and Downtown Everett, compared to 45-50 today and 35-40 wit the frequency option.

There are a few drop-in sessions and community meetings until the end of the month where Everett residents can provide feedback. The online open house is, however, worth checking out for detailed feedback (in the form of multi-choice surveys) as well as interactive maps of both concepts.

For good measure, the current frequency of bus routes in Everett leaves a lot to be desired. Either option would be a massive improvement over today’s service, which will be tested as Everett plans to grow around transit, both bus-based and rail-based, in the near future.

Current transit service in Everett, broken down by frequency (Everett Transit)

8 Replies to “Everett’s New Transit Network: Frequency, or Coverage?”

  1. I was at the Everett Station open house. I decided to come down on the side of frequency.

    Two reasons as my views on transit evolve:

    1) More will use transit if transit is frequent.
    2) “Build it and they will come” only goes so far. Transit must work for people first.

  2. Everett Transit also needs to be included on Google Maps! There have to be a bunch of people who look up transit in the area on Maps, only to close it and assume there is no bus coverage at all.

  3. I like the frequency option with the 18 upgraded to baseline hourly service 7 days/week (made up maybe by slight frequency losses on other routes).

    Another option would be to delete the 70 and route the 18 to Seaway TC and the Link station, which is probably the most sensible. Seems harsh to isolate that area from Everett except during peak. This would at least give Mukilteo a connection to Link, which is good for downtown Everett, Lynnwood, Seattle, etc.

  4. I think it’s way too early to talk about the connection from Mukilteo to the Paine Field Link Station. That can happen during a future restructure when the station is about to open.

    This decision should be decided based on what makes sense today.

    1. This is a strategic plan so it’s very important to discuss this now. Everett Transit strategic finances come out in the winter as well.

      Also, the Community Transit Paine Field strategic plan is to come out in November or December, conveniently after staff know if a Transportation Choices “transit hero” or an anti-transit candidate will be Mayor of Mukilteo so you can read their timing into it as I do or otherwise. Up to you.

  5. Of course, Pierce Transit went through this same exercise just six months ago or so. Pretty much everyone in Tacoma and around was 100% for the frequency option, with only a single element of the coverage option (service to the Old Town neighborhood) retained.

    I suspect this will happen here with Everett. There will be one spot that the community thinks is important that is left out, and Everett will go with frequency option plus that one route.

  6. This is the 20 year plan — is there a 10 year plan? Lynnwood Link (which is less than 10 years away) will have a dramatic effect on bus routes throughout Snohomish County. It would be nice to see what Everett (and the rest of Snohomish County) has in mind for it. I think it is more than a choice between coverage and frequency. There is also the issue of the lines themselves. Right now a lot of them curve around like crazy, making rides slow. To a certain extent, if folks embrace frequency, they are saying they are willing to walk a few blocks to save time. The same should be applied towards individual routes as well. For example, here is an idea:

    1) Merge the north end of the 7 with ST 510/512, but skip Ash Way. So basically a bus would start at College Station, run down Broadway, then keep going on Broadway until it gets on the freeway. Once on the freeway it would serve South Everett and stop at Lynnwood.

    2) The south end of the 7 merges with the north end of the 29. So a bus starts at College Station, works its way over to Walnut, then continues on Maple, down to Pacific, before it turns east. It would stay on Pacific until it gets to Rucker (and continues on to Evergreen Way).

    Those buses would be a lot faster than the current buses, because they wouldn’t make so many turns.

    I could easily see the first bus having Swift type frequency (and ideally Swift type improvements). It would run down the main north-south commercial street in central Everett, while connecting downtown and the college with Link. Stopping off at South Everett only makes sense because it costs so little (and the bus skips Ash Way because it costs so much).

    The second bus wouldn’t be quite as popular, but would still be very good. You cover the heart of Evergreen/Rucker, and connect it to the north east end of Everett.

    You would still need a bus to cover the south end of Broadway, but that should be a coverage bus. South of the freeway entrance, you have a cemetery, followed by very low density housing squeezed in next to the freeway. It picks up again close to Madison, but even that isn’t as much of a destination as the north end of Broadway. That area can (and is) served by other buses. Either that middle section of Broadway should have no coverage, or be covered only by a less frequent bus. Interestingly enough, the coverage proposal actually seems to do it right. Both maps show frequent routes on the east side, connecting mall station with Everett station. But the frequency map runs a frequent route on Broadway, right next to the cemetery, while the frequency map runs it initially on the other side of the freeway (in a far better area) before cutting back, and covering the southern end. None of these places are even close to the north end of the 7, but the route shown for the coverage route actually makes a lot more sense. If you are going to eliminate coverage, then you should eliminate coverage on Broadway, between 41st and Lowell.

Comments are closed.