Two brief items to add to Ben’s excellent write-up:

  1. If you’re actually trying to get anywhere with Link on opening weekend, give yourself plenty of time.  I’ve heard estimated waits as high as 4 hours, mainly based on the experience Phoenix had with their opening.  The Link shadow bus may actually be a great way to get around.
  2. Be warned that the operating hours are 10am-8pm on Saturday at 10am-6pm on Sunday.  If you’re looking to do a proper pub crawl, as I’ve heard from many people, I suggest you wait until after the 20th, when the usual 1am closing begins.

32 Replies to “Re: Opening Day”

  1. Oh fudge. Got a nice little hotel room in Downtown Seattle to be there for early service. Oh well. Get a 3 AM wake up call and try out New Trusty ;) (I now have a motor chair that has a nice table for laptop and food tray duties)

  2. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s tents pitched for overnight sleepers.

  3. The DSTT will also be closed to buses on that weekend—all the buses will use the surface streets. At least that’s what I heard.

    1. I can confirm that from what I was told by ST personnel this weekend. The DSTT will be trains only.

  4. The more I think about it – I like the Turkish name for their light rail system in Istanbul. Basically – it translates to Light Metro.

  5. I wonder if they’ll only partially fill the trains when they leave Westlake and Tukwila stations. Otherwise people waiting at other stations (like Beacon Hill, where I’ll likely be) won’t be able to get on for hours – until the lines at the termini wind down. I hope the ST crowd control team takes that into consideration.

    1. The mailer I got from ST says that the trains will “pick up a limited number of riders at each station.” Sounds to me like they thought this through.

      1. Yep, it’s thought through, all right. A managed number will be allowed on at each station, so the only time the trains should be “full” is in between the last station on a run and the terminal.

        And at each terminal, EVERYONE gets off, to allow the next managed crowd to enter. No fair riding back and forth all day. If you don’t want to wait through the terminal line, you can take the shadow bus back to any station, or direct to the other terminal.

      2. Can I at least ride through the PSST?

        And does that mean the shadow buses will be running in the tunnel? So, ST’s DE60LF’s?

  6. I understand that they will not let them fill on the ends at Westlake or Tukwila. Also there are events at many of the stations along the way. Stop in and pickup your “Undrivers License” at Othello

    Next Saturday, July 18, we will be celebrating the launch of Sound Transit’s new Link Light Rail line, from Westlake to Tukwila! Ride the rails for free all weekend. Undriver Licensing will be at the Othello Station (MLK & S. Othello) – tell your friends!

    We need a few more folks to run the Licensing Station on July 18 – interested? It’s enjoyable and satisfying to help Undrivers shape their pledges and get licensed. Two shifts, 9:30am-1:30pm, and 1:30-5:30pm. Volunteers get 10 free METRO bus tickets and a lot of satisfaction. To volunteer, email, or call 206-605-5910.

    Victoria emailed us at the end of pledge month to share her Undriving discoveries. Hope this inspires you as much as it did us:

    “The Undriving program has been far more successful than I thought it would be. I pledged to give up driving on Thursday for a month. Not only did I fulfill that pledge, but I wound up taking the bus for almost all my trips – to work, to concerts, to friends’ houses. I found it fun to research how to get places both here and in other towns. I’ve enjoyed riding the bus; it gives me time to read a lot. I also have had fun striking up conversations with strangers. Extra walking has been a great result; I’m feeling fitter than I did in March. Friends of mine have started to think about ways in which they could reduce their car use; one has activated her old bike which has been sitting in her garage for years.
    I had no idea that one small pledge would open the door to changing such an entrenched habit. Thank you to all the volunteers who work with the public.”

    Stories like Victoria’s fuel us forward. What are you discovering from Undriving? Let us know! Watch for more Undriving news and stories later in the summer…and in the meantime, thanks for Undriving,
    – Julia Field and the whole Undriving team

    Thanks to Transportation Choices Coalition and Sustainable South Seattle
    for sponsoring the Undriver Licensing Station!

