Green Line Swift buses get green light to start on March 24

Community Transit’s second rapid-transit bus line will run between Boeing’s Everett plant and Bothell.

Community Transit’s Swift Green line will add bus rapid transit service from Boeing Everett to Canyon Park in Bothell starting in spring 2019. (Community Transit)

Community Transit’s Swift Green line will add bus rapid transit service from Boeing Everett to Canyon Park in Bothell starting in spring 2019. (Community Transit)

EVERETT — Community Transit has locked in a date for the start of the new bus rapid transit line: March 24.

Work is all but finished on Swift Green Line stations between Boeing’s Everett plant and the Canyon Park area of Bothell. The same goes for the line’s northern terminus, the Seaway Transit Center. The bus line is Community Transit’s biggest project to date, spokesman Martin Munguia said.

Construction on the approximately $73 million project began more than a year ago.

“Overall, the project is under budget,” Munguia said. “We’re not done yet, but we’re likely to finish under budget.”

A construction strike in the fall slowed progress, he said. So has competition for labor and materials.

A major feature has been the creation of additional lanes on 128th Street approaching I-5 to increase traffic speeds through the congested area.

To inaugurate Green Line service, the agency plans a kick-off ceremony on March 24, a Sunday. Details will be announced later.

Supporters liken bus rapid transit to “light rail on wheels.” The concept involves fewer stops than traditional bus routes, typically along dedicated lanes.

The Green Line will will serve 34 stations. Buses will run every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 20 minutes on nights and weekends.

Going south, the route follows Airport Road through the Paine Field area, then heads east on 128th Street before traveling down the Bothell-Everett Highway to Canyon Park.

The Green Line will intersect with the existing Swift route, the Blue Line, at Highway 99.

The Blue Line has been running since 2009.

Planning for a third Swift route with a connection to Link light rail is expected to move ahead throughout 2019, Munguia said. The Orange Line would serve Edmonds Community College, much of central Lynnwood and Mill Creek.

The agency plans to apply for a grant next year to start construction in 2020, he said. The agency hopes to start Orange Line service in 2023, a year before light rail’s scheduled arrival at the Lynnwood Transit Center.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.

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