The Route Ahead - December 2016 Issue

       December 2016 |  Community Transit News from CEO Emmett Heath

Ribbon cutting and balloons for Swift November 2009
Pictured above: On November 30, 2009, we launched Swift (now called the Swift Blue Line).

Swift Blue Line Turns 7!

Nov. 30 marked the 7th anniversary of our Swift Blue Line bus rapid transit service. Swift was the first BRT line in the state, followed by King County Metro Transit’s Rapid Ride and, coming soon, the C-Tran Vine in Vancouver.

Swift has different features than a regular local bus route – stations that are fewer and farther apart, off-board fare payment and frequent service (every 12 minutes on weekdays). Together, these elements let our customers travel down the Highway 99 corridor in a third less time than a regular bus.

Read more about the success of the Swift Blue Line, what’s ahead as we build the Swift Green Line and a look forward to the Swift Orange Line!

See Swift riders do the Mannequin Challenge on Facebook.

New Routes 109/209 Showing
Strong Ridership

In September, Community Transit introduced two new routes serving Highway 9 in east Snohomish County. Both Routes 109 and 209 seem to have found a solid ridership base, and we’ve learned that riders are not just traveling to places along these routes, but using them for new transit connections throughout the county.

On an average weekday, more than 250 riders take Route 109 between Lake Stevens and the Ash Way Park & Ride in Lynnwood with a big spike of people heading to Mariner Park and Ride. New stops planned near Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish will help boost that ridership next year.

Meanwhile, Route 209 between Lake Stevens and Quil Ceda Village is seeing an average of 180 riders each weekday, with strong ridership on the weekends. This shows that people are using this bus route for entertainment and shopping, not just the work commute.

Read more on our blog.

Route 109 Bus at Lake Stevens Transit Center

Join Community Transit to
Stuff a Bus for the Holidays!

A teddy bear, a baby doll, and a super hero walk into a bus…making this holiday season unforgettable for dozens of local kids in need!

It’s no joke, Community Transit is excited to announce its participation in this year’s ‘Stuff a Bus’ charity drive.

In partnership with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1576, Volunteers of America Western Washington, Fred Meyer and Everett Transit, Community Transit is expanding the reach of this year’s charity drive by supporting a third drop-off site to collect toy and non-perishable food donations.

Last year, the annual donation drive collected more than 13,000 pounds of food and 2,600 toys - all of which went directly to local kids and their families during the holiday season.

Join Community Transit on the final weekend of the Stuff a Bus event! Head over to the Snohomish Fred Meyer on December 10-11, donations will be collected between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Bring the kids on Sunday to see super hero Oxy Gene!

  • Fred Meyer, Snohomish, 2801 Bickford Ave. – Dec. 10-11, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Oxy Gene appearance Sunday, Dec. 11 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information on ‘Stuff a Bus’ visit

Teddy Bear on a Bus

Community Transit Honors
Outgoing United Way CEO

With the gift of a blue-and-green Swift scarf he can wear to Sounders or Seahawks games, retiring United Way of Snohomish County CEO Dennis Smith was honored at yesterday’s Community Transit Board of Directors meeting.

“We consider Dennis a friend here at Community Transit, and United Way of Snohomish County is a highly valued community partner,” said Community Transit CEO Emmett Heath. “Dennis really understands the connection between public transportation and community health, and transit’s role in helping to break the cycle of poverty.”

In 2015, United Way of Snohomish County gave its first-ever endorsement of a ballot measure by supporting Community Transit’s successful Proposition 1. The increased revenue from Prop 1 allows the agency to greatly expand service in the coming years—including the new Swift Green Line. 

Thank you, Dennis, congratulations on your retirement and enjoy the scarf!

Dennis Smith and Emmett Heath at December 2016 Board Meeting

Board Approves 2017 Budget

The Community Transit Board of Directors yesterday approved the agency’s 2017 Budget. The budget projects the agency will receive $19 million more in sales tax funding than 2016, as the first full year of Prop 1 revenue will be collected. The money will go to new bus service, more buses, more employees to drive and maintain those buses, and new capital projects, most notably the Swift Green Line between Canyon Park/Bothell and Boeing/Paine Field.

In 2017, Community Transit will expand service another 6 percent, starting with more midday, evening and weekend trips in March. A proposal for fall 2017 service expansion will be released for public comment early in the year.

Community Transit’s 2017 Budget assumes operating revenue of $172 million and operating expenses of $134 million. The operating revenues will also fund an ambitious capital program that includes purchase and delivery of 57 new buses, including 17 Double Talls, and the start of construction on the Swift Green Line in late spring.

If you have any questions, please email

CEO Signature

    Emmett Heath, CEO
    Community Transit