    “Sometimes, the only available transportation is a leap of faith.” -Margaret

    1. This sounds like a pretty good program. I hope to see a full blown post on the subject. It’s a great incremental way to promote transit. If you own a car and drive it regularly this is a way to increase your mileage by 20%. Car junkies (like me :-) love those sort of stats!

  8. Can someone confirm where the “regular” (i.e. non-inaugural) trains will first be picking people up from? Someone above mentioned Westlake and Tukwila stations. Is that info listed elsewhere? I thought I remember reading on this blog a few months ago some weirdness with where the first pickups were at.

    When do you think people will start lining up at Westlake?

    Is there any more info on how many will be let on beyond the initial pick up station at each end? Assuming 5 people or 10 people, then that means 300 or 250 respectively will be able to get on at the initial station? Or maybe it’s a greater number like 20, which means only 150 on initially?

    1. The regular trains running throughout the weekend will be picking up from every station along the line. The majority of people will probably be getting on at Westlake and Tukwila (the ends of the line), but you can also get on at any of the other stations along the route. As was mentioned before, you’ll have to get off at the end of the line (Westlake or Tukwila) and stand in line to get back on, so you’ll probably want to maximize your ride by getting on at one of the early stations.

      They told us that people may start lining up as much as 2 or more hours before the trains start running. Volunteers have been instructed to show up at 7 on Saturday, with the trains not starting until 10, in anticipation of early crowds.

      They weren’t specific on how many would be let on at each station. My thinking is that they’ll try to keep the waits fairly consistent at each station, so if there are 3000 waiting at Westlake and 300 waiting at SoDo, they’ll probably let 200 per train on at Westlake and only 20 per train at Sodo. That’s what I’d do. They didn’t say that was what would happen, so it may be that they have a set number of spots reserved for each station. The majority of boardings should be Westlake and Tukwila.

      1. 5 AM wakeup call (I’m staying Friday night at the Mayflower) for 5:30 AM arrival? ;)

      2. The regular trains running throughout the weekend will be picking up from every station along the line.

        Yes, but will the *first* pick-up in each direction definitely be Westlake and Tukwila? I’ll have to go through the archives here, but in the past someone suggested/mentioned that initially an empty train will head north and then head south and first pick people up at sodo or somewhere.

      3. The first trains of the day (I’m pretty sure) will start at Mount Baker, with one going North and one South. So I guess they’ll deadhead out of the yard.

      4. hm, okay. So if we want to be on the first “public” rides at 10am, we should show up at Mt. Baker, although those rides will only last for 5-7 stops. If we want to ride the full length, starting at Westlake or Tukwila should be fine.

    2. I know I’m camping out at the Mayflower (before I learned of the weekend 10 AM opening, still going to spend Friday night there).

      My family is up here for opening weekend (my mother thinks she’s going to drive in from Bellevue – good luck with I-90 and SR-520 being a mess anyways, let alone with I-90 repairs – and I laughed in her face(it’s ok if you all want to also))

    3. It will not really matter how many spaces are held for others beyond the terminal stations… there will be tens of thousands of folks all over the place angling to get a ride. Be prepared for LONG waits – a friend an I waited for about 2 hours for the Portland Streetcar on its opening day in 2001 and apparently the crowds were huge in Phoenix last winter. As stated previously, wear comfortable shoes, bring water and a ton of patience. There IS NO secret way to get on.

  9. Does anyone know why they aren’t running longer trains on opening weekend? Seems like this would be the time to run the 3 or 4 car trains…

    1. Because we don’t own enough cars to run 3-4 car trains every 5 minutes.

      1. I think it’s long enough for three. Oran had a video of a three car train running through the tunnel, so it must be possible.

      2. I think the stub tunnel was built long enough for 4 cars. At some point the construction for U-Link is going to cut the tunnel length down to only hold 2 cars, but I don’t know if that has happened yet.

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