Due to electrical problems on the elevated section between Rainier Beach and Sea-Tac, Link service has been suspended on that portion of the route until further notice.  A bus bridge is in place between Rainier Beach and Sea-Tac, and Link service remains available from Westlake to Rainier Beach.  Expect long delays.

More info on this as it becomes available.

[UPDATE: As of 10:00am service had been restored.  The new alert showing resumed service was slow to arrive.]

36 Replies to “RIDER ALERT: Link Service Suspended Between Rainier Beach and Sea-Tac”

  1. I got a text at 946 saying service had resumed. At 1016, the website still says service is suspended.

  2. I was on the South-bound train, stuck outside Othello station from 8:40 to 9:40, so the entire South-bound system was affected during that time, though I saw a few trains heading north while we sat there.

  3. I appreciate that ST at least has a bus bridge contingency plan.

    It’s still no substitute for more frequency on the 124 so Boeing workers don’t have to risk their jobs taking transit.

    The 124 takes care of the bus bridge needs for most of the incidents that have shut down a section of Link so far, if it just ran more often.

    I also think it would help commuters more to send the bus bridge to downtown rather than the southernmost point of the intact line.

    1. Is the bus bridge contingency plan really all that effective when riders like Chris are “on the South-bound train, stuck outside Othello station from 8:40 to 9:40” (comment at 2010-06-29 10:22:03)? Why was no apparent effort made to quickly transfer passengers to buses when it became clear that there was a major service disruption?

    2. The 124 doesn’t go to Seatac and doesn’t bridge Link at Rainier Beach.

      Is the 124 frequency significantly different than the 174 was?

      1. The 124 frequency is the same as the old 174 (since they are currently one route with a layover at TIBS).

        A route between TIBS and Rainier Beach, serving Allentown and other neighborhoods in the no-bus-service Bermuda Triangle below the Link pillars, would address multiple problems.

        But the 124 service really ought to be increased, especially now that riders on the 60 and 131 will probably have to start driving to their jobs at Boeing, since they otherwise have to wait a half hour to transfer to the 124 in Georgetown, where before, they didn’t need to get on the 124.

  4. I left Westlake Station at 8:30 this morning, going to SeaTac. My train sat at Beacon Hill Station for 7.5 minutes.

    Then we sat at Mt Baker Station for 32.5 minutes. The driver said the train ahead of us broke down, trains were using a single track past the broken-down train, and he did not know how long the delay would be. Several passengers got off at Mt Baker with their luggage.

    Then we sat at Columbia City Station for 13.5 minutes.

    After resuming its trip, my train stopped at almost every intersection along MLK Way.

    At Rainier Beach, the doors did not open when the train stopped, and one woman started yelling “Open the dam doors, so I can get off!” The driver opened the door to his cab, and told her to use the big button on the door to open it, which she did.

    We finally arrived at SeaTac at 10:10, after a trip of ONE HOUR AND FORTY MINUTES.

    Never saw a “broken down train”. Most passengers were pretty annoyed. Never heard anything on the train about a “bus bridge.”

      1. I’m merely an observer. If ST wants feedback from me, they can read this blog, which I assume they do.

      2. Norman, apparently you aren’t practicing what you preach:
        – perceiver: a person who becomes aware (of things or events) through the senses
        – an expert who observes and comments on something

        And you’ve certainly demonstrated that you’re an expert! So, you’re happy to take the time to complain (I mean, “comment”) publicly about your miserable experience, but you won’t directly provide the agency whose train you were riding with a copy/paste of the same text? Isn’t that what an “observer” is supposed to do? It’s not reasonable to expect that ST will use your tax dollars to pay an employee to sift through the morass of the Internet in an attempt to locate feedback about their service; rather, you should be a responsible customer and provide them with the information they need to improve upon the transportation services funded by your taxes and fares.

        Oran provided a link to ST’s feedback email address. Surely, if you can take the time to type out a snippy response stating that you only see, not speak, you certainly can select a chunk of text, copy it, click the link to open up your preferred email software, paste the text and press the Send button.

      3. Or consider signing up for e-mail alterts and Twitter. The info was tweeted to me via a text message fairly quickly.


        And if you don’t like doing that, then sounds like you’re kinda screwed. If your story is true, then do please tell Sound Transit. they seem to have an ongoing problem of informing people on the train of what is really going on. Part of the issue may be a lack of communication between the operations center and the train operators. Or unrealistic expectations.

      4. I have no interest in providing any service for Sound Transit, unless they want to pay me for it.

        I do “observe and comment” on my Link trips. ST does not have to search through the entire “morass” of the internet to find the Seattle Transit Blog. I would expect them to read this blog every day — they don’t have to search the internet to find it.

        If you think my story from yesterday is not true, why don’t you ask Sound Transit themselves if it is true or not?

        It is true.

        The first email alert ST sent out arrived at 8:50 am. I boarded the train at about 8:30. I was already stuck at the Beacon Hill Station before the alert even arrived. What good did that do me? ST had no idea how long the delay would be.

        What were my options? Getting off my train, and catching another train back to downtown? Then what? There is no bus from downtown to the airport any more. Is there?

