Limited weekday bus service from Snohomish County to Redmond will start July 16, coinciding with the opening of new offices of the Safeco Insurance Co. in the Eastside city.
Although the Community Transit bus service will be available to riders other than insurance company employees, CT is short of equipment and will not be able to expand service immediately to fill what could be a more extensive demand.
This is the second area CT will serve east of Lake Washington. In 1987, four round trips between Snohomish County and downtown Bellevue were initiated.
Safeco, which has been encouraging its employees to use bus and van service, requested the CT bus service after studying where the company's Snohomish County employees live. The company's new Redmond office is at 15411 51st St. N.E.
Nearly one of every five CT bus riders to the University District is employed at Safeco, said Ken Graska, director of the bus system. Safeco plans to employ about 1,000 at the Redmond offices, he said.
Two round trips will go to Redmond beginning July 16. The fare for the 50-minute ride will be $1.35 each way, or $51 for a monthly bus pass - the same as the commuter price to downtown Seattle. A CT staff report said Safeco is expected to subsidize $35 of the cost of the pass for its employees.
The plan is to time the trips for arrival in Redmond at 7:30 a.m., leaving Safeco at 4:40 in the evening. Route 441 will pick up
passengers at the Edmonds and Lynnwood park-and-ride lots and possibly the one in Mountlake Terrace before going via Interstate 405.
Route 442 will pick up in South Everett and at a new point that will be established at the North Creek Presbyterian Church at 164th Street and Mill Creek Boulevard, then generally follow the Bothell-Everett Highway and include a pickup stop at Canyon Park. Passengers will not be discharged at Canyon Park.
The bus system has developed what it considers a conservative estimate that the two round trips to Redmond will carry a total of 67 passengers each way - 80 percent of the capacity of the coaches.