The new Swift Green Line Station at Airport Road & Highway 99, with the Blue Line Station in the background

The Swift Green Line will launch on March 24, 2019, bringing bus rapid transit service to Mill Creek and the new Paine Field passenger terminal. Community Transit’s second bus rapid transit line will have 34 stations and run from Seaway Transit Center on Airport Road, 128th/132nd Street, and the Bothell-Everett Highway (SR 527) to Canyon Park.

The Green Line will intersect several of the county’s major routes at various points: the Blue Line at Airport Road and Highway 99 in south Everett; the Ash Way “trunk” routes at Mariner Park and Ride; and Silver Firs-bound routes in Mill Creek. While connections to a Seattle-bound bus are only possible through limited commuter routes, the Canyon Park terminus will be served by Sound Transit Routes 532/535 to Bellevue, which will eventually be upgraded into a bus rapid transit line.

Unlike the decade-old Blue Line, the Green Line will use fewer miles of business access and transit (BAT) lanes, instead opting for transit signal priority and a few queue jumps at key areas. The route crosses Interstate 5 in south Everett on 128th Street and has a bus lane and queue jump signal on both sides of the freeway interchange that are also used by several local routes.

According to Community Transit at their latest Facebook Live Q&A session, contractors have completed work on the bus pads and platforms at all but Canyon Park Station. About 90 percent of traffic signals are now configured for transit priority and most of the remaining work at stations is electrical and systems installation, including ticket vending machines, lighting, and overhead shelters.

Recent construction at Seaway Transit Center (courtesy of Community Transit)

The Seaway Transit Center, which is being built as the terminus for the Green Line and a variety of commuter routes to the Boeing plant, is paved and several of the bus bays now sport shelters and signage. Construction on the Canyon Park terminus started recently and is expected to be the last part of the Green Line to be fully complete.

The Green Line will use a mix of new and old buses that are part of a fleet that is shared with the Blue Line. The new buses, which have been rotated into service since September, are mostly identical to the existing Swift buses and have been adapted for use on both lines.

Once the Green Line is up and running, Community Transit will turn its attention to developing its next two bus rapid transit projects: the Orange Line, which will connect Edmonds Community College and Ash Way P&R to both Swift lines and Link at Lynnwood Transit Center; and the Red Line, which would extend Swift service from Everett to Marysville and Smokey Point. There are also plans to extend the Blue Line to the Shoreline North/185th Link Station and the Green Line to Downtown Bothell and the UW Bothell/Cascadia College campus.

46 Replies to “Swift Green Line Is 90 Days From Launch”

  1. This is great for local travel up there, but in the time it will to take to most of the Green Line’s destinations from Seattle, you could ride the Bolt Bus all the way to Bellingham.

    It is very disappointing that, of all the places they could have chosen to cross I-5, they had to pick one that has no all-day connection to a Seattle-bound bus.

    1. That sounds like a weakness within the express bus system, not a poor choice for Swift. The 512 could serve the area quite easily. Southbound the bus could exit at 128th, follow Ash Way, then use the Ash Way Transit Center and get right back into the HOV lanes. This wouldn’t cost it that much time. Buses from Ash Way TC have to wait for the traffic lights to connect to the north end of their route anyway (HOV lanes only connect to the south). But for whatever reason, ST doesn’t want to do that.

      In any event, it is more important to serve the areas that have more people (or are areas they are projecting as growing). Express bus service is likely to change over time, especially as Link moves north. When Link reaches Northgate (in a few years) I would expect all the I-5 express buses to terminate at Northgate. With the extra service, I could see adding a few extra express routes, including ones that connect to 128th. That will certainly be the case when Link gets to Lynnwood. If you look at the set of BRT lines that Snohomish County seems to have in mind, they make sense with or without Link (or any other connection to Seattle).

