Bruce Englehardt, also known by the handle "SounderBruce", is a college student in northern Snohomish County. Frequent routes include the 201/202, 421/422 and 510/511/512, with occasional trips on Sounder North.
Everett Transit has been preparing for a major face-lift for one of the city’s main transit corridors, North Broadway, between Downtown Everett and the Everett Community College campus. Originally slated for this year, the project has been pushed back into 2018 while additional design work is completed.
The North Broadway project will add 24 bus bulbs on Broadway between 41st Street and Tower Street, allowing buses to stop in-street, as well as new shelters and garbage cans at the bus stops themselves. Most of the North Broadway corridor is used by Everett Transit route 7, with a handful of stops shared with Community Transit routes 201 and 202 and inter-city express service from Skagit Transit and Island Transit. Two major stops, at 34th Street near Everett Station and at Tower Street near Everett Community College, will be moved to nearby intersections that have signaled crosswalks to reduce potential vehicle-pedestrian collisions (though it is still legal to cross at an unmarked crosswalk).
During construction in the spring and summer of next year, Everett Transit says to expect some delays for buses during daytime hours, as well as marked stop relocations and closures. The project should be completed by late 2018.
Beginning Monday, August 7, construction at Colman Dock will close the Pier 50 dock for the King County Water Taxi and Kitsap Transit’s new Fast Ferries service. During an approximately 10-day period, Water Taxi service (on both routes) will be suspended, while Kitsap Fast Ferries will use a temporary dock at Pier 54 (Argosy Cruises next to Ye Olde Curiosity Shop). Fast Ferries sailing times will be on a temporary schedule, so check to see if your boat is leaving earlier or later than usual.
While the Water Taxi is out of commission, there will be no bus replacement service. Instead, passengers are advised to use regular Metro bus routes to West Seattle and the Fauntleroy ferry terminal, including the RapidRide C Line, and routes 21, 37, 55, 56, 57, 116, 120, and 125. After service is restored, estimated to be on August 14, the West Seattle Water Taxi will run on a new sailing schedule to account for increased boarding times as well as waiting for state ferries to clear Colman Dock before proceeding to West Seattle.
On Thursday, the Sound Transit Capital Committee passed its recommended names for Lynnwood Link’s four stations, until now known as NE 145th, NE 185th, Mountlake Terrace, and Lynnwood. The recommendation will be up for final board approval later this month, giving the public a chance to comment one last time on the names.
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.
Kitsap Transit is about to launch their passenger-only “fast ferry” service between Bremerton and Pier 50 in Seattle on Monday, after a decade-long saga of lawsuits, studies, funding crises, and ballot measures. The Rich Passage 1, built in 2010 in Bellingham, will make six daily round-trips between the two cities on weekdays (during peak periods), and ten daily round-trips on Saturdays (mostly in the afternoons). Kitsap Transit will continue to not offer Sunday service, including onboard the new ferry.
Currently, the state-operated car-and-passenger ferry takes 60 minutes to make the trip across Puget Sound, running roughly every 60 to 90 minutes. The new fast ferry will take just 28 minutes, with 7 minutes for loading and unloading at each terminal before turning around. The stark difference in travel time come in part due to a lightweight composite body, as well as being able to run at upwards of 37 knots (43 mph) and cruise at 29 knots (33.4 mph); the newest state ferry, the MV Chimacum, only has a top speed of 17 knots (20 mph), about the same as the average surface-level light rail system.
After twoyears of government observance shenanigans, Independence Day is back to being a one-day holiday and has brought along some great gifts to those enjoying the nighttime fireworks show. Sound Transit will be running Link light rail trains every 30 minutes between midnight and 2 a.m. and Metro will deploy extra buses on 20 routes until midnight, as suggested by the King County Council earlier this year. The last northbound train leaves Angle Lake Station at 1 a.m. The last southbound train leaves University of Washington Station at 2 a.m. The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel closes at 2:20 a.m.
Before we even get to the 4th of July schedules, however, there is a major service disruption for the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel this weekend. From Saturday, July 1 to the end of Sunday, July 2, buses will not operate in the tunnel due to construction at Convention Place Station; instead, tunnel routes will use their respective surface stops. Link light rail trains, however, will operate with normal weekend service at Westlake, University Street, Pioneer Square and International District/Chinatown stations. 4th Avenue will also be closed between South Washington and South Jefferson streets due to Yesler Bridge construction.
Community Transit has released a draft version of their 2017–2022 Transit Development Plan (TDP), which will guide the expansion of bus service across Snohomish County in the lead-up to Lynnwood Link’s opening in 2023. The 0.3 percent sales tax increase approved by voters in 2015 has now been funding expanded service for a full year, and will enable CT to spend an additional $30 million annually for new service and capital improvements. In total, Community Transit will use $1 billion in sales tax revenue and grants from state and federal sources to fund service improvements and capital projects.
