[IMAGE]Swift-BRT-Station-2.jpg[/IMAGE]Snohomish, Wash.-based Community Transit opened the first of four new Swift bus rapid transit stations in Everett Tuesday.
The four new stations were in the original plan for Swift, which opened in November 2009, but were deferred due to funding issues. Everett Transit, which is responsible for funding Swift stations in Everett, was able to secure a grant from the state Regional Mobility program to build the four stations this year.
Swift was the state’s first bus rapid transit line, with buses running every 10 minutes weekdays and every 20 minutes at nights and on Saturdays. The 17-mile Swift line currently serves 12 stations in each direction between Everett Station and the Aurora Village Transit Center in Shoreline.
Riders pay their fare at the stations using ORCA readers or ticket vending machines and board at any of three doors. In its first year, the average “dwell” time a Swift bus was stopped at a station was about 12 seconds.
“We are excited that more people will have access to Swift,” said Community Transit CEO Joyce Eleanor. “This fast, frequent service on this busy corridor has changed peoples’ bus riding habits. We wanted to open this first station as soon as it was done so riders would not have to wait to climb aboard.”
Swift is Community Transit’s highest ridership route, serving more than 3,500 riders each weekday. The newly opened Madison Street station, serving northbound riders, and its southbound counterpart at Pecks Drive will fill in the largest gap on the Swift route. Buses now travel nearly 2 miles without a stop between the Casino Road and 50th Street stations.
The Pecks Drive station and two stations at Evergreen Way and 112th Street will open in early 2011.