According to Community Transit, Snohomish County bus riders will have a direct connection to light rail this fall. The transit’s announcement shared that beginning in early October, people traveling from Snohomish County will have more travel options to and from destinations in King County. Furthermore, Select Community Transit routes and most Sound Transit buses operated by Community Transit will connect to the new 1 Line (Link) light rail station at Northgate.

The general hope is to lessen the travel time for many commuters during peak traffic hours. “Whether riders are going to class at the UW, a job downtown, or to SeaTac Airport, the combination bus-light rail trip provides frequent, easy connections that, in many cases, will decrease overall travel time,” according to the release.

Community Transit CEO, Ric Ilgenfritz is excited about the upgrades. “This connection is a game-changer for people in Snohomish County as it expands all-day, frequent transit options between the two counties,” said Ilgenfritz.  “Having an easy connection to the regional light rail network increases the possibilities for using transit to get to where people want to live, work, or go to school.”

With the new connection to the light rial this fall, specific bus route times are scheduled to be more reliable. Community Transit is redirecting the 800-series bus routes to the 1 Line at Northgate Station instead of going to the U District and the University of Washington. Additionally, Sound Transit Routes 511, 512, and 513 that run between Snohomish County and Seattle will also connect to light rail at Northgate.

The idea is to have riders experience a faster trip at heavy traffic times giving them a more reliable trip. The 1 Line will depart Northgate every eight minutes during peak times. The travel time from Northgate to the U District is expected to take six minutes, and the trip from Northgate to downtown Seattle is expected to take 14 minutes.

The release explains that the Northgate-UW portion of its bus routes, Community Transit will reinvest those service hours by adding 48 trips back to Snohomish County in the afternoon and evening. Because of this, each of the 800-series routes will have a bus leaving Northgate every 15 minutes during the evening commute.

Furthermore, new transit destinations for Snohomish County residents is as follows:

People leaving the 1 Line from Snohomish County will now have direct transit connections to many new locations for the first time. Other than Northgate, riders will be able to go anywhere light rail travels. The destinations include Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, Rainier Beach, Tukwila, and SeaTac Airport. Riders will also be able to catch a bus connection to South Lake Union or First Hill from Northgate, bypassing a trip downtown. Those of you who commute using the Community Transit 400-series routes and Sound Transit Route 510 will be able to continue to provide direct bus service between Snohomish County and downtown Seattle.

Over the following two months, Community Transit staff and Sound Transit will be at transit stops, speaking with community groups, and hosting virtual meetings to help customers map out their bus-light rail trips. You can follow Community Transit on Facebook or Twitter @MyCommTrans to gt updates on outreach events.

Fall service change dates

  • Saturday, October 2:
    • Sound Transit 1 Line light rail opens three new stations: Northgate, Roosevelt and U District.
    • Sound Transit Route 512 will connect to the 1 Line at Northgate Station.
  • Sunday, October 3:
  • Monday, October 4:
    • Community Transit Routes 810, 821, 860, 871, 880, and Sound Transit Routes 511 and 513 will connect to the 1 Line at Northgate Station.

For questions about the Community Transit 2021 Fall Service Change, please contact:

Daniel Albert is an Award-Winning journalist majoring in Integrated Strategic Communications at Washington State University.