On Sunday, Community Transit capped six years of planning and construction on the Swift Green Line with an opening ceremony and a full day of joyriding by hundreds of people. The opening of the Green Line and its northern terminal at the new Seaway Transit Center also triggered a restructure of routes across the Community Transit and Everett Transit systems, the latter of which was completed on Sunday.
All of the existing Boeing services on CT and ET will be redirected to Seaway Transit Center instead of looping around the main plant and the flightline. This shaves off several minutes for each trip, but requires Boeing employees to find another means of reaching the transit center. Boeing is deploying a new shuttle bus route that runs every 12 minutes from 4 am to 2 am and stops at Seaway Transit Center. Community Transit is adding an additional round trip to routes 107, 227, and 247 to serve the plant, while route 107 is also getting new stops that will serve the Future of Flight Museum and other local businesses.
The transit center also serves as the terminus for Metro Route 952, which runs to Auburn on a very limited schedule, and Sound Transit Express Route 513, which has been moved from a terminal on the north side of the Evergreen Way Interchange on State Route 526. Route 513 now also serves a single stop on Casino Road west of Evergreen Way, allowing for easier transfers to the Swift Blue Line, but sadly does not serve the cluster of apartment complexes along West Casino Road.
Community Transit is also deploying double-decker buses on Routes 532 and 535 between Snohomish County and Bellevue, so keep your eyes peeled using a bus tracker of your choice. Sound Transit Express Route 540 is also joining the Community Transit family, having been handed over from Metro, presumably due to the need for more capacity on Route 550 under its the post-tunnel schedule. Route 510 is also gaining a set of southbound trips in the shoulder AM peak to extend service until 9:30 am.
For Everett Transit, this week’s restructure can be best described as making the best out of a bad situation. Budget cuts are forcing hours to be cut, but the agency hopes to use the restructure as a springboard for a more efficient system that can grow out into a frequent local network. With the elimination of one-way circulator routes and a few per-trip deviations, the new network is also simpler to navigate and should be able to grow without undergoing even more drastic changes.
Route by route, these are the changes in Everett:
- Route 2: The circulator route is replaced with a bi-directional route that stays on 4th Avenue West and 7th Avenue Southeast. End-to-end trip times are about 31% faster for southbound riders and 5% faster northbound. 112th Street will, however, lose its service, and the route remains on 45-minute frequencies.
- Route 3: Trips will terminate at Seaway TC instead of using the Boeing Perimeter Road and Casino Road (instead served by Route 12). Frequency is improved to every 30 minutes.
- Route 4: The route is truncated to Everett Station, with trips to the Providence Pacific Medical Center served instead by Route 6. Frequency remains hourly.
- Route 6: Massive upgrade to all-day service with buses every hour, serving the Providence Pacific Medical Center, the city’s growing waterfront, and the naval base.
- Route 7: No significant changes.
- Route 8: The southern half of the route has been streamlined to use Casino Road, Seaway TC, and Airport Road. Buses will also serve the front door of Paine Field, in case the 10-minute walk to the Swift Green Line station is unappealing. Service remains hourly, but is upgraded to 40-minute headways during rush hours.
- Route 12: The circulator is replaced with bi-directional service on Casino Road, with a frequency of 30 minutes. 100th Street and Airport Road are instead served by Route 8.
- Route 18: Service is cut to peak periods only, with bi-directional service every 30 minutes from 6 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- Route 29: Route deviations to Valley View and Eastmont Park and Ride are eliminated, while the south side of Silver Lake will continue to be served during peak hours. Frequency is improved to every 40 minutes.
- Route 70: Truncated to Seaway TC, with an additional stop at Gate E-72 on the west side of the Boeing campus.
In addition to the route changes, Everett Transit will also increase fares effective July 1 to $2 for Adults, $1.50 for Youth, and $0.50 for Senior and RRFP holders. Fares on Route 70 will remain pegged to Community Transit’s local fare of $2.50 for adults.
Everett Transit and Community Transit are working on a joint proposal for a countywide low-income fare that would roll out alongside the July fare change under the ORCA Lift program. Everett Transit is currently running an online survey with three options for the proposed structure of the fare, which are as follows:
- Option 1: $1.50 low-income fare, with no changes to other categories
- Option 2: Consolidated $1 fare for low-income, youth, and senior/RRFP, while the adult fare remains $2
- Option 3: No changes to the proposed July fares.
Community Transit, meanwhile, is proposing a $1.25 fare for local routes and $2.00 fare for commuter routes under ORCA Lift. The proposal could be adopted as early as this Thursday at the agency’s regular monthly board meeting. The Everett City Council will have a public hearing on Wednesday, April 17 before taking action on their proposal.