A construction worker crosses the street Friday as two buses pull into the Lynnwood Transit Center in Lynnwood. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A construction worker crosses the street Friday as two buses pull into the Lynnwood Transit Center in Lynnwood. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Community Transit asks what current, potential riders want in 2024

Light rail is expected to let the agency redeploy service hours by ending routes that went into Seattle.

A bus every 15 minutes from Lynnwood and Stanwood, express service along Interstate 405 to Bellevue, and expanded frequency and hours are just some of the ideas Community Transit has in mind for 2024.

But first the agency wants to hear what riders, and potential riders, want in a few years.

That’s when Sound Transit light rail is set to open with stations in Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace. It’s also when Community Transit’s new Swift Orange bus rapid transit route between Edmonds College and Mill Creek is set to open.

“What we’re going to see here in the next three years is not just the opening of Lynnwood Link extension but of 19 more light rail stations,” Community Transit CEO Ric Ilgenfritz said during an Economic Alliance Snohomish County meeting Nov. 30. “We’re not going to have to stretch ourselves as far as we have in the past.”

Light rail’s arrival is an opportunity for Community Transit to redeploy driver hours and review its network.

Route 402 from the Lynnwood Transit Center to the University Street area in downtown Seattle during the morning peak hour takes about 35 minutes at lower pandemic traffic levels. A light rail trip between those locations is expected to be about 30 minutes.

Time saved from going into Seattle, which won’t happen anymore after 2024, can instead be directed elsewhere throughout and beyond Snohomish County.

Those options are presented in the public transit agency’s Transit in 2024 survey available in Chinese, English, Korean, Russian and Spanish. It closes Friday.

East Link stations in Bellevue, Mercer Island and Redmond present Community Transit with “new market opportunities” from Northgate until 2024, planning manager Thomas Tumola said during the chat.

Despite declines of 70% overall from 2019 daily boardings early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Community Transit staff project ridership demand to rise. As of mid-December, total ridership had recovered to 50% of pre-pandemic levels.

Several questions ask respondents about current transit use and what bus service shifts they prefer: earlier and later hours, higher frequency, more destinations.

The page also briefly lists concepts, which is to say changes that are possible but not necessarily planned, in four different service areas. They were created based in part on prior customer responses and ridership data, Community Transit spokesperson Monica Spain said.

Community Transit is collecting comments on service change proposals in 2024 when light rail is set to open in Snohomish County. The ideas includes 15-minute frequency along several routes to light rail stations in Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace. (Community Transit)

Community Transit is collecting comments on service change proposals in 2024 when light rail is set to open in Snohomish County. The ideas includes 15-minute frequency along several routes to light rail stations in Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace. (Community Transit)

Arlington, Marysville and Stanwood

  • All-day express service, a bus that only stops at major transit centers, with stops generally close to park and rides in Stanwood, Smokey Point, Marysville and Lynnwood
  • Improved service to the Cascade Industrial Center and Arlington Municipal Airport along 172nd Street NE which is also Highway 531, where commercial and residential construction has grown in recent years
  • “More and frequent” bus service around Quil Ceda Village in Tulalip that gives more people “the option of leaving their car at home” when traveling to the entertainment and shopping destinations there

Lake Stevens, Monroe and Snohomish

  • Frequent all-day service between Everett and Lake Stevens, and Everett and Monroe
  • Direct service to I-405 destinations
  • Improved network in growing neighborhoods
  • Additional service to and from Monroe

Bothell, Lynnwood and Mill Creek

  • Improved connections with the Swift Green bus rapid transit
  • More service in neighborhoods
  • New service on North Road, which does not have a public transit bus route, connecting Lynnwood High School with Highway 527 to the east and I-5 transit centers to the west
  • Improved east-west service between Highway 527 and I-5
  • Buses to Bellevue and East King County via I-405
All-day express buses are one proposal in Community Transit’s 2024 service plan changes in the wake of light rail. Those buses have fewer stops and would connect to light rail in Lynnwood. (Community Transit)

All-day express buses are one proposal in Community Transit’s 2024 service plan changes in the wake of light rail. Those buses have fewer stops and would connect to light rail in Lynnwood. (Community Transit)

Edmonds, Everett, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace and Mukilteo

  • Frequent connections to light rail and other major destinations
  • More connections to Swift Blue, Green and Orange bus rapid transit
  • Reliable and frequent connections to ferry terminals
  • More service around Boeing and Paine Field
  • Build on the Lynnwood microtransit pilot project that is set for spring
  • More specific service proposals will be available in spring during the next round of Community Transit’s outreach.

Have a question? Call 425-339-3037 or email streetsmarts@heraldnet.com. Please include your first and last name and city of residence.

Correction: An earlier version misstated the route for the concept of express service to Bellevue, which would be on Interstate 405.

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