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Traffic Congestion Costs

Published:2015-09-12 Local
Traffic Congestion Costs    Print Snohomish Times    
Traffic Congestion Costs

Last fall, travel times between Everett and Seattle increased 25 percent as the rebounding economy led to more people making the commute just as school started, the rain began to fall and daylight got shorter.

This fall, Community Transit is hoping to improve on-time performance by lengthening the scheduled travel time for buses running on I-5 and on a few routes within Snohomish County.

Starting September 27, the agency is investing more than $2 million to adjust times for buses that have had a difficult time staying on schedule due to traffic. That is roughly half the cost of bringing back Sunday bus service in Snohomish County last June. The agency is using funds that had been earmarked for service improvements in 2016 to improve schedule reliability now.

“We want to address the fall traffic issue before it starts,” said Community Transit CEO Emmett Heath. “A lot of research has gone into these trip adjustments, but the final outcome will depend on the daily traffic situation. Bad weather or a single accident can throw all schedules out the window, for single-occupant drivers as well as buses.”

For customers, some bus trips will start earlier, and the average Everett-Seattle trip time will increase about 10 percent, depending on where and when the trip starts. Community Transit’s longest commuter trip runs between Stanwood and Seattle – 54 miles each way.

Routes 115 and 116, which serve Edmonds Community College and the Lynnwood Transit Center, will also see some trips times increase about 10 percent. High passenger volumes and busy traffic around Alderwood Mall have contributed to late buses on those routes, especially at the start of the school year and the holiday shopping season.

While no new bus trips are being added, the trip time adjustments are good news for customers. They will make schedules more reliable and help reduce the add-on effect of later trips being even more delayed as they are not able to start on time.

Community Transit operates six routes to the University District and 13 routes to downtown Seattle each weekday. The agency also operates four Sound Transit bus routes to Seattle (Routes 510, 511, 512 and 513), which will also have trip time adjustments.

New bus schedules are available now online at, and Bus Plus schedule books will be on buses starting Monday, September 14. Real-time bus information for Community Transit buses and Sound Transit routes operated by Community Transit can be found at

In addition to the trip time adjustments, starting September 27, Route 240 will have new routing in Stanwood, and routes serving the Smokey Point Transit Center will have new connection times. All riders are encouraged to view the new schedules for possible time changes.

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