Monday, February 22, 2010

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen Rides Swift

U.S. Representative Rick Larsen visited Community Transit on Feb. 19 and took a ride on the agency’s new bus rapid transit line, Swift.

Larsen, who represents Washington’s 2nd Congressional District (most of Snohomish County north to the Canadian border), is a former Community Transit board member and has been a key transit supporter in Congress. He helped secure some of the federal funding that purchased Swift hybrid buses and that is keeping Swift in operation.

Swift is not only Washington’s first bus rapid transit line, it’s also a great example of how innovative transportation ideas can encourage more people to use transit,” said Larsen.

Swift runs every 10 minutes weekdays from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., and every 20 minutes nights and on weekends. Swift serves 12 stops each direction between Everett Station and the Aurora Village Transit Center in Shoreline, providing a one-seat ride across the Everett city line and reducing bus travel time by as much as 30 percent.

Swift started service on Nov. 30, 2009 and has quickly become Community Transit’s highest ridership route. In January, Swift served an average of nearly 2,400 riders each weekday.

At Community Transit’s headquarters, Larsen met with employees and urged them to keep their morale up even as the agency is proposing service cuts and layoffs. Larsen was on the Community Transit board in 2000 when the agency lost a third of its funding after the state cut MVET support to transit agencies. At that time, Community Transit cut 23 percent of its service, including all weekend service.

Larsen said he is doing what he can to get federal funding to help the agency, and pointed out that because of the recession many other agencies across the country are faced with similar financial troubles.


  1. I'm mystified by Swift. Who needs to ride up and down Aurora from Everett to Aurora Village except bored teenagers and petty thugs? How about a Swift bus to take me to work in the U District and others downtown? But no, instead we commuters are threatened with service reductions while the Swift buses fly up and down Aurora unencumbered with riders.

  2. Feb. 26? Is it a typo? Thanks!

  3. Yes, Andy, you were right. Last Friday, Feb. 19. I have made that correction. Thanks!

  4. @Brenda

    Swift was funded by state and federal grants specifically for Swift, so Swift isn't taking money from other service. It's money CT wouldn't have gotten otherwise.

    I commute on Swift to Everett from Edmonds every day. Before, I drove - I'm a brand-new bus rider.

    If you think about Snohomish County, 99 is one of the main routes and it's the only one with stores and places to go (none on I-5). Most of the people that I've seen riding are just normal people, a lot of them headed to Everett and back for work. And it's been getting a lot busier as it's been catching on, this morning the bus going to Everett was just about full.

    And Swift to downtown is coming...Metro has a new system pretty similar to Swift called RapidRide coming on in the next couple of years and one of the routes will be Aurora TC to downtown.

  5. All bus service to UW and downtown Seattle is "express" type service, isn't it, Brenda B? I think the bored teenagers are riding the buses that go to Alderwood Mall, not to Shoreline...