        Is there a bus from Beacon Hill to the airport? What would you suggest I, and the few other passengers on my Link train, should have done? Called ST and complained? lol

      5. “There is no bus from downtown to the airport any more. Is there?”

        Yes there is, you can take the 124 to TIB and then transfer to the 174. Or take a bus to Renton or Burien and transfer to the 560. Or take a bus to Burien or Kent and transfer to the 180. Or take Sounder or the 150 to Kent and transfer to the 180. Or take Sounder or the 150 to Tukwila and transfer to the 156. Or take a 577 to Federal Way and transfer to the 574. Or take a 190, 192 or 197 to Star Lake or Kent-Des Moines and transfer to the 574.

      6. I should have written “express bus.”

        Are you suggesting I should have deboarded at Beacon Hill, gone back to downtown and used one of the ways you describe to get to SeaTac? What is the shortest trip time between Westlake and SeaTac by any of those routes you sugggest? The 194 EXPRESS took 30 minutes.

      7. “The 194 EXPRESS took 30 minutes.”

        No it didn’t.

        “Are you suggesting I should have deboarded at Beacon Hill, gone back to downtown and used one of the ways you describe to get to SeaTac?”

        I don’t really care how you got there. You were probably just on one of your Link derision rides anyways.

      8. Yes, call ST and complain. Put the pressure on them. It does work and it counts. But obviously, Norman really has no interest in seeing Link improve or get fixed.

      9. “I have no interest in providing any service for Sound Transit, unless they want to pay me for it.”

        LOL. I don’t get paid to blog here either. So who’s paying you to make all these observations? Or are you so obsessed with Link you waste so much time collecting data that the public will never see, just so you can bash it on comment threads?

      10. My observations are something I want to do. Contacting ST is not something I want to do.

        Zed: The 194 Express did take 30 minutes between Westlake and SeaTac. You never rode it, I take it?

      11. Only for the last 16 years. The 194 never took 30 minutes between SeaTac and Westlake, it was always between 35 and 60 minutes, and was late more often than not. Maybe if you were lucky and only had to go to the airport at midday it would be on time.

      12. You have no idea what you are talking about. The AVERAGE trip time between Westlake and SeaTac on the 194 was 30 minutes. Most trips took about 28 minutes. And the peak period for flights out of SeaTac is in the early morning, when there is no traffic at all.

      13. How do you have any idea what the average trip time was for the 194? Because you rode it a few times before it was discontinued? Give me a break. I used that bus routinely to get to the airport since the mid 90’s.

        There’s no traffic going to the airport in the morning? Funny, you just proved that you’re completely clueless.

        Don’t you ever get tired of regurgitating the same tired old arguments? Move on. The 194 is not coming back, Link has been built and we’re building more whether you like it or not.

    1. That is what building a modern transit system is all about – giving people choices other than the tyranny of the automobile. Since we “chose” to neglect transit for 50+ years or so in this area, we are just a bit behind in having a system that allows folks to switch from one mode or route to another in case of failure or emergency.

      1. The 194 running wouldn’t have done the passengers stuck at Beacon Hill, Mt Baker, Columbia City, or Othello a single bit of good.

      2. Many of those passengers would have been on the 194, instead of Link, to start with. The 194 still carried a lot of people between downtown and SeaTac even after the Link SeaTac station opened. I know. I used to ride the 194 after the Link SeaTac station opened. The 194 was ten minutes faster between downtown and the airport than Link, and you didn’t have to walk 1/4 between the Link station and the terminal.

        But you make a good point: if Link has some big delay, the passengers on the delayed trains are stuck — they have no good options.

      3. 1) It’s the wait time that makes Link faster than the 194;

        2) The same is true for buses: If you get stuck on a bus in the middle of the freeway (such as on the 194), you’re stuck. At least with Link, if you get stuck in one of the at-grade sections, a bus can come and rescue you and get you to the next station.

      4. It’s a 1/4 mi walk from the bus stop to Alaska/Horizon and United check-in, which comprise 55% of Sea-Tac’s passengers. So most people are already walking that distance anyway but from a different direction. As for international passengers, they need the exercise. I know. Sitting on a trans-Pacific flight for 14 hours is not good for your legs and health.

      5. For a fraction of what Link cost, they could have run brand new buses on the 194 route every 7.5 minutes all day long, thus creating the same “wait time” as Link, while doubling the capacity that the 194 route had.

        If there is an accident on I-5 — or any other street — buses can be detoured around it. Link trains can’t detour — they can only go on that one route.

      6. “For a fraction of what Link cost, they could have…” They didn’t, they won’t, and you did nothing to advocate for it. Not contacting Metro or Sound Transit, not working with transit advocacy groups, and instead ranting on comment threads does nothing to advance your cause.

      7. Not to mention apparent opposition to transit lanes when they are added by taking away parking or SOV lanes.

        He’s made his true colors rather clear. He opposes ALL transit and wants more pavement for SOV drivers.

  5. On the same note, Sounder service has continued its off time arrivals at Kent Station. On Monday, the 8:32 was about 4 minutes late.

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