Community Transit’s Lynnwood microtransit pilot project is set to launch this fall with a service area around the Alderwood mall. (Community Transit)

Community Transit’s Lynnwood microtransit pilot project is set to launch this fall with a service area around the Alderwood mall. (Community Transit)

Lynnwood’s microtransit test begins this fall, others possible

Community Transit could launch other on-demand services in Arlington, Darrington and Lake Stevens.

On-demand transit around the Alderwood mall is coming this fall, and three other cities could see something similar from Community Transit.

Leaders of the public transportation agency for most of Snohomish County are in the early stages of looking at Arlington, Darrington and Lake Stevens as the next areas for microtransit service.

“We want to respond to industry-wide changes and build ridership,” community transportation specialist Kevin Futhey told the board during its regular monthly meeting Thursday. “We want to make travel easier more broadly.”

The presentation drew applause from the Community Transit board members. Jan Schuette, an Arlington City Council member, said her area has seen a lot of population growth and construction of health care facilities used by north Snohomish County residents. In a place like Darrington, which has one bus in the morning and one in the evening, someone who can’t drive might not be able to make medical appointments.

“I can see where every city is different in what their needs are,” she said during the meeting. ”I’m excited. This is really going to help a lot of people.”

Ridership declined during the pandemic with more people working from home or changing how they commute, but is rebounding. Testing new services — apart from its fixed-route buses, paratransit and vanpool program —can add people to the transit system and take personal vehicle trips off the roads, he said.

Community Transit gathered public feedback on the Lynnwood microtransit project in spring 2021. Its service area is bound by 172nd Street SW to the north, Alderwood Mall Parkway to the east, Alderwood Mall Boulevard and 200th Street SW to the south, and 52nd Avenue W and Highway 99 to the west.

MedStar Transportation, a private transit operator, will operate run the the Lynnwood project on a contract worth just over $1 million.

The Lynnwood project is set to launch this fall 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week with five vehicles that will have Community Transit’s branding on it, Futhey said.

Once it launches, users can call or use an app to get picked up and dropped off within the service area for $2.50, the same fare as Community Transit’s fixed-route buses. Riders can use their ORCA pass.

“Our hope is to get it to a 10-minute wait time,” Futhey said.

That goal could make the ride more appealing than other options and solve the “first- and last-mile problem,” a term used to describe people whose trip destinations begin and end that far from a bus stop.

Arlington, Darrington and Lake Stevens were chosen as the next potential service areas based on population density, demographics, land use and fixed route access, Futhey said.

The service’s plan has clashed with Amalgamated Transit Union 1576 leadership. The union represents hundreds of Community Transit employees, mostly drivers. But the agency is coordinating with the union about its findings from the Lynnwood project.

If the board chooses to make on-demand service permanent, the union would get an offer to be involved.

Community Transit is preparing outreach for the next three areas and forming working groups to hear what transportation needs are in Arlington, Darrington and Lake Stevens. It could be in the 2023 budget.

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

An earlier version misstated the role the union would have in future on-demand service decisions. The union would get an offer to be involved.

Talk to us

More in Local News

An Everett police officer and a Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a man Saturday, March 11, 2023, in the 800 block of 91st Place SW in Everett. (Everett Police Department)
Everett man killed in Saturday police shooting identified

Charles Hubbard, 58, was shot and killed by SWAT team members when they responded to a domestic violence call.

WSDOT workers open up the Smokey Point Rest Area on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Massive amount’ of homeless RV camping closed Smokey Point rest area

Since November, 38 homeless people were identified through outreach. Six have accepted housing offers with case management.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Mountlake Terrace leaders weighing federal ARPA fund options

Bathrooms, body cameras, generators, radios, roadwork, roof replacement, sidewalks, trails and more loom for the $4.5 million.

Dominic Wilson looks at his mother while she addresses the court during his sentencing at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Grief remains after sentencing of Marysville teen’s killers

Dominic Wilson must serve 17½ years in prison, while his accomplice Morzae Roberts was given a sentence of four years.

Former Opus Bank/Cascade Bank building in downtown Everett on Thursday, March 16, 2023 in Everett, Washington. It is proposed as the new home of Economic Alliance Snohomish County. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Economic Alliance asks Everett for $300K to move downtown

The countywide chamber of commerce and economic development organization also would reform the Everett chamber.

The Washington State University Everett campus on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
WSU ends search to buy land for future branch campus in Everett

The university had $10M to spend. It tried for four years but couldn’t close deals with Everett’s housing authority or the city.

Marysville man dies after motorcycle crash on Ingraham Boulevard

The man, 58, was heading east when he lost control in the single-vehicle crash, according to police.

Mukilteo Coffee Roasters co-owners Beth and Gary Smith in 2017. (Kyle Jensen / South Whidbey Record)
Mukilteo coffee roaster, 69, had personality as big as ‘thunderstorm’

“I knew at the first sip that this is what I wanted to do,” Gary Smith said. The founder of Mukilteo Coffee Roasters died this month.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Predict A Pen goes missing, a Republican wins a poll and a budget arrives

It’s Day 68. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature.

Most Read