      1. On a related note, here is my idea for frequent express service to Everett once Lynnwood Link is done: This could easily be modified to work with Northgate Link. All you would need to do is extend the 514 (the red bus) and the 510 (blue) to Northgate, after serving Lynnwood. There is bidirectional HOV lane connections for Lynnwood, so serving it is not costly at all. But if they wanted to continue to have the 510 be an express (skip Lynnwood) then it could do so (the new 514 would serve Lynnwood just fine). The 514 would overlap part of this new Green Line, taking advantage of some of right of way, but it would also connect to other areas (while reducing a transfer or two).

      2. From what I have heard, there are no plans to truncate buses at Northgate due to space availability at the transit center, as well as the lost hours to navigating that interchange. A bus with express lane access would still be faster and more convenient, even with a bit of traffic (which applies to most of the hours, anyway).

        As for your network concept, I think that truncating 201/202 to Ash Way wouldn’t be worth the meager savings in bus hours; it was already moved off the local Alderwood run to save hours and the freeway section to Lynnwood is only a few minutes but allows buses to layover at a place with more capacity.

      3. @Bruce — Seriously? It seems crazy not to truncate the buses at Northgate. The interchange has its issues, but nothing like going downtown. Northbound is especially easy ( but southbound is not bad at all ( A bus would be faster, but only when there is no traffic and only when the express lanes are in your favor (which is a very small window). Compared to previous truncations (like the one at the UW) it makes way more sense just from a speed/reliability standpoint.

        But the service savings would be huge. A bus that goes downtown has to travel all the way through downtown. Even a deadhead spends an enormous amount of time getting to and through downtown. It is at least a half hour, and that is before you count the time spent in traffic. At rush hour — when there is heavy traffic both direction — is probably closer to a full hour. Then you have the fact that lots of buses are sent to the UW, as well as downtown. All of the 800 series buses become redundant if the 400 series are truncated at Northgate. That is a huge amount of service savings, which can be put into extra routes, serving other suburban locations.

        Oh, and there is plenty of space to put the buses there. You don’t need layover space. Most of the buses are just dropping people off and then turning around and going back to pick up more riders. But if you really want to park down there, a bus can turn and layover on 100th. Meanwhile, there is no reason why every existing bus has to go to Northgate. Far from it. For many local buses, it makes sense to go to Roosevelt instead. It is just about as fast from Pinehurst or Lake City to Roosevelt as it is to Northgate, and since the 41 will no longer be *the express* to downtown, there is no reason to treat Northgate as *the way* to get downtown. Roosevelt will work just as well. For that matter, you could send more Snohomish County buses to Roosevelt if you really wanted to ( but I doubt you would. It makes way more sense to send the I-5 express buses to Northgate, and the local buses to Roosevelt (and the UW).

        As for the truncation of the 201/202, the whole point is that other buses would make that connection. If you are trying to get from 128th or any spot on Ash Way to Lynnwood, you would just take the 514 (whose southern tail would be identical to the existing 201/202). If you are trying to get from Everett to Lynnwood you would just take the all day 510 (which would be faster). Therefore, the southern tail of the 201/202 becomes redundant. Sure, you could keep it, but the number of people that are likely to benefit from that one seat connection would be tiny. You are better off improving the frequency on all those buses.

      4. I’m definitely agreeing with your points about the Northgate truncation, and I do think it should be done for the majority of routes (with a few from Lynnwood and Everett that continue through downtown). The only other problem I see is merging over into the HOV lanes, which can take a while, especially in heavy traffic and around impatient drivers.

        For the route 201/202 truncation, one has to consider the transfer penalty incurred for riders, especially since the 201/202 drops to 40-60 minute frequencies in the evening and on weekends. I see plenty of people who ride along with me from Lynnwood to Marysville in the evenings due to the uncertainty of transferring further along the line (and I can attest that transfers just don’t work well from ST to CT routes); while the anecdote is worthless, I imagine that CT is considering the kind of rider feedback they get when someone complains about missing a bus transfer by a matter of seconds.

      5. Fair enough on the 201/202. I have no idea how many people do that. Nor do I know how often the buses could run to compensate. A lot depends on that. I figure all three buses would have all day 15 minute service. That is still a transfer penalty, but not as bad as waiting 40-60 minutes. So maybe they could force a transfer but fill in the gaps (on evenings and weekends) to compensate.

