WSDOT workers are removing the scaffolding from their giant project over Stadium station this weekend, so they have to shut off the wires.  As a result, from 10pm Friday till closing time Sunday, Link trains will turn around at Sodo Station and a free bus will serve Stadium and the tunnel stops every 15 minutes.

52 Replies to “No Link Service Downtown this Weekend”

  1. Three words come to mind here: “Rail replacement service” During a short stint working in London I saw that phrase a lot and came to despise it. Let’s hope ST is a little more on the ball with it – One example would be to, and I know this will seem revolutionary, synchronize the buses to the rail service. You’d think that the British, who have had the tube for over 150 years and buses almost as long would have this down pat. But sadly, no.

  2. Of course this happens on a weekend that I have to take a plane. I guess I’ll add another 15 minutes to my buffer – just like I used to with the bus.

    1. Did I say 15 minutes? Sorry, I used to have to put in an hour buffer – and once I used up that and more.

      1. Why would you have to do that? Another ten minutes would be enough for you to hop on a southbound bus at the tunnel station you would otherwise have used and transfer at Stadium.

      2. Do buses stop at Stadium? It seems to me that this is a Link-only platform. Not that the difference between a 10-minute buffer or 15-minute buffer is significant.

      3. There is a bus stop at Stadium, it’s on the west side of the busway, but I think you’ll have to transfer at Sodo because trains won’t be serving Stadium Station.

      4. Yes, you’re right, I meant to write SODO. I think those buses stop at SODO.

      5. Transfers this weekend will be at SODO Station, not Stadium. Stadium Station needs to be shut down for the falsework removal.

      6. Thanks – I didn’t catch that on the first reading. I’m not sure if the 106 and 150 *do* stop down there.

      7. 101, 106 and 150 will be serving the tunnel and SODO Station too. So, you can also use those routes to connect from the tunnel to Link at SODO Station. Of course you will need an ORCA card to do this, or else you will need to pay fare on both.

      8. Someone at Metro and ST need to knock heads together and allow paper transfers this weekend. Paid for by the asphalt-heads at WashDOT!

      9. Why would we do that for people already starting at stations where they can buy an ORCA?

      10. Oh, no! Not another hour-long line at the customer service window for people who take the name of the Ticket Vending Machines literally!

  3. The signs at Westlake say the bus will run every 15-20 minutes, so it’ll be less often than the regular Link schedule.

    1. It will however roughly correspond to the reduced frequency on Link which as I understand it will be 15 minutes all weekend.

  4. Sorry, uh, why can this not be done during the overnight hours for a week or so? Why must it be done all at one time without pause?

    Why are transit riders inconvenienced by selfish or inept construction management? Because we know that private automobile addicts would not be.

    And if you insist on proceeding as proposed, do yourselves a favor ST, KCM and WashDOT and be ready to handle the Monday Morning commute through Stadium when the scaffolding removal “hits a snag”.

    1. I think you answered your own question.
      They didn’t want to to worry about ‘snags’ every morning after a night of work.

    2. From the news release:

      “Completing the work in one weekend avoids up to 30 nights of service disruption.”

      This is a decision project managers had to make. It’s the same thing with highway closures.

    3. The entirety of I-5 has been shut down before, and the Viaduct closes periodically for whole weekends for inspections. Not to mention that this project has entailed the shutting down of at least one street for a long time. Oh and lets not forget that light rail construction has closed one off ramp from I-5, and a couple of streets.

      These kinds of things are part and parcel of any transportation system. You are seeing persecution where there is none.

      1. OK, I stand corrected. You’ll excuse my cynicism- it is based on years of experience.

    4. 520 closes for whole weekends for similar reasons. This happens. Don’t freak out.

    5. For heavens sake cool yourself – this might end up being an OK project. It’s hard to tell at the moment as it looks like spagetti junction around Birmingham in England but I am sure it will look nice enough when its done. Give WSDOT a break here.

    1. Yup. Thanks again!

      Fortunately, this project does a lot to make things safer and faster for Sounder and Cascades trains, so I really shouldn’t have kvetched so much.

