A Sound Transit bus in the shadow of the Northgate Lightrail Station in Seattle. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

A Sound Transit bus in the shadow of the Northgate Lightrail Station in Seattle. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Sound Transit to keep some Snohomish County bus routes

Routes 510, 512, and 513 will change, but they’ll still be around.

LYNNWOOD — A temporary bus line, Route 515, will run from the Lynnwood City Center station to downtown Seattle, to alleviate overcrowding concerns on the new 8½ miles of Link light rail track set to open in late August.

Sound Transit will offer the express route until the east side Link, known as the 2 Line, crosses Lake Washington sometime in 2025. Once that happens, Sound Transit will have a much easier time making sure train cars are maintained and on time.

The Sound Transit Board of Directors approved the plan in a vote late last month.

Sound Transit — with Community Transit as a subcontractor for the routes — will continue to operate routes 510, 512, and 513. Routes 512 and 513 will be shortened to run between Everett and Lynnwood City Transit Center. Route 510 from Everett to downtown Seattle will continue temporarily and then get reevaluated in 2025.

The route changes will go into effect Aug. 30, the day the light rail extension to Lynnwood opens.

“I appreciate the partnership and the collaborative way that Sound Transit has worked with Community Transit and King County Metro to make this happen, and for taking the concerns of the overcrowding serious enough to get creative and make this happen,” Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell, who also serves on the Sound Transit board, said at last month’s meeting. “I just can’t express my appreciation more than that.”

Sound Transit expects between 47,000 and 55,000 daily riders on the new light rail route to Lynnwood by 2026. The Lynnwood Transit Center parking garage has 1,670 spots and another 226 outside. The garage is owned by Sound Transit and connects with the rail station.

The Mountlake Terrace Station offers another 890 parking spaces. The new Swift Orange Line, which connects to Alderwood Mall and its large parking lot, also connects with several park and rides.

During the meeting March 28, Sound Transit officials also said they had found more rail car storage sites along the 1 Line of the Link. This should allow for faster service times, Sound Transit planner Brian de Place said.

“We now believe we have found enough storage that we can continue to deliver 8-minute peak headways with four-car trains when we extend to Lynnwood,” he said.

He also told the board that “with this additional capacity, we believe that crowding will be at manageable levels, on average, until the 2 Line crosses Lake Washington, and we can then return to our plan of 4-minute combined headways.”

Sound Transit is also switching to a flat $3 fare for Link trips, starting in August when the train reaches Snohomish County. Commuters will no longer have to tap off at the end of a ride.

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

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