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Community Transit: Promising Tomorrow with Responsibility Today

Community Transit talks about responsibility to our community, built on sustainability, innovation and customer service.

 

 

Sustainability

Since 1976, Community Transit has been committed to its mission of serving the public transportation needs of Snohomish County. With a long-term plan and a dedicated workforce, the agency has responded to the changing needs of our community to ensure that transportation options continue to be efficient and accessible. By our fiscal integrity, Community Transit demonstrates responsible stewardship of public funds. And along with saving resources and easing congestion, Community Transit uses hybrid and clean diesel technologies to reduce pollution for a healthier planet.

Customer Service

Safe, friendly and reliable transportation is the hallmark of Community Transit’s service. With efficient and streamlined local and commuter service throughout Snohomish County and Seattle, we are connecting people and building communities. And smart card technology delivers seamless customer access to other regional transportation providers.

The Dial-A-Ride Transportation program provides hundreds of rides a day to people whose disability or condition prevents them from using Community Transit regular route buses. DART gives mobility and quality of life to people who might otherwise be homebound and unable to access work, health care, education or social activities.

Innovation

Community Transit brought bus rapid transit to the region, introducing Swift to increase connectivity to work, school and shopping with fast, frequent service. We are also delivering a way to transport more people in a smaller space with The Double Tall, only the second double-decker bus used in regular service nationwide. And we are currently developing and implementing advanced transit technologies to benefit our customers, drivers and support staff with real-time information and performance data.

Efficiency

Transit helps build the solution. We target our public funds to increase the functionality and efficiency of the roads on which we all travel. More than a million people along Highway 99 benefit from Community Transit’s transportation options every year, whether they use our service or not. On I-5, each of Community Transit’s 200 commuter buses eliminates about 40 cars from the interstate, helping to move commerce and reduce congestion.

Community Transit provides bus service on 46 routes within Snohomish County and to downtown Seattle and the University of Washington. Every city in the county except Everett is part of Community Transit’s Public Transportation Benefit Area (map).

Vanpools are among the most efficient transportation modes, and Community Transit has one of the largest programs in the country.

As a regional transportation provider, Community Transit is contracted to operate five Sound Transit routes from Snohomish County to King County. Community Transit helped develop the ORCA smart card, which gives riders an alternative to passes and cash on transit systems in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

Community Transit also brings Business Solutions to more than 80 employer worksites as part of Commute Trip Reduction programs, which lower the number of single occupancy vehicles on our busy roads. Our Curb the Congestion program targets high-congestion corridors to get people out of their cars and reduce the need for costly road improvements.

Community Transit History

Over the past three decades, Community Transit has grown from a small, local bus service into a leader in providing transportation options for the Puget Sound region. From a thriving vanpool program to Swift, the state's first bus rapid transit line, Community Transit has been at the forefront of helping Snohomish County residents to think transit first.

Community Transit began service Oct. 4, 1976, after voters in Lynnwood, Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Woodway, Marysville and Snohomish agreed to form their own local transit agency. With 18 leased GMC buses, Community Transit began serving seven routes in those communities.

That first year, Community Transit buses provided 951,200 rides. As one long-time driver recalled, the agency didn't have specific stops on routes back then. Drivers had to keep a sharp eye out for riders, who would flag down a passing bus.

After beginning with non-existent bus stops, the agency now serves more than 2,100 stops, including 20 park and ride lots with more than 6,100 parking stalls, including the four-story Mountlake Terrace Transit Center which opened in 2009.

Growth has been a big part of Community Transit's history. Since starting in the seven original communities, citizens in every city in the county except Everett have voted to join the agency: Monroe and Lake Stevens in 1977; Stanwood, Granite Falls, Mukilteo and Sultan in 1979; Arlington in 1980; Gold Bar, Index and Startup in 1981; Oso and Darrington in 1982; Mill Creek in 1983; Bothell in 1992; and Silver Firs and Tulalip in 1997.

Community Transit's Public Transportation Benefit Area has a population of about half a million people (498,815 in 2009). Click here for a map of the PTBA (large pdf).

Community Transit Facts
  • Approximately 9.1 million passenger boardings in 2012. Our peak year was 2008, with 11.8 million passenger boardings.
  • There are 26 local bus routes within Snohomish County, including Swift bus rapid transit. There are also 20 commuter routes to Seattle (14 to downtown and six to UW).
  • Service area: 1,305 square miles.
  • There are 22 park & ride lots with 7,355 parking spaces, and an additional 15 park & pool lots with 428 leased parking spaces.
  • About 33,500 passengers use our service on an average weekday.
  • Swift bus rapid transit served more than 1.2 million riders in 2012; about 4,100 each weekday.
  • Two-thirds of Community Transit riders use local service within Snohomish County.
  • Sixty-eight percent of weekday boardings occur during peak commute hours.
  • Forty percent of Snohomish County residents who work in downtown Seattle get there by bus.