        Worth noting is that there are other ways to get from Ash Way TC to Lynnwood TC. The 112, 115, 116 and 196 all connect the two (although the 196 requires a short walk). All those buses run every half hour. So, along with the 514 (every 15 minutes) that is 12 buses an hour, which even with random scheduling, is a pretty good transfer. I also could see any one of those buses bumped up to 20 minutes. The obvious choice would be the 196, which will eventually become the Orange Line (more or less) just a couple years after Northgate Link is built (and two years before Lynnwood Link). I could also see the 514 run more often, since it is similar to a Swift route (while complementing, not poaching riders from the Swift network). Regardless of how you did it, there would be plenty of ways to get from Ash Way to Lynnwood TC.

        Not that running the 201/202 as is is so bad. I just think it would be a bit redundant.

        As far as Northgate is concerned, it is not ideal, but plenty of other buses do that sort of thing. If I’m not mistaken, the 532 does it several times. Entering *and* exiting Canyon Lake, 195th, Brickyard and even Ash Way involve getting from HOV lanes to general purpose lanes (Ash Way has a southbound HOV ramp, but the 532 can’t use it, because there is no I-405 to I-5 HOV ramp). That is eight times a bus has to switch from the HOV lanes to the exit lane, or vice versa. Truncating at Northgate would involve only doing that once. The trip to and from Ash Way to the north (where there are no HOV ramps) is probably most similar to the Northgate experience. This ( and this ( looks a lot like this ( and this ( In both cases they served an HOV stop quite a ways north (South Everett to Ash Way is similar to Mountlake Terrace to Northgate). There is plenty of time to get over, and it is up to the driver to decide how long they stay in the HOV lane.

        It’s not the only bus to do that sort of thing. The 512 does that, albeit not during rush hour. But the 800 series CT buses run to the U-District, and they run at rush hour. They serve 45th, which means they exit the HOV lanes and work their way over, slogging in the general purpose lanes.

        I have no idea what will be done, but I see no good reason why any bus should go on I-5 south of Northgate, once Northgate Link is built. When traffic is heavy around Northgate, it is worse on I-5 (and downtown). When traffic is light on I-5, and an express might save you time, it easy to serve Northgate.

      6. “It seems crazy not to truncate the buses at Northgate.”

        It’s only for three years, and it was two years when the plan was designed. It’s not worth spending money on improvements that will be obsolete in three years.

      7. @Mike — Using that logic, Metro wouldn’t have altered the buses in the U-District when University Link was complete. After all, Metro is going to have to do it all over again fairly soon.

        You wouldn’t be spending money, you would be saving money. The planning would be trivial, as would the work updating the bus signs and schedules. The changes are very simple for Snohomish County (unlike with Metro in Seattle). There is no need to do a big restructure — just truncate the expresses at Northgate. CT could just pocket the money if they felt like it, but I would assume they would add more buses (might as well). Any major change (like the ones that I propose for Sound Transit) would translate over to a future network, when Lynnwood Link arrives. Instead of truncating at Northgate, the buses truncate in Lynnwood.

        As I said up above, my idea for ST service is the same way. I originally wrote it with Lynnwood Link in mind, but it works for Northgate as well as Lynnwood. But it is not the only option. As I said below, I can think of a simpler alternative. Just replace the 512 with all day 510 and 511. Except take advantage of growth along Ash Way itself (and this Swift line) and extend the 511 to 128th (via Ash Way, like the 201/202). Then, when Lynnwood Link arrives, truncate the 510 and 511 at Lynnwood.

        It just seems crazy to me to spend billions of dollars, and then have Snohomish County wait three years to actually take advantage of it.

      8. “Just replace the 512 with all day 510 and 511. Except take advantage of growth along Ash Way itself (and this Swift line) and extend the 511 to 128th (via Ash Way, like the 201/202). Then, when Lynnwood Link arrives, truncate the 510 and 511 at Lynnwood.”

        Yes! This just seems like a no-brainer to me. I hope ST is listening.

