CHOKEPOINTS

‘Reliable’ travel time from Everett to Seattle now 1.5 hours in the morning

Dec 26, 2017, 10:45 AM | Updated: 10:20 pm
travel time, traffic, Washington drivers...
Traffic linked to events at KeyArena is inevitable. But will the new owners be able to fix it? (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

If you’re traveling in the general purpose lanes from Everett to Seattle during the week, you should give yourself more than an hour.

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According to a new report from the Washington State Department of Transportation, a “reliable” travel time from Everett to Seattle (23 miles) was 94 minutes in 2016.

A “reliable” travel time is the time drivers should give themselves to guarantee that they will arrive at their destination on time. It is longer than the average commute, which took 58 minutes last year.

Below is a comparison of travel times in 2014 and 2016:

Everett to Seattle (7:15 a.m. on weekdays):

Avg. commute in general purpose lanes

  • 2014: 51 minutes
  • 2016: 56 minutes

Reliable travel times in general purpose lanes

  • 2014: 85 minutes
  • 2016: 94 minutes

Seattle to Everett (4:20 p.m.):

Avg. commute in general purpose lanes

  • 2014: 44 minutes
  • 2016: 52 minutes

Reliable travel times in general purpose lanes

  • 2014: 63 minutes
  • 2016: 72 minutes

Meanwhile, the commute into and out of Seattle to the south also increased. The average commute time from Federal Way into Seattle increased from 52 minutes in 2014 to 58 minutes in 2016. The trip back increased from 35 minutes to 39 minutes.

The Washington State Department of Transportation notes that I-5 makes up about 58 percent of the region’s traffic delays. The state defines a delay when average speeds are slower than 85 percent of the posted speed limit.

Despite some of the corridor being served by light rail, commuter rail, buses and HOV lanes, delays increased 29 percent on I-5 between Federal Way and Everett, according to the state.

The cause of the worsening traffic? A thriving economy, according to the state. The report notes that many people working in Seattle have been pushed out by the high-priced housing market; forcing them to commute in.

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‘Reliable’ travel time from Everett to Seattle now 1.5 hours in the morning