Community Transit is preparing to shift commuter buses that go to the University of Washington in Seattle to connect with Link light rail in Northgate next year. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Community Transit is preparing to shift commuter buses that go to the University of Washington in Seattle to connect with Link light rail in Northgate next year. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

As Link nears in Lynnwood, Community Transit looks to drop commuter fare

Community Transit has “a lot to do to get ready” for light rail’s Aug. 30 arrival, the agency’s CEO said.

EVERETT — Community Transit is looking to drop its commuter bus fare — an extra fare for certain routes to Seattle — as transit agencies continue adjusting to light rail’s entrance into Snohomish County in late August.

The Snohomish County agency’s Transit Changes in 2024 and Beyond plan, adopted last year, eliminates Community Transit’s routes to downtown Seattle and Northgate with the addition of light rail to Lynnwood. With its commuter routes eliminated, Community Transit no longer needs to have the $4.25 commuter bus fares.

“With the new express routes going into service that are just within Snohomish County, we don’t see a justification for any kind of premium fare to continue to exist,” Sophie Luthin, a strategic planning manager with Community Transit, told the board of directors at a meeting Thursday.

Regular bus fares, Zip Alderwood fares and DART Paratransit fares are set at $2.50. Reduced fares for Community Transit buses and the Zip Alderwood shuttle are $1.50. Teenagers and younger ride for free.

Community Transit’s Board of Directors set a public hearing for May 2 on the proposal to discontinue commuter fares.

Sound Transit announced Thursday the light rail would come to Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood starting Aug. 30.

With that announcement in mind, Community Transit CEO Ric Ilgenfritz told the board it’s “really important, because it now gives us a target to focus our planning on and we’re on the clock. We’ve got a lot to do to get ready.”

The routes rail will reconfigure or replace are 402, 405, 410, 412, 413, 415, 416, 417, 421, 422, 425, 435, 810, 821, 860, 871, 880. Those changes go into effect Sept. 14, two weeks after the Lynnwood Link begins service.

They will be replaced by a variety of new commuter routes that connect to the Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace rail stations.

Route 424, with service between Snohomish and Seattle, doesn’t use I-5 and is not being eliminated. It will move to a standard $2.50 fare, Community Transit said in a release.

Other changes are coming, as well. Routes 115, 116 and 196 are all being replaced. Route 115 ran between the McCollum Park Park & Ride and Aurora Village. Route 116 ran between Edmonds Station and Silver Firs. And Route 196 ran between the Ash Way Park & Ride and Edmonds Station.

Those have been replaced by a combination of routes, including the Swift Orange Line and three new routes: 114 between Aurora Village and Lynnwood, 102 between Edmonds and Lynnwood and 166 between Edmonds and Silver Firs.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the cost of Community Transit’s commuter fares.

Jordan Hansen: 425-339-3046;; Twitter: @jordyhansen.

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