      9. There is one other consideration: train overcrowding. It’s not clear if Link can handle adding riders at Capitol Hill Station if there is only a train every six minutes — even at four cars — once Northgate opens. It may take waiting until East Link opens and trains will run more frequently.

        I have not seen ST analyze and present anticipated loads for Northgate Link. It may not be a problem with the mere addition of a fourth car — but given the complaints that I’ve heard already on three-car trains it seems fairly likely. Of course, it’s not clear how many Northgate riders were arriving from Snohomish express buses in the original study assumptions, so the opening year forecasts may be low and there won’t be an issue.

        It may even be best to not adjust much of the express service until the loads are experienced and ST can make real-world service modifications. Perhaps ST should wait until the additional East Link trains are operating — and by then iit would be 2023 would be very close to Lynnwood Link’s opening. Another option would be to run East Link trains to only operate between Northgate and south of ID in 2021 to provide the additional seats to carry any riders coming from these express buses.

        It’s up to ST to do this right or to create a body of angry riders because they can get into trains. What they do will speak volumes on how well ST plans its actual service.

      10. I’ll have to draw up a full post on Northgate truncation eventually (and it’s a good topic to bring up), but the rider experience of switching to a three-seat (or longer) journey would be very unpopular. Unless the transfer is instant or requires a short wait in a comfortable environment (with climate control, seats, and accurate real-time information), it just won’t appeal to those used to a one-seat commuter express.

      11. @Bruce — So what you are saying is that the idea of a spine, or even just a reasonable suburban terminus, is bound to fail. No one will switch from their one seat ride to downtown (or the U-District) even if the train is frequent, reasonably fast and covers popular stops along the way.

        I’m sorry, but that is just ridiculous. Look, I know fully well that suburban transit will never come close to the ridership of urban transit. The idea that Lynnwood Link, Everett Link, or Tacoma Dome Link will be really popular is ridiculous.

        But the opposite extreme isn’t true either. You can have reasonably good suburban ridership as well as a decent system if you have two things:

        1) A good terminus that is reasonably easy to reach via a bus. This makes it competitive when there is no traffic, and much faster to use when things are congested.

        2) Decent stops along the way.

        Northgate has both.

        More to the point, if you don’t think Northgate will work as a terminus, what will? None of the stops past there are any more of a destination (you won’t build ridership with trips between Mountlake Terrace and Shoreline). Nor will have huge numbers of people walking to the other stops. All of those stops will be heavily dependent on feeder bus service. If feeder bus service won’t work for Northgate, why will it work for Lynnwood?

      12. Lynnwood Link and the associated truncation will work. But adding an extra step and having buses truncate at Northgate would cause many to give up and either stick to the few downtown-direct buses or just drive. Imagine trying to reach any area off the I-5 corridor off-peak: you take the train from downtown to Northgate, wait up to 20 minutes for your 512 to arrive, then hop on for three stops and transfer again at Lynnwood, waiting up to 60 minutes for a connecting bus.

      13. Imagine trying to reach any area off the I-5 corridor off-peak today. You wait up to 20 minutes for your 512 to arrive, then hop on for three stops and transfer at Lynnwood, waiting up to 60 minutes for a connecting bus.

        This is the situation today, which you think is wonderful and worth preserving. I really doubt very many people do that. Now consider what could happen if CT simply truncated all of their 400 and 800 series buses. That could lead to:

        Running all of those connecting buses more often. So now instead of waits up to 60 minutes, you wait up to 15 or 20. Not only would this dramatically improve transit for the handful of people who make trips like the one you describe, it would dramatically improve transit for the bulk of Snohomish County riders (the ones *not* going to downtown Seattle).

        You run buses like the 412 and 413 all day. That means that riders still have a two seat ride, but the first seat (Link) is a lot more reliable and frequent than the 512.

