Community Transit has issued its proposed 2024 budget.
In 2024, Community Transit plans to launch the Swift Orange Line bus rapid transit (BRT) project and prepares to leverage Sound Transit’s fall 2024 opening of congestion-free light rail to Lynnwood by reallocating its longtime investments in bus routes serving King County to fund more travel options within Snohomish County. People will have more access to fast and frequent service and connections to other transportation services, including Link light rail in Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace and Shoreline. The improvements are outlined in the “Transit Changes in 2024 & Beyond” plan the Community Transit Board of Directors adopted earlier this year.
In keeping with past practice, Community Transit has proposed a balanced 2024 budget. Operating revenues exceed operating expenditures and all reserves are fully funded. Total 2024 budgeted operating revenues equal $273.3 million. Total 2024 budgeted operating expenditures equal $231.6 million.
Projects and programs funded in the proposed 2024 budget include:
- Swift BRT project: Community Transit’s third BRT line, Swift Orange Line, launches next spring. The Swift Orange Line will connect to the Swift Blue and Swift Green lines to provide a network of fast, frequent transit service in south Snohomish County and a direct connection to light rail in Lynnwood.
- Light rail and local network improvements: There will be local improvements to Community Transit’s bus network that are made possible by the Link light-rail extension into Snohomish County. These changes include new express bus connections to Link from most parts of the county, higher frequency in local service and a longer span of frequent service throughout the day and evenings.
- Zero-emission program: Community Transit says 2024 will see a big step forward on its zero-emission journey, as it begins serving riders with battery-electric and fuel-cell buses. Community Transit's primary activity in 2024 will be studying how a 40-foot battery electric bus and a 40-foot hydrogen fuel cell bus perform in service. Lessons learned from this pilot will inform future zero-emission bus purchases.
- Innovative services: The Innovative Services program reflects Community Transit’s commitment to exploring new ways to bridge the “first-mile, last-mile” challenge and address community transportation gaps to make it easier for people to choose transit. In 2024, Zip Alderwood Shuttle, a microtransit pilot, begins its first full year as a regular service offering. The budget funds the creation of new innovative service pilot projects in three new communities -- Arlington, Darrington and Lake Stevens – and planning for three more communities.
- Safety and security focus: The budget supports increased safety and security, including the first full year of funding for the new Transit Security Officer (TSO) program deployed in 2023. TSOs enforce the agency’s Rules of Conduct. The agency will also continue to contract with the Snohomish County Sherriff’s Office to employ a social worker.
- Service delivery: The proposed budget supports growing and maintaining a top-notch workforce of coach operators and mechanics to support long-term service growth. Community Transit is committed to strengthening the employee experience and places a strong emphasis on developing and maintaining a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion.