Update, see below.
The Bush Administration recently changed federal rules around transit agencies providing game-day service to stadiums. Under the new rules, if a private company is interested in operating the routes, the transit agencies need to step aside and let the private company operate the route. The rule itself is a little fishy, if the private company wants to operate the route in addition to the transit agency, what is the problem with that? If the whole idea is to bring market forces to the transportation market, isn’t competition the most fundamental market force?
If that wasn’t bad enough, the new rule has effectively eliminated all shuttle service to Seahawks games. Starline Luxury Coaches of Seattle wanted to operate the route, but the fare would have been higher, and Starline would not have picked up passengers from park-and-ride lots. So the Seahawks wouldn’t agree to the contract, but since Starline is still interested, Metro can’t operate the service. Even if the Seahawks had agreed, the fare would have been $20 instead of just $6 for Metro. As Ben notes above, Sounder will still operate game-day service for regular season games since no one is capable of competing on that route.
So thanks to the Bush Administration, there will be no buses to Seahawks games. George Bush: eliminating opportunities since 2001!
An agreement has been reached with a private vendor for Seahawks service. The new service will cost $12.50 each direction, needs to be ordered 48 hours in advance and may or may not go to park-and-rides. Nice one, Bush!