      But, I do remember attending one of the first public meetings for these WSDOT ramps in 1998, I think. Glad to see asphalt projects moving as slowly as transit ones.

  5. I have to take a flight that departs 5 AM from Seatac. Any rec’s on an inexpensive reliable towncar or taxi option that will pick me up at 330 AM from my house? I kinda want to go with STITA but dunno if they do pickup.

    1. Some folks don’t like Shuttle Express, and they will want to pick you up at 0230 -but in 20 years I’ve only had one un-good (thought not bad) experience with them -I have not used them, however, since 18 July 2009.

    2. Meh, I tend to just take the last train the night before when I’m doing a flight like that. Then I can hang out in the airport for a few hours and work.

      1. What day are you flying? I’m heading out next early in the morning of April 17th.

  6. thank you Lloyd! there are 2-3 of us leaving from the same location…some other neighbors rec’d plain ol yellow cab since they have so many vehicles and the timing is critical. I’d like not to dump more than $50 into the operation…i’ll be taking LINK back from the airport.

  7. Something that might not be clear about this weekend’s Link/bus operation. Headways on the Rt. 97 shuttle buses will match that of the Link trains, so, in theory anyway, at the transfer point at SODO Station, when everyone exits off a northbound train and transfers to the bus, that bus can depart immediately, rather than having to wait for a scheduled departure time. (Now, let’s hope it happens that way…)

    1. Then why does the press release say the buses will run every 15 minutes…?

    2. If in fact Link headways are being increased to 15 minutes that weekend, I find that intensely annoying.

  8. Just make the replacement shuttle buses free.

    My money says there won’t be signage telling people about the other buses that serve SODO Station, since Metro in the past has assumed updates on the website reach the general populace.

  9. Just came home from downtown. They are playing automated announcements over the speakers and message boards in the tunnel saying “May I have your attention please? Central Link light rail will not operate in the Downtown Transit Tunnel from Fri Mar 5 10 pm to Mon Mar 8 5 am …” something like that, my bus left the station before I could see the ending. The voice is the usual announcement lady. Is it some kind of text-to-speech system? I think it is, because she always pronounces “Link LIGHT rail”.

    Come to think of it, this kind of thing happens to the trolley buses every weekend. They shut off the power due to construction or maintenance along the wires and substitute diesel buses for some routes or the entire system.

    1. yeah, and it sucks every weekend we have to listen to the diesels going up and down the hills :)

    2. I can’t stand the quality of the audio announcements in the tunnel. Sometimes it’s pretty much unitelligible and you have to read the scrolling signboard simultaneously to figure out what was said. I’m pretty sure it’s a “robo-voice” system, which I realize is needed if you need to bang out a temporary announcement in a hurry. But couldn’t they afford to hire some decent real live voice-over talent for the messages that don’t tend to change frequently (“Do not cross or stand in the roadway”, etc.)?

      1. I’d like that message to scroll continuously with audio alerts every 5-10 minutes. Much better than showing the useless “Downtown Transit Tunnel” or “Welcome to [insert station name here]” text.

  10. Just to confirm again, Central Link and the connection shuttle (Rt. 97 operating with Metro buses) are both operating 15 minute headways all weekend long.

    I was at SODO Station for a while, before 11:00 this evening, and the transfers appeared to go smoothly in both directions.

    1. Then 15 minute headways is a reduction in LINK service from the normal 10 minute headway weekends until 10PM.

    2. I was in the tunnel at 10:45 pm Friday, waiting about 10 minutes for the 550. The only notice I saw about the Link shutdown was an inconspicuous 8.5″ x 11″ rider alert pasted to the wall at the platform. Two 97 Shuttles came and went; a few people got on each. No announcements, no one around to help, no action from any transit personnel including the drivers.

      Very disappointing. The platform should have been virtually littered with large signs saying essentially NO TRAINS TONIGHT – GET ON THE BUS.

      1. @Jason Kelly. You must have walked right passed the sandwich boards. Announcements were being made ALL day Thursday and Friday. Trust me.

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