Thursday, December 2, 2010

Swift by the Numbers

6.3% of Swift passengers bring a bike on board, more than five times higher than our system average of 1.1% bike boardings. The Swift racks hold 50% more bikes than average, too (three bikes vs. two).

9-12% of Swift passengers are students at Edmonds Community College using their EdPass transit benefit.

12 seconds is how long buses spend at each station for passengers to board and deboard.

15 hybrid diesel vehicles are used to operate Swift.

20% less time than local buses to travel the 17 miles from Everett to Shoreline - about 50 minutes.

43 seats per bus – less than usual to leave room for three doors, wider aisles, interior bike racks and easier wheelchair boarding.

44% of Swift riders use an ORCA card for faster boarding and transfer credit.

62-feet long articulated buses, the longest in our fleet

90% of Swift operating costs for its first three years are paid for by grants, fares and our partnership with Everett Transit.

200 or more boardings an hour from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.. on weekdays. That’s a long peak period.


  1. Neat facts, thanks for sharing. 12 seconds at stations is absolutely amazing.

  2. I question the 12 second 'dwell time' number. Given that, you could add 5 more stops, and only impact the schedule by one minute. That would be a great trade to add more riders, and eliminate some of the duplicative shadow bus service along the corridor.

  3. Dwell time refers to the time a bus is stopped at a station while passengers board and deboard. Dwell time does not account for the reduction in average overall speed that results from slowing and stopping at a station.
    Dwell times nevertheless can have a significant impact on route performance. Swift's pre-paid fare payment (no lines at the front door farebox), interior bike racks (makes loading a one-step process), passive wheelchair restraint (so customers can secure themselves without coach operator assistance) and three doors all contribute to the short dwell times and carefree riding experienced by passengers.

  4. So it has 18 stops and the old 100 (and current 101) stopped at 30 between Aurora and 128th alone. If we assume there's as many stops north or Aurora that would be a possible 60 stops using the defunct 100 bus. The swift has 1/3 as many stops AND signal priority on half the route and only saves 10 minutes. Maybe it's traffic and stoplights that slow it down and not stops?

    My biggest complaint about Swift is that it doesn't stop where I want it to. If I have to walk 10 minutes to get to a stop then I might as well have taken the 101.

    You assume 9-12% are EdCC riders but since they don't currently tap in you don't know. I think that number may be correct going north only. Going south I never use the Swift for the college since the stop is another 1/4 mile further away. That was a dumb decision.

  5. Counting Edmonds Community College students is important to Community Transit since we have an agreement with the college for them to pay for EdPass usage. The way we count Swift is similar to the rest of our system. Over a two-week period each quarter, Swift Ambassadors and coach operators (all other routes) count all EdPass boardings. Then numbers are extrapolated to develop a usage rate.

    Final station locations are not as simple as "here's the best corner." There needs to be enough room (right-of-way) to place a station, the cities need to OK the placement based on their goals for traffic flow, businesss access, etc., and hopefully, there's a willing seller. So there were some compromises on ideal station locations (we'd planned another southbound station at 204th). Nevertheless, the 196th Street southbound Swift station near Edmonds Community College (1/3 mile away) is second only to Aurora Village in the number of people who deboard there.

    Studies have shown that people are willing to walk a little further for high-quality transit, and that has proven true with Swift.