44 Replies to “Close of Business Saturday”

  1. I was on the last northbound train. I also quite possibly hold the dubious distinction of being the first drunk person to ride Link (Columbia City Ale House’s Light Rail Ale was so good I couldn’t help having a pint or five).

    Amazingly a lot of people were still unaware about the opening today – I evangelized to a few people at the Ale House myself. Hopefully everyone who rode today will go home and tell their friends and we’ll see a total close to the 100,000 figure that Sound Transit planned for.

  2. Speaking personally, but I thought the crowds were way down on what I was expecting for launch day and the train I went on was not full. I will do a proper tour when this things opens fully on Monday, including the airport shuttles.

    I also thought that ST was a little stingy on the giveaways and felt they should have had more in the way of pamphlets and other exciting information to give out.

    The train itself was very smooth and I only got out once at Tukwila. It seemed to me that MLK still looked very depressed but TOD should correct some of this, but this will likely take longer than first thought because of the recession.

    It was nice to see the other side of the old Rainier Brewery before entering the tunnel and the sweeping trips down to Tukwila from the end of the Rainier Valley had some great views of the I-5, Duwamish River and Mt Rainier in the distance. I still think they need a stop though at the Boeing Access Road.

    If I was disappointed, it was probably because I took my turn on the train after watching the Sounders lose to Chelsea and that was a big mistake as it had me down for much of the rest of the day!


    1. I agree with the ST giveaways. Today, they basically had all their standard information. At the minor Othello Safety Street Fair a while back, they had water bottles and green bags and slinkys (?). Today, I didn’t even see any paper fold-up Link cars.

      1. Or temp tattoos (which I got a year ago from ST), t-shirt sales, pictures, or anything besides basic information.

      2. Sales tax revenue! I think they’d have a nasty PR hit if they spent a lot on trinkets when other agencies are cutting service.

    2. At least Chelsea came with some top players. They didn’t want to lose to some colonialist newbies. And they played in their home colours.

      From their website report…
      This sunny midday kick-off in Seattle delivered both a worthy test of fitness and some bright football for the big crowd, especially early on, with the home side asking enough questions of the Chelsea defence to sharpen a few minds and reflexes.

  3. Speaking of operating hours tomorrow. Come Monday, according to the schedule in the Columbia City Station, the last train departs Columbia City for Westlake and Tukwila sometime after noon. (12:xx p.m.) The green shirt “staff” person on site was still trying to figure out the difference between a.m. and p.m. at the 12:00 hour by the time we boarded the train. :-)

      1. Yeah, but apparently that’s not ST’s strong point, either. Orcacard.com transaction histories show 00:00 PM for 12 noon.

  4. First, let me say I LOVE SEATTLE! This is my first time here. Second, congratulations on the new system! Everyone I talked to on the inaugural ride this morning couldn’t stop talking about the smooth ride all the cool design features at each station. I must admit, I’m a bit jealous! :) Our system is very nice in Phoenix but yours.. well… it kicks ass!!! Y’all should be very proud.

    1. Hey, thanks for coming! I’m sorry we missed you – didn’t Adam talk to you on the phone at one point?

    We went there to ride to the Sounders game.. Only parking was for handicap. Many open spots not marked Handicap.. maybe 100, but held for handicap. We ended up driving downtown for the game.. I doubt I’ll ever take light rail. What ever happen to getting people out of their cars. A waste of money for those select few.. LOSERS run the Government

    I found this comment on Komo 4 and thought it was hilarious. I can’t name who commented it.

    This is an opening day, duh?! ….they warned about parking….so an idiot award goes to him. He could have used Tukiwila station for park and ride during regular service.

    1. It’s called: catch the bus from your home to the Link stations

      what a sourpuss

    2. There are economists and others who are predicting that once the recession is over, the price of crude oil will skyrocket. Would you still be taking the car if gasoline is $20 a gallon? The cities that are building rapid transit, in whatever form, now will be ahead of the game.

      1. Not “if gasoline is $20 a gallon” – WHEN!
        Jessica’s right – what a sourpuss!

    3. Maybe instead of trying the system on opening weekend he could have just taken the Sounder! Sure the ride wouldn’t have been free, but there were two south line trains serving the game yesterday…

    4. I think it’s hilarious that the KOMO commenter knew it was for “getting people out of their cars” but had trouble with getting out of his own car. It’s like it never occurred to him to leave the car at home and walk, ride, or take the bus to one of the stations.

