Senators Cantwell, Murray Announce New $43 Million Grant to Expand Swift Bus Rapid Transit Service in Snohomish County

Grant supports planned expansion that includes 12.5 mile bus rapid transit route and purchase of 13 buses to provide fast, frequent, & reliable service

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced a new $43.19 million grant to Community Transit of Snohomish County that will support a planned expansion of the Swift Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system and help improve transit travel times and reliability for local commuters, families, and businesses. The grant is made possible by the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program, a program championed by both Senators Cantwell and Murray.

“Snohomish County commuters just got a shot in the arm with more funding for Swift Bus Rapid Transit, which will help decrease commute times and boost the regional economy by connecting the Boeing/Paine Field Manufacturing Center with the Canyon Park Regional Growth Center. By expanding this critical transit service, commuters can expect increased reliability, improved travel times, and ultimately less congestion,” said Senator Cantwell.

“As transit ridership increases, we must ensure our transportation systems are evolving to support our growing economy and keep our communities connected. That’s why I’ve continued to champion the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program in Congress, and was proud to help secure funding for the Swift Bus Rapid Transit project,” said Senator Murray. “Strengthening investments in smart transit projects like the Swift Green Line will not only improve travel times and reliability for transit users, but will also reduce traffic for commuters across Snohomish County. I’ll continue fighting to protect and expand vital programs like CIG that are critical to relieving traffic from our nation’s roads, and I’m glad to see funding flow to important, job-generating projects in Washington state that support families and businesses alike.”

“We are very pleased to hear that our Swift Green Line grant has passed this major milestone in the funding process. We are grateful for the support of our congressional delegation, regional partners, and our Board of Directors and employees who have been with us every step of the way,” said Emmett Heath, Community Transit CEO. “The Swift Green Line is fundamental to our promise of the further buildout of a high capacity transit network to serve Snohomish County and the region.”

Senators Cantwell and Murray have fought to strengthen investments in the CIG program, which supports public transportation projects in communities across the United States, and were strong supporters of Community Transit’s efforts to establish their second bus rapid transit route. Community Transit applied for the grant through FTA’s CIG program, and Senator Murray worked successfully to secure the $43.19 million in funding for the Swift Bus Rapid Transit project in the Fiscal Year 2017 federal budget. Additionally, Senators Cantwell and Murray urged the Department of Transportation (DOT) to fund the Swift Bus Rapid Transit project through letters to FTA. Both senators continue to push DOT to implement the CIG program, which President Trump has proposed to eliminate, and fund transit projects vital to improving public transportation across Washington state during hearings in their respective committees. Just last month, Senator Cantwell pressed Secretary Chao on funding transit systems throughout the Puget Sound region in a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on transportation infrastructure. Senator Murray will again have an opportunity to question Secretary Chao on Wednesday at a subcommittee hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Swift Green Line Background

The Swift Green Line will be Community Transit’s second bus rapid transit line, intersecting with the Swift Blue Line which runs along Highway 99. This 12.5 mile east-west route will provide fast, reliable transit service between the Paine Field/Boeing Everett Manufacturing and Industrial Center in Everett starting at the new Seaway Transit Center to the Regional Growth Center at the existing Canyon Park park-and-ride in Bothell. It will include 34 total stations, two transit terminals, 13 new buses, and street improvements with exclusive bus lanes, transit signal priority, and intersection and sidewalk enhancements.

The Swift Green Line will feature departures every 10 minutes on weekdays. The Seaway Transit Center, the north terminal of the Swift Green Line, will serve as a regional hub for Community Transit and make important transit connections with other transit systems operating on I-5 and I-405; and provide connections to Sound Transit’s Lynnwood Link light rail extension. Community Transit expects to begin operations of the Swift Green Line in early 2019 and estimates the project would create 1,250 jobs and support 4,000 daily riders in the first year.