Transit agencies considering plan to connect Snohomish County commuter buses and Northgate light rail in 2020

As Link light rail expands north toward Snohomish County, Community Transit and Sound Transit are exploring bus service changes to connect some commuting bus riders with light rail service to the University of Washington, downtown Seattle and other regional destinations.

The agencies said in a Tuesday announcement that they are requesting feedback on a draft plan to connect some commuter routes to the Link Red Line at the new Northgate Station when it opens in 2021. Link light rail trains will depart Northgate every six minutes during peak hours. Travel time on Link from Northgate to the U District is expected to take six minutes; Northgate to downtown Seattle will take 14 minutes.

Potential changes to Snohomish County bus service include:

  • ST Express routes 510, 511, 512 and 513 that currently run between Snohomish County and downtown Seattle would connect to Link at Northgate instead. “The shorter, more reliable bus trips would run more often as a result, including more midday and weekend service,” Community Transit said in a news release.
  • Community Transit routes 810, 821, 855, 860, 871 and 880 that currently run to the University of Washington campus would connect to Link at Northgate instead. As a result, these bus trips would also be shorter and more reliable, and offer more midday and afternoon service, the agency said.

Community Transit 400 series buses serving downtown Seattle would continue service unchanged, as would the Sound Transit Sounder train service between Everett and Seattle.

The public is invited to learn more about the Link Connections: Northgate bus restructure project and provide comments via an online open house through Dec. 31, 2019. People can visit to learn more.

Community Transit and Sound Transit will also conduct in-person outreach at locations throughout Snohomish County. Select outreach events are listed on the online open house webpage.

The agencies will consider the feedback they receive to refine the plan, which they will present to the public in the spring of 2020. The Sound Transit and Community Transit boards of directors will approve the final proposal in the summer of 2020.

King County Metro Transit will change bus service to connect to new Link stations. Changes to service may occur in North Seattle, U-District, Shoreline, Bothell, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, and Woodinville. Metro expects to invite public feedback on concepts for change in January 2020. Find out more on Metro’s North Link Connections webpage.

For more information about Northgate Link, visit


  1. I heard about this on the news and it sounded like a good idea.

    I’m someone who commutes from the south Snohomish County area (Lynnwood/Mountlake Terrace) to downtown Seattle for work. I’ve noticed that the biggest “bottlenecks” seem to be from downtown Seattle to Northgate or Shoreline. This would save me anywhere from 10-40 minutes per trip.

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