        Meanwhile, there are a bunch of options for the 512 once you truncate it at Northgate. Just truncating it there and not changing the schedule would mean better reliability, since the big delays are caused by congestion south of Northgate. But if they truncated at Northgate, it would mean a lot more frequency, along with reliability. They could probably run it every 8 minutes. So even with the most conservative scenario, that rider you were concerned about is much better off. Instead of a worse case scenario 20 minute wait, then 60 minute wait, they have a 6 minute wait (for Link), followed by an 8 minute wait, followed by a 20 minute wait. The worse case scenario wait, as well as the average wait has been cut in half.

        If you went with my proposal up above ( then a lot more people would have a one seat ride into Seattle. But even a conservative approach, like the one Tlsgwm likes would be a huge improvement. It would mean that folks along Ash Way would have a better ride into Seattle. Instead of taking a bus to the park and ride and then taking the 512, they would take a modified 513 to Northgate and then Link. It is still two seats, but faster overall, with less waiting (and Link goes to a lot more places). I could also see them splitting the difference by having the all day 510 still serve Lynnwood. That would mean that the express to Everett still avoids the big detours (45th, 145th, Ash Way) but as a result you have very high frequency to Lynnwood. Again, one of the the big advantages — for every Snohomish County rider — is that Link goes to more places.

        Speaking of which, the 512 is basically a suburban express to downtown. It stops at the U-District, but on the edge of it. I’m sure there are lots of people who ride the 513 as three seat rides *today* because it doesn’t really serve the UW. I put in a random UW location at the western edge of campus — not even on campus, but right outside it — and Google basically turned it into a two seat ride from the Lynnwood TC ( In contrast, Link will have two stops at the UW. It will be 10 minutes closer to the UW itself than the 512 bus stop ( That means it is also 10 minutes closer to the retail and cultural attractions (which are on the Ave, and the campus, respectively). You have also eliminated the ugliest part of the walk (and one of the few ugly walks in the area). People will walk a little extra through campus (instead of transferring to a bus) from the U-District Station, but no one wants to walk 15 minutes just to get to campus on an ugly walk like this (

        Plus there is also Northgate itself (which has a community college and lots of medical clinics) and Capitol Hill (another community college and one of the biggest cultural centers in the state). Those are the types of trips that people take in the middle of the day or in the evening, and they would be much better. Instead of taking the 512 all the way downtown and then taking a bus back north, you would connect to Northgate, and be in Capitol Hill in about 15 minutes (including wait time).

        More than anything, it is about the network, and the possibilities with it. Of course there will be people who dislike their one seat ride. That is bound to happen. It happened when they truncated the 71/72/73/74 buses, and that truncation was much worse. Lots more people have to go well out of their way and deal with a very bad transfer now. But even an easier transfer, like the 41, will not be greeted with universal praise. There are a lot of people (myself included) that will miss that one seat ride because it is so blazing fast. If the express lanes are in your favor, and traffic isn’t bad, it is wonderful. But that doesn’t mean Metro will keep it. Of course not. They will kill that thing, and put it into building a better network in the area. Meanwhile, while many will miss that one seat ride to downtown, we will get a much faster two seat ride in the evening. We will also get all of those other destinations (Roosevelt, UW, Capitol Hill) that are ridiculously difficult right now. We also get a much better network.

        Then you have the 522. For many, this is a great way to get downtown. For some, their trip involves a two seat ride to downtown. Unless you are right on that corridor, you often have to take a bus before you get on that bus. Just like with truncating the 512, the idea of having to make one more transfer sounds horrible. Like the 512, the truncation won’t be easy. Either it slogs its way to Northgate, or heads to Roosevelt. The latter sounds like a good approach, but it means that a bus that is basically on the freeway ( with no stop lights between it and downtown, has to exit to the right, and begin the trip to 65th, which involves several lights and crosswalks. That hardly sounds like an improvement, and for many, it won’t be. But *the system* will be better. Maybe that results in running the 522 a lot more often (it is especially weak on the weekends right now). Maybe it translates into better neighborhood connecting service. Either way, it will happen, as well it should.

