An Orange Line (SWIFT) station near 164th St SE and Larch Way on March 22, 2024 in Lynnwood Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

An Orange Line (SWIFT) station near 164th St SE and Larch Way on March 22, 2024 in Lynnwood Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Orange Line, a rapid bus service to Lynnwood light rail, opens Saturday

Community Transit is set to cut the ribbon on its Orange Line extension this weekend — running from Edmonds College to Mill Creek.

LYNNWOOD — Community Transit is set to launch its new Orange Line Swift rapid-transit bus line Saturday — a crucial link to Lynnwood’s new light rail station, which is set to open this year.

Snohomish County’s transit authority will host a block party from 12 to 3 p.m. Saturday near Brier Hall at Edmonds College. The Orange Line is Community Transit’s third bus rapid-transit line, following the Blue Line and Green Line.

The Orange Line will run 11 miles between Edmonds College and Mill Creek. It is a key part of Community Transit’s plan to funnel people to light rail. The line stops at the Lynnwood Transit Center, the northern terminus of Link light rail, once the Lynnwood extension begins service. As of this month, light rail runs from Northgate to SeaTac.

The bus line will stop at the Mill Creek Town Center, Ash Way Park and Ride, Swamp Creek Park and Ride, Alderwood Mall, and then the community college. The Orange Line is Community Transit’s first east-west Swift line.

“The agency is expanding the Swift bus rapid transit network to connect to light rail and provide fast, frequent service throughout the county,” a Community Transit release stated.

The project cost $83 million, using $67.9 million in federal money and $5 million in state funding.

Block party festivities include live music, a variety of food trucks and activities for kids.

Swift service begins at 4:15 a.m. on weekdays, 6 a.m. on Saturdays and 7 a.m. on Sundays. Buses run about every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 15 to 20 minutes on early mornings, evenings and weekends.

Community Transit is also planning to extend both the Swift Blue line and the Swift Green line. The Green line extension includes eight new stops in Bothell. The Blue line extension will give commuters another access point to light rail, with plans calling for the line to extend to the new 185th Street NE light rail station in Shoreline.

Following the opening of the Orange Line, another new line — Gold — will be added to connect Everett with the Smokey Point Transit Center in Arlington. That will also serve downtown Marysville, the Cascade Industrial Center and Everett Community College. It’s expected to open between 2027 and 2029.

Tickets for Swift line buses, which are $2.50, can be bought at bus station kiosks. You can also use your ORCA card on Swift buses.

Jordan Hansen: 425-339-3046; jordan.hansen@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @jordyhansen.

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