Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Swift celebrates 7th Anniversary with big future plans

Ribbon cutting on the first Swift line in 2009
If you’re anything like me you like things quick. Unfortunately, sometimes getting around Snohomish County is anything but quick. That all changed when the first Bus Rapid Transit system in our state came along. 

On November 30, 2009 Community Transit’s Swift line was born. Swift was built with 15 stations, in each direction, along Highway 99 plus terminals at Everett Station and Aurora Village. Improvements have been made over the years and the final stop on the line was completed last January near Edmonds Community College.

How has Swift stacked up compared to our other routes? Well I like to call it the Russell Wilson of bus systems - the leader. Swift carries about 5,500 riders each weekday and more than 1.7 million a yearWeekends average near 3,000 riders per day as well. One in six of all Community Transit riders travel on Swift. The ease of riders paying at the bus stop prior to boarding gives it the efficiency and appeal of light rail, delivered faster and at a fraction of the cost. 

Swift’s first line got a new name last August as we unveiled ‘Swift Blue Line’. And Swift is getting even better when the Swift Green Line comes online. Thanks to federal money, construction on the Swift Green Line will begin in 2017 and wrap up in late 2018. By early 2019, Swift Green Line will begin service and have 17 stations in each direction between Canyon Park in Bothell and the Boeing/Paine Field area.

To get the Swift Green line moving there are three things that need to happen:
·        - The Seaway Transit Center will be constructed as the Swift Green Line's northern terminal and will be located on Seaway Blvd. and 75th Street in Everett across from Boeing's main entrance. 
·       -  Addition of lanes near the 128th street and I-5 Bridge. Adding lanes on each side near the bridge will ease the congestion and get the bus through on time.
·        - Construction of 34 stations along the Swift Green Line route. 
Unveiling of Swift Green and Blue Line names in Aug. 2016
Snohomish County is continuing to grow, and with 65,000 jobs in the Boeing/Paine Field vicinity, and 25,000 jobs in the Canyon Park area, we need fast, frequent new bus service between the two areas and Swift Green Line gets that done.

More big plans are ahead with Swift as in 2023 Swift Orange Line will connect with Link Light Rail at Lynnwood Transit Center, covering those key east/west corridors. We know Snohomish County is a great place to live, work and play. We are glad that Swift is helping keep it that way. Happy seventh anniversary to Swift.

Some Swift riders joined in on the #mannequinchallenge earlier this month! Watch below:

***Sean Christensen is a Public Information Specialist for Community Transit. He joined the company in October 2016. Sean comes from a background in media, athletics, communications, and production.***

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