      14. @Bruce if you think having people transfer at Northgate will cause suburbanites to drive in to Town instead, here’s one rider who is saying *not* having the busses terminate at Northgate, seeing the trains whiz by while being on a bus stuck in I-5 traffic during several years of worsening traffic congestion, will cause me to question taking the bus. And there’s just not going to be enough park and ride space at Northgate either. In fact, there is *plenty* of space for bus layover at the current transit center, it’s just being used for car parking instead!

    2. What you’re suggesting was never the overriding goal. The following excerpt is from the agency’s 2014-2019 Transit Development Plan:

      “Core Service
      Community Transit provides frequent
      service on Transit Emphasis Corridors,
      including Swift Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
      and other Corridor-Based routes. These
      Core Service routes are in high-demand
      transit markets, and provide straight,
      direct connections between centers in the
      urbanized areas of Snohomish County.
      About 40 percent of all Community
      Transit passenger boardings are on Core
      Service routes.”

      It’s great to see the additional sales tax we approved up here (I live in the CT district) being put to good use.

      1. Swift’s mission is to benefit Snohomish residents and build up intra-county transit. I have no idea whether the Bothell-Everett Highway and 128th Street are as promising corridors with latent demand as CT makes them out to be, but it’s a decision and a line. Presumably there’s less clamor from Snohomans to connect to the 512 than for Kingans to connect to Swift, because Snohomans have other peak expresses closer to them.

      2. So, I did some digging, and it turns out the city of boundary line is just south of 112th St. Which suggests that the decision to use 128th over 112th might have nothing to do with the needs of riders, and everything to do with CT not wanting to pay for service that’s Everett Transit’s responsibility, and Everett Transit having no money to pay CT for portions of the route running within it’s territory.

        So, because of a beurocratic turf war, anybody along the Orange line who wants to attend a Seahawks game or the Folklofe Festival is either going to have to allow nearly two hours each way to make the journey.

      3. @asdf The 112th alignment scored highly in the initial round of alternatives development (as detailed in this report), but was dropped due to the complications with station siting around the South Everett Freeway Station overpass. 128th scored fairly well, has less complications, and also managed to hit more important transit nodes (Mariner, mainly), since the main goal is not to feed Seattle-bound ST routes.

      4. @asdf2 — Folks headed to Seattle along *any* proposed Green Line represent a small portion of the ridership. Just look at it. Much of it lies well to the east of I-5, and runs north and south. Do you really think there are lots of people who would take a bus all the way up to the South Everett Park and ride, and then ride a bus all the way back down to Mill Creek or Bothell? That is nuts.

        112th would make for a better connection to express buses, but 112th simply has fewer people than 128th. So you are basically saying that the bus should follow an inferior route so that a handful of riders can get a faster ride to downtown now.

        And it really isn’t that bad now. There are plenty of buses that go from Ash Way to Mariner. The 201/202 goes there every 15 minutes. The 109 runs every half hour. That means a worse case scenario wait of 15 minutes and an average wait of 5 minutes.

        And again, there is no reason to assume any of this will be this way in couple years. Once Link gets to Northgate, there are all sorts of options. One would be to replace the 512 with an all day 510 and 511. Except that instead of ending at Ash Way, it would follow the 201/202 route and end at Mariner. My guess is that would be a revenue neutral change, once both routes get truncated at Northgate. That means you could keep the same 15 minute frequency, while getting to Everett would be much faster (since it would skip Ash Way, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace). Extending the express from Ash Way Park and Ride along Ash Way itself (and all the apartments) to 128th comes along as a bonus. That would be a good thing to do even without the Swift line. Adding it just gives ST more incentive to do that.

        When Link gets to Lynnwood, then 128th is just as good, if not better than 112th. Of course you will have an express that stops at the South Everett Park and Ride, but you will also have *more* buses running between Lynnwood and 128th.

  2. This morning’s comments are my best Holiday wish come true. Some patience and and some sense of things headed in the right direction. Have meant to ask for awhile. The Future: In most of our thinking about our transit system, how many years ahead are we looking?


  3. What happens when CT gets too many colors? What happens when Link starts using colors too? Will 405 and 533 ST projects also use colors? At least we have one operator (KC Metro) who chose letters (for RapidRide).

