In Snohomish County, it is all about the commute

  • By Bill Sheets
  • Sunday, April 24, 2011 12:01am
  • Local News

It started as a simple question — what’s the fastest way to commute from Everett to Seattle?

Turns out there’s more to it than we expected. We discovered some things that didn’t make it into our reports for the web or printed edition.

For instance:

More than 100,000 people commute from Snohomish County to King County, the highest daily migration rate from one county to another in the state.

In 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau reported the figure at 103,334. Pierce County had the second most county-to-county commuters, with 80,783 traveling daily to King County and back.Figures from the 2010 Census aren’t yet available, and driving numbers aren’t kept by the state Department of Transportation.

Undoubtedly, though, the total has increased since 2000. The county’s population has increased from about 600,000 people to more than 700,000 in the past 11 years, according to state estimates.

Of those commuting from Snohomish to King County, about 9,800 people use public transportation. Those are Community Transit buses and Sound Transit buses and trains.

While driving came out as the fastest way to go in our review, imagine how fast it would be with those nearly 10,000 bus and train riders on the road?

Finding an exact comparison for travel times between locations was trickier than expected. For buses and trains we used Everett Station at the north end, but the bus routes use different stops in downtown Seattle. We chose the stops closest to King Street Station, where the train stops.

For driving, the state uses two points on I-5 — 41st Street in Everett and University Street in Seattle — to count commuters. We drove the remainder of the way on both ends, twice in each direction, and averaged it in with the drive times.

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