Community Transit University District buses to meet light rail at Northgate in 2021

Maple Leaf light rail portal just south of Northgate. (Photo courtesy Sound Transit)

The Community Transit Board of Directors Friday approved a plan to reroute the agency’s University District bus routes (800-series) to Northgate when Link light rail opens there next fall.

The agency conducted two rounds of public outreach, incorporating feedback and ideas from riders to best provide fast, frequent and all-day connections between Snohomish County buses and light rail.

Travel time on Link from Northgate to the U District is expected to take six minutes, and 14 minutes for Northgate to downtown Seattle.

“We continually heard that riders value speed and reliability in their travel, which are very hard to achieve with increased congestion on I-5 and in the University District,” said Community Transit Director of Planning and Development Roland Behee. “Establishing this bus-light rail connection allows us to provide more service on these routes, and provides multiple travel options for riders to downtown Seattle, or further south.”

The plan adopted by the board will:

  • Route all Community Transit 800-series buses to connect to light rail at the Northgate Station;
  • Add more than 30 bus trips to ensure frequent connections and quick transfers;
  • Consolidate Route 855 into Route 821 with more trips from north county;
  • Redirect Route 810 to bypass the Lynnwood Transit Center due to other connections between Lynnwood and Northgate provided by Sound Transit;
  • Achieve 15-minute frequency northbound during the peak evening commute hours on all 800-series routes, to ensure a fast light-rail-to-bus connection, and increase the overall span of operating hours.

Community Transit’s 400-series routes will continue to provide direct bus service to downtown Seattle.

“This is the first major step in our efforts to reimagine our transit network as we plan for full integration with light rail services in 2024,” Behee said.

In 2024, Link light rail will reach Lynnwood and Community Transit will no longer run buses into Seattle. The agency is planning major outreach efforts next year to engage riders and the public on how it will further restructure its bus network when light rail gets to Snohomish County.

Sound Transit is also considering changes to its Snohomish County bus service when Northgate Link opens. More information on Sound Transit’s plan is available here.

King County Metro Transit will also change bus service to connect to the new Link stations. Changes to service may occur in North Seattle, U District, Shoreline, Bothell, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, and Woodinville. Find out more on Metro’s North Link Connections webpage.

For more information about Northgate Link, visit


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