    I really wish that there was a branding committee to set up some regional uniformity.

    1. Al S.

      I really wish that there was a branding committee to set up some regional uniformity.

      I would hope the new Sound Transit Rider Experience & Operations Committee would address this very real issue. Frankly, I wish the Sound Transit Rider Experience & Operations Committee would direct ST staff to create style & wayfinding standards throughout the transit district for ALL transit operators. Maybe this has already happened.

      Good point!

    2. There will be a clash when Link gets to Lynnwood. ST BRT’s branding is unknown at this time. I raised this issue about the two Links in Tacoma, and the CT spokesperson said Tacoma Link’s ST2/3 branding was not decided yet. So the same is probably true for ST BRT.

      The most logical thing would be to fold ST BRT into Swift, since they’re both limited-stop. ST is probably not thrilled about that idea. It would force ST/s hand on the color issue sooner, since 405 BRT could not be Blue or Red.

    3. ST might go with the LA Metro approach and use the same color-coded system for trains and buses. The Orange and Silver Lines are both BRT systems, with the latter somewhat resembling I-405 BRT with freeway stops.

  4. I don’t think CT will ever run out of colors (that are easy to remember — I doubt they will ever get to “teal” or “aquamarine”). There will be no conflict with Sound Transit, as Sound Transit will only use colors for their train (and it would be very hard to confuse a train with a bus). I think the colors for the trains will be largely meaningless — people will pick the train based on the destination (SeaTac, Bellevue, Lynnwood, West Seattle, Ballard, etc.). If anything, the use of colors for Swift works out well, as it avoids conflicts with the other buses. You avoid the problems with numbers (which Everett, Metro and ST use) as well as letters (which King County uses, for a similar service). I actually like that they don’t use the same system — it avoids confusion. In a few years you will be able to catch a BRT bus on Aurora. If it has a letter, it is a King County bus (which means it will go all the way downtown). If it has a letter, it is Community Transit Swift bus, which means it will connect with Link (and not go too deeply into King County).

    1. Also, colors are really most important when you have several lines operating on the same track and then diverge. Say, trying to deal with the Chicago El Loop without colors would be a pain. If it crossses without operating on the same track then this can be shown on the map using other means, even if they are the same color.

      London Underground doesn’t seem to have this particular issue, and they are up to what? 20 or something lines.

    2. We still have no idea how ST will brand 522 or 405 operations in 2024, or if Tacoma Link ever gets a color after ST starts using them for Link through Seattle.

      With so many interconnected lines in process, 2019 is the time for a uniform branding discussion among all operators. A few meetings and reports now will save riders years of confusion and agencies tons of money in 2025 when the daily user experiences the branding situation.

      I’m only requesting that it gets discussed and that operators reveal how their branding will work. Right now, every operator is doing what they want by their whims without discussing the future or their role in creating regional confusion.

    3. The problem is the map. Will it have two constellations of rainbow lines, meeting in Lynnwood with Link Blue and Red? Will one mode have a fatter blue line than the other?

      1. It is pretty easy to differentiate trains and buses on a map. If you look at the best transit map in the entire state (Oran’s) you will notice that he has basically the same color for Link as he does RapidRide (red). OK, the train is a different shade, but I would still call it red (not orange). Someone who is color blind would have trouble telling the difference. The thing is, it isn’t in the least bit confusing, because he uses a different symbol. While the RapidRide are differentiated with a thick red line and dots, Link has a thick double line. It is obvious, and a halfway decent cartographer would make the same sort of distinction. Even as Link gets large, and has miles and miles of track, I think it would still warrant its own different style than the buses.

      2. You could always switch to using lines with cross hatches for rail lines. In the days of black and white printing that’s what they used for railroads.

    4. Using named lines for Link (with color and either letters or numbers as secondary indicators) would be the most ideal way of fixing the issue. I’ve had a post on the backburner for a while discussing this, but haven’t found the right names to apply to the lines, given that they will span a large area.

