By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
In a vote of 4-1, the Mill Creek City Council approved a development agreement with Community Transit regarding the design and construction of a new rapid transit bus station on 164th Street SE at their September 22, 2020, meeting.
Councilmember Vince Cavaleri was the sole dissenting vote. He said he wasn’t happy with the bus station location and the lack of commuter parking in the area.
The new Swift Orange Line development agreement specifies that Community Transit will be responsible for all bus station design and construction costs and will pay $7,000 to the city for stormwater mitigation and plan review fees.
Community Transit is now in the design phase of their Swift Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit Project, which is scheduled to begin running buses in 2024. Sound Transit’s Lynnwood Light Rail Station should be completed at about the same time, making it much easier for Mill Creekers to use public transportation to get to Seattle, the University of Washington, SeaTac, Federal Way, Bellevue, and Redmond.
Swift Rapid Transit buses arrive at bus stations every 10 minutes much of the day and operators strive to keep stops brief in order to minimize travel time. Riders use ORCA cards to pay their fares, so entering the bus doesn’t involve fare collection.
As shown in the route map above, the Orange Line will run east from Edmonds College in Lynwood to the Light Rail Station, north past Alderwood Mall to 164th Street SE, east to Bothell-Everett highway, and then north to McCollum Park and Ride.
There will be four Orange Line bus stations in Mill Creek. Three will be shared with the Green Line on Bothell-Everett Highway and one new station will be built on 164th Street SE just west of Mill Creek Boulevard.
As can be seen in the following diagram, the new Orange Line bus station on 164th Street SE will be different than most other Swift bus stations in that buses will pull off the roadway providing better sight-lines for traffic safety at the Mill Creek Boulevard intersection.
164th Street SE Swift Orange Line bus station diagram. Image courtesy of Community Transit.