The City of Everett is looking to join the wave of cities absorbing our ever-exploding population growth by writing two key long-range plans over the coming months, one for downtown land use and one for citywide transit.
The “Metro Everett” plan, which will try to accommodate an expected 60,000 new residents and 40,000 new employees in Everett, has reached the draft options stage and the city is considering several options. The recommended plan entails simplifying the zoning system to favor multi-family housing and mixed-use commercial, raising height limits in the downtown area, and softening parking minimums to encourage non-driving uses. The plan is also preparing for significant changes in the Everett Station area, where Link service will terminate in 2036, adding to existing station area plans adopted by the city a decade ago.
An open house on Tuesday, June 13, at 6 p.m. at the Everett Performing Arts Center (Colby & Everett; routes 3, 17, and 29) will have more details, including the draft plan and potential changes to the Everett Station area, as well as city staffers and a chance for the public to provide written feedback.
Everett Transit will be seeking input throughout most of June to help form a Long Range Plan to guide the municipal bus system over the next 20 years. Through June 22, an online open house will allow the public to view materials related to the plan and take a survey on their transit use around Everett. The Long Range Plan, to be adopted in early 2018 by the City Council, will establish service standards and consider emerging technologies like electric battery buses (a few of which Everett are slated to receive soon) and partnerships with rideshare companies.
There will be a series of in-person sessions next week near three of Everett’s main transit centers.
Everett Station (Visioning Workshop)
Thursday, June 8, 6 to 8 p.m. (Presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.)
3201 Smith Avenue – Weyerhaeuser Room, 4th Floor (Most Everett Transit routes; Community Transit Swift and 201/202; Sound Transit 510/512 and Sounder commuter rail)
Everett Mall (Drop-In Session)
Saturday, June 10, 4 to 6 p.m.
1402 SE Everett Mall Way – Near Massage Envy (Everett Transit routes 2, 7, 12, 17, and 29)
Everett Community College (Drop-In Session)
Monday, June 12, 12 to 2 p.m.
2000 Tower Street – Gray Wolf Hall, Lobby (Everett Transit routes 7, 17, and 29; Community Transit 201/202)
From now until Monday, May 22, King County Metro and the City of Seattle are seeking input on their plans for transit-oriented development right on the front door of Northgate’s upcoming light rail station. Take the survey here.
Community Transit has begun construction of the Seaway Transit Center in Everett, the northern terminus of the planned Swift Green Line bus rapid transit project. The $11 million transit center, funded primarily by WSDOT grants and federal funds, will serve the massive Boeing Everett plant and part of the Paine Field industrial area.
The transit center will be laid out on a triangular plot of land on the southeastern side of Seaway Boulevard and 75th Street SW, at the main entrance to the Boeing plant. It is also near Community Transit’s Merrill Creek operating base and headquarters, as well as other major employers like the Fluke Corporation, though the area isn’t exactly the most walkable or bikeable. Initially, Seaway Transit Center will be built with two bus bays for Swift and five for other buses; the site plan allows for up to a total of thirteen bus bays. After Link light rail is extended to Everett in 2036, Seaway Transit Center could become a major connection between feeder buses to Mukilteo and southern Everett.
Beginning in September of this year, Route 105 will be extended to the Paine Field area from Mariner Park and Ride during peak hours. This will form the basis of a future local, frequent-stopping route that will “shadow” the Green Line much like Route 101 and the Blue Line today. Route 107 will also begin service between Lynnwood Transit Center and the Boeing plant in the same service change, restoring a more convenient link to the South County area.
Sound Transit is asking the public for input on designs and names for seven new light rail stations on Tacoma Link’s Hilltop extension, via this survey. The project is expected to begin construction in 2018 and open for service in 2022, bringing trains every 10 minutes to the MLK Way corridor west of downtown Tacoma.
The survey has two basic canopy styles, developed by project architects Waterleaf (who have experience in streetcar maintenance facilities, including First Hill’s in Chinatown). “Option A” is a simple glass canopy with a separate column for a sign with the station’s name, while “Option B” tacks on the sign on the end of the canopy structure. The final option will have two variants for 60-foot and 100-foot platforms, as seen in the layout documents posted by Sound Transit.
Even though federal funding for Lynnwood Link is up in the air, Sound Transit is continuing to work on final design of Lynnwood Link and its four stations in Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood.
Sound Transit has posted this survey asking the public to help name the stations at NE 145th, NE 185th, Mountlake Terrace TC and Lynnwood TC. The options were selected from over 650 suggestions placed during last November’s design open houses, but there is also a write-in option for other suggestions.