  6. Galen, I hear ya. We got scammed. They sold us light rail as being system that will get cars off the freeway, but built something else. And how’s this for making sense … Link will crisscross I-5 THREE TIMES when the U-Link line opens up.

    1. Link will go under I-5 in two new tunnels (Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill) and the Tukwila overpass, none of which existed before. It’s called new transportation options, and it certainly does help lessen the growth of traffic. In case you hadn’t noticed, buses can’t magically fly through hills or over freeways when the roads are packed.

      1. rush hour. rainier is more reliable for southbound to i5 from columbia city in the am

      2. Are you kidding? MLK is packed all the time. We’d often wait two or three light cycles at several intersections when I was checking out the line recently.

      3. “It’s called new transportation options”

        It’s like a new freeway, essentially. That’s how the rail systems are used in Russia, London, and New York.

      1. Hey, I’m for light rail. The light rail system we were sold. A regional transportation system designed to get cars off the freeway. That’s how it was sold to us! That’s not what we got. We got something that’s primary purpose it to revitalize the Rainier Valley. Yes, I know this is just the first line, but I think it could have been so much more.

        And when was the last time anyone heard a PM traffic report even mentioning MLK?

      2. Wait, are you serious??? It will cross I-5 THREE TIMES??! I guess it won’t help me get around with out a car, given all those I-5 crossings!

        Darn. It looked good on paper.

      3. Sam: you got scammed alright.

        By transit opponents who filled your head with mush.

        The purpose of light rail is not to make it easier for you to drive.

        Similarly, the purpose of light rail is not to provide a shuttle for you to get to the airport.

        If you knew the first thing about transportation, you would know that putting trains where there are no people = no ridership and extremely high operating subsidies.

        Light rail runs through the valley, because that’s where the people are. You don’t need to be a rocket surgeon to figure that out.

      4. I hear not reports of traffic on MLK but traffic reports every day of congestion between Boeing Access Road and I-90 where streets from Beacon Hill and the Valley feed into I-5.

      5. So have you started thinking about where you can live and work so you can take advantage of the train? The same way that others locate near freeway exits?

      6. Sam, I thought you walked everywhere, so why the ” ” do care about getting people out of their cars? And what on earth does the number of times it crosses I-5 have to do with anything? And were you even here when we voted on it in 1996, because it looks to me like ST is building exactly what I voted yes on 13 years ago. Please explain how ST’s system of light rail, commuter rail and express buses is failing to get people out of their cars and please explain how it is not regional. The ’96 vote never promised a regional system of light rail, it created a regional transit authority to run express buses, commuter rail and an initial light rail line. I think your version of history is a little fuzzy.

  7. I didn’t comment that as I found it from Komo 4 comments…pls read carefully! :)

  8. Everyone has to remember that’s its a lot cheaper than just rebuilding 520 bridge or the Alaskan viaduct which is few billion dollars and a lot shorter. Light rail technically can handle up to around 12OOO passengers per hour per direction with 4 car train. That’s theorically maximum of 240,000 passengers moved in 20 hour period for ONE direction.

  9. Good morning everyone :)

    Rolling around with Old Trusty today and will have a report on using a manual wheelchair when Link opens

    1. I’ll be out today as well! If I see a manual wheelchair, I’ll say hi.

      1. I’m easy to spot: my little brother “clings to me like glue ;)” (he’s 24 / I’m 27, but I love him to death) and, even indoors, I wear sunglasses because of eye damage when I was younger

  10. Jessica, Sounds good and let us know how it goes. :) I may take light rail again after my work because its fun!

  11. Rolling into Westlake again; minor issue:
    Brother asked ST person where elevator was, told to use escalator. MUCH apologies when they saw me roll up

    Will have report when in Tukwila

  12. One thing I forgot to ask in a previous post, why in the world do the electronic signs in the stations not tell you when the next train is coming??? Is this just a factor of it being opening weekend or something? Will this feature come on Monday? I’d be dumbfounded if this isn’t a part of the system.

    1. Apparently it’s coming “within the next two months.” Yeah, I’m baffled as to why this isn’t available right now either.

  13. NSBill, I was wondering about the same thing yesterday. I sure hope they have the feature and it would be neat for sure.

  14. Rolling around in Old Trusty was just as easy as New Trusty yesterday

    good job Sound Transit :)

    only snaffu was as I posted above about needing the elevator

    is Inner Chapters open today? Going to have to Ride the SLUT and get shirts for my family :P

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