Community Transit issues draft six-year plan, focused on bus-to-light rail integration, local network expansion

Community Transit has released its draft 2022-2027 Transit Development Plan (TDP), which outlines the agency’s goals to offer frequent service to new regional light rail connections, expand service within the county, and pilot innovative transit options customized to local community needs.

Key initiatives in the draft TDP, according to a Community Transit news release, are:

Strengthening local connections: The opening of Lynnwood Link light rail in 2024 will change the transportation landscape in Snohomish County, providing people with frequent and fast light rail service into King County. Community Transit said it will take advantage of this opportunity to restructure service and provide connections to light rail as well as frequent and all-day service within the county. The year 2024 will also include expansion of the agency’s bus rapid transit (BRT) network, with the launch of the Swift Orange Line as well as expansion of the current Swift Blue Line. The agency is also planning for future BRT expansion through an extension of the Swift Green Line in Bothell and a new Swift Gold Line from Everett into Marysville and Arlington.

Safe, reliable service: Community Transit said it continues to recruit and hire bus drivers, maintenance staff, and other staff to support this expanded network of service. The agency is also offering a $5,000 signing bonus for new drivers.

Community Transit also said it is committed to a safe, healthy and equitable environment for riders and employees, and has prioritized security initiatives to ensure a welcoming workplace and ride. This includes reporting and tracking incidents and deploying additional resources during certain hours to provide security presence. Better lighting, video cameras and other design changes at stations are being tested in a pilot program along the Swift Blue Line route.

Innovative services: The agency points to investments in innovative transit services that complement existing bus service, connecting more communities with regional service. The agency’s microtransit pilot program is slated to launch in Lynnwood in fall, 2022, and plans for additional pilot programs will be announced soon.

Planning for zero emissions vehicles: Community Transit has pledged to strengthen its commitment to environmental sustainability by studying the feasibility of moving to a zero emissions fleet, and the infrastructure, systems and employee training required to support that transition.

Youth Free Fare Policy: The Move Ahead Washington transportation funding package includes significant funding for agencies that adopt a policy eliminating fares for riders 18 years and younger. Community Transit is seeking public comment on this proposed policy change and said it looks forward to welcoming more young riders to its service should the board approve this policy change later this year.

The Transit Development Plan is a state-mandated report that forecasts revenue and service levels for the next six years and is updated each year.

The draft 2022-2027 TDP is available for review online at communitytransit.org/TDP; public comment is welcome through Aug. 4.

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