Community Transit, heading into this weekend with a minor service change to add late night and midday service, is proposing the addition of 21,000 bus hours of service (a 6 percent increase) in September 2017 and March 2018. The service proposal includes new service from Lynnwood to the Boeing Everett plant, as well as extensions and modifications to existing routes to improve connections at transit centers. Both service changes are funded by the 0.3 percent sales tax increase passed by voters in November 2015, which will also fund the next Swift line (between Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mill Creek).
After approving the restoration of 59,000 annual service hours in April of last year, Pierce Transit took a long and hard look at its existing route network, with some help from the public. The result is a service change scheduled for Sunday, March 12, which will affect 31 routes and add 35,000 service hours that were cut during the recession, building upon a service change from September. Some routes will be deleted and replaced with re-aligned routes, while others will see frequency bumps and later weeknight service. To make sense of the overhaul, Pierce Transit has released an interactive map of major changes that can be sorted route-by-route or by the type of service improvement; individual routes also have dashcam videos (example: Route 53), showing the drivers’ view of modified routes.
With Pierce Transit lagging behind peer agencies to the north, and a real need for better transit service to serve Pierce County’s growing population, the change will be yet another leap forward in our regional transit system. Pierce Transit is also jumping on new transit technologies, mostly funded by FTA loans, like rideshare partnerships, on-board Wi-Fi, electric buses, and better security. An additional 10,000 service hours could be added in the September 2017 service change, to complete Pierce Transit’s goal of 59,000 restored service hours in 2016 and 2017.
The full list of changes is below, after the jump.
The plan was bold and ambitious, fitting for a newly-christened city that was in the middle of a massive period of growth following the Great Fire of 1889 and the Alaska-Pacific-Yukon Exhibition of 1909, capitalizing on recent public works projects by city engineer R. H. Thomson (for whom the R. H. Thomson Expressway was to be named). Thomson’s ongoing regrade of Denny Hill would provide 38 acres of flat land for a grand, European-style civic center in modern-day Belltown. The civic center would feature a central train station (replacing the then-new King Street Station) and a city hall designed in the Beaux-Arts architectural style, resembling Paris more than New York (with a strict height limit on buildings, advocated for by Bogue).
Beginning Sunday, March 12, Community Transit will add 40 new weekly trips on 11 routes, increasing late-night service on two major corridors, adding mid-day frequency in Lynnwood and expanding DART paratransit service hours. As we reported last year, the trips will combine for a total of 6,300 hours, and will be followed by a large service change planned for September 2017.
New late-night weekday service is planned for two routes on the Highway 99 corridor (the Swift Blue Line and Route 101), the Marysville area (Routes 201 and 202), and on local service to Mukilteo (Route 113) and Mill Creek (Route 115). New mid-day weekday trips on Routes 119 and 120, both serving the southwestern portion of Snohomish County, will boost all-day frequency from hourly to half-hourly.
At Friday’s regular board meeting, the Sound Transit Board heard a report about the state of elevators and escalators on the Link light rail system. Some stations, like University of Washington, are not meeting the escalator availability standard because of frequent and long-term outages that is being blamed on premature component failure, among other issues.
Sound Transit broke ground last Friday on Northgate Station, bringing the opening for Northgate Link one day closer (though still four years away). As we’ve reported before on the blog, the station will be elevated above NE 103rd Street on the east side of 1st Avenue NE, just west of the current transit center and southwest of the Northgate Mall.
A 455-stall parking garage, the subject of much controversy, will be built on the north side of NE 103rd Street to replace the existing park and ride. The County plans to build at least 200 affordable housing units on the former park and ride to the east of the station (along with a relocated bus station), as part of a mixed-use development funded in part by the City. SDOT will also build a pedestrian bridge over Interstate 5 (funded by Move Seattle) that will extend the station’s walkshed to North Seattle College and surrounding neighborhoods.
Sound Transit has unveiled the first designs for its stations on the Lynnwood Link Extension, a 8.5-mile light rail project that will continue the current line north past Northgate to Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood. While there were several open houses this week where comments were taken, the public can also use an online open house to look at the stations and submit comments until November 30.
The extension has four stations planned to open in 2023, and two provisional stations that will have accommodations to be built at a later date as infill stations. One of the provisional stations, at NE 130th Street, was included in ST3 and could open in 2031 (or earlier), while the other at 220th Street SW in Mountlake Terrace has not been approved.
While we celebrate a huge victory for transit here in Seattle and lament the result of the presidential race, one must not forget about the plethora of other transportation ballot measures put on by other cities across the country Tuesday night. Out of a total of 48 local and state transit measures, 33 were approved as of Tuesday night (including ST3 and the Kitsap fast ferries measure), a success rate of 71%, and representing over $200 billion in transit investments (the lion’s share of which is taken by Seattle and Los Angeles).
The Transport Politic has an excellent list of measures, results, and a basic summary of what is required for each to pass (and what is in each package). Streetsblog USA has also been going around the country and looking into the measure during the run-up to the election, and each piece is worth a read.