Snohomish County Transit System Adds New BRT Line in Major Restructuring

The Community Transit network is making a slew of changes, including several new bus rapid transit lines.

1 minute read

May 26, 2024, 11:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Low view looking up at bus rapid transit bus at station in Snohomish County, Washington with blur to indicate motion.

A Swift Blue Line BRT bus in Snohomish County, Washington. | Community Transit / Swift

A new bus rapid transit (BRT) line in Snohomish County, Washington is part of a regional effort to build more connected transit. As Andrew Engelson explains in The Urbanist, “The new 11-mile line will provide one of Snohomish County’s primary connections to Sound Transit’s new Lynnwood Link light rail extension when it opens on August 30.”

The agency that operates the Swift Orange Line, Community Transit, is undergoing a major restructuring of its system that will create more effective connections to the Lynnwood City Center Station and Sound Transit lines.

The buses operate on dedicated lanes with signal priority. “Buses are scheduled to arrive every 10 minutes on weekdays, and every 15 – 20 minutes during early mornings, evenings and weekends. Like the Green and Blue Line, stations have high curbs for easy access, the ability to tap ORCA cards before entry, and digital kiosks with real-time arrival info.”

To ensure they can meet the 10-minute frequencies, Community Transit reorganized their recruitment process, adding signing bonuses and an improved training program with a focus on retention. According to Chris Simmons, Community Transit’s transit integration manager, the restructuring aims to better serve new travel patterns. “Rather than the very peak period-focused, very infrequent service, we’re now creating these all day, bidirectional connections.”

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