A week from today, I bet most of us are going to be somewhere along the length of Link – some of us riding it for the first time, some watching others get their first experience, some volunteering. Behind all that, Sound Transit will be dealing with the largest event they’ve ever organized.
To begin I want to note – Sound Transit has enough vehicles for regular service, not an all-out attack like opening day is likely to be. Trains will be running every few minutes – likely a two-car train every few minutes in each direction – but wait times to ride are expected to be long. As I understand it, trains will be running as often as possible, not just every 7-8 minutes.
Waitng will be fairly organized – not everyone will simply pile onto the platform. Sound Transit will be actively managing the number of people on each train on opening day, and will only allow those who are getting on the next train onto a platform at any given time. It’s probably going to be hot. Bring water, wear a wide-brim hat, wear sunscreen. Sound Transit will have stations so you can refill your water bottle, too.
It sounds like there should be entertainment at most stations. A full list is available from Sound Transit here (PDF), but I’m pretty sure if you just off the train, you’ll find something interesting. I’d recommend avoiding Stadium Station midday, as the Sounders play Chelsea on Saturday, and it’s likely to be a madhouse. Portable toilets will be available at all stations on opening weekend – normally public restrooms are not provided at Link stations.
Ribbon cutting should be at Mount Baker Station at 10 am, and the inaugural ride should start there, for those who have tickets. Rumor has it that a giveaway might be what’s going on @ST_TravelLight on twitter. That’s also who you want to follow for opening day news.
Note that if you take the train to a new station and don’t want to wait in line for hours to get home, there will be free shuttles from Sound Transit from station to station, as well as your usual Metro service, which won’t be free.
Any questions about opening day? Only a week to go! And this is an open thread.