[UPDATE 2/11 8:00 am: The online schedule now reflects the entire change as reported below, with some errors corrected. Basically two trips that used to start at Mt. Baker are now starting at Stadium instead.]
As announced on, of all places, Mayor McGinn’s blog by staffer Aaron Pickus, Sound Transit has tweaked the routine of the first couple of trains in the morning to allow earlier connections to the airport. This change took is reported to have taken effect this morning and is not reflected in the printed schedule books available now. However, the online Link Schedule (.pdf) is accurate.
The three changes are:
- The first Northbound train starts at SODO two minutes earlier (4:57) than before on weekdays. This brings it in line with the first train on Saturdays.
- A new southbound train departs Stadium (because the tunnel doesn’t open till 5) at 4:33, arriving at the airport at 5:14, Monday through Saturday. This arrives just behind the first train leaving Mt. Baker Southbound. [UPDATE: that first train is limited to 25mph because it’s the “sweep train” that checks the track for problems. The new train is too close behind to run any faster.]
- Monday through Friday, a train leaves Stadium at 5:14am and arrives at Seatac at 5:45. This is not listed on the schedule (so we haven’t confirmed it exists). This would be second revenue train each day to depart Southbound from above Mt. Baker.
These changes allow earlier trips from downtown-ish to the airport, which used to be served by the 194. Pickus also helpfully provides this chart (pdf) of what buses can get you from downtown to Stadium at that time of day. That chart is also the source of the second train that isn’t on the schedule.
I’ve asked Sound Transit why this change is so irregular, and about the schedule discrepancies.