Ever since the construction float disappeared in the Beacon Hill tunnel, the July 3 completion date for Link light rail was under threat. Today, Sound Transit announced that the opening date will be Saturday, July 18.
I’m told that part of the reason for a two-week delay, besides a margin of error, was to avoid the added demand from both July 4 festivities and the Mariners home game on Saturday, July 11. That gives them a couple of days to handle all the for-fun riders and work out the kinks before a Monday morning commute.
Given all that padding we’d consider this date extremely unlikely to slip.
Riders won’t have to pay a fare to try out Link during the inaugural weekend.
[NOTE: This post has been revised as more information came in. Some of the comments below refer to earlier versions of the post, which erroneously referred to July 3 as a previously announced opening date; in fact, it was the project completion date.]