  5. This is exciting and good news, but uh um what’s the deal with getting Seaway Transit Center connected hourly to Future of Flight (over 300K annual Boeing Tour visitors, roughly 500K visitors when you note it’s also an events centre & got a little museum of its own) and the Mukilteo Ferry Terminal (407,466 2017 foot passengers)? Yeah, sorry to be salty but… without those connections, this is going to create induced demand for parking & ride-hailing. Or not even taking transit at all.

    The Mukilteo political class is going to be in for a shock come 2019. Don’t say I didn’t try to help…

    1. For Boeing employees, there are shuttles making the connection, but this doesn’t help anyone else. It is pretty ridiculous that there will be no possible connection between the new Paine terminal and the Future of Flight visitor center, Hyatt hotel, etc. It would be nice to be able to fly up from Portland and visit the Everett plant.

  6. What will the best connection between the 512 and Swift Green be? It looks like the alternatives are:

    1) 512 to Ash Way P&R + 201/202 to Mariner P&R + Swift Green. The 201/202 is 15 min weekday, 30 min evening/Saturday, 60 min Sunday. You can also transfer to the 201/202 at Lynnwood TC; they seem identical to the 512 between Lynnwood and Ash Way.

    2) 512 to Ash Way P&R + 116 to Mill Creek + Swift Green. The 116 is 30 minutes weekdays/Saturdays, 60 minutes Sunday. This seems like be the second-best option after #1, especially since the frequency advantage ot #2

    3) 512 to Lynnwood TC + 115/116 to Highway 99 (at SW 200th Street) + Swift Blue to Airport Road (just north of 128th) + Swift Green. The 115/116 appear to be alternating 10-20 minutes weekdays and Saturdays, and 60 minutes Sunday (116 only). This seems worse than #2 because the frequent routes are swallowed by the additional transfer.

    4) 522 to UW Bothell + 105 to Canyon Park + Swift Green. (Or just stay on the 105 because it’s the same route to Mariner P&R, but making local stops. When I took it it only made one stop between UW Bothell and the county border, and that stop is a walk from the earlier 512 stop in west Bothell and the map doesn’t show where the stop is. The 105 is 30 min weekdays, 30-60 min evenings, 60 min weekends, This way is probably only useful for getting to Canyon Park, and maybe not even that given the alternative #2.

    We should have an STB inaugural ride when Swift Green opens. Here’s one potential itinerary:

    1. Start at 4th & Pike downtown.
    2. 512 to Ash Way P&R.
    3. 201/202 north to Mariner P&R.
    4. Snohomish members join the group at Mariner. (Or earlier at Lynnwood or Ash Way.)
    5. Swift Green west to Seaway TC.
    6. Swift Green east to Canyon Park.
    7. Snohomish members reverse on Swift Green to Mariner or elsewhere.
    8. King members continue on the 105 to UW Bothell and 522 to Seattle.

    1. Since the event is on a Sunday (and the day after the transit tunnel’s last bus ride–which I hope to attend), it might be wisest for a Seattle group to take the same 512 trip to Ash Way and take whatever bus comes first (116 or 202; 115/201 don’t operate on Sundays).

    2. @Mike Orr Sounds like a plan!
      “4. Snohomish members join the group at Mariner. (Or earlier at Lynnwood or Ash Way.)”

      As one of those Snohomans whom you have included, I will probably take my inaugural Swift Green Line trip in the opposite direction. I can just take my local CT bus to 99, then transfer to the Swift Blue Line northbound and then transfer to the Green Line southbound toward Canyon Park (and then the reverse trip going back). I’ll miss the experience of the full route to Seaway TC but that’s ok as it’s just a few stops and I’ve driven by that section on numerous occasions.

      Hope you can make it work for your inaugural Swift Green Line trip with some others from this blog. Good luck.

    3. It doesn’t have to be on the very first run or day. We usually do it on Saturday, which coincides with Metro’s and ST’s service changes. If Swift starts on a Sunday, we can see if we really want to do it then. That’s precisely the problem with infrequent Sunday buses: people look at whether they can go another day instead, or not make the trip, or drive, and you lose the riders that were on the verge of deciding either way.

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