If you are going to the Huskies football game, the Seahawks, or the State Fair this weekend, Metro and Sound Transit have some extra service lined up for you.

As we previously covered, Sounder will be running an all-day schedule Saturday, with the State Fair being the star attraction. The first South Sounder run leaving Lakewood at 9 a.m. and arriving in downtown Seattle at 10:13 a.m. will also be convenient for those trying to get to the Huskies noon football game. Arriving that early is probably a good idea, given how crowded the buses from downtown to UW are on game days.

For those willing to pay a little more for the convenience of quick service, Metro will be running shuttles from seven park & rides to the Huskies game, and back. These shuttles cost $5, unless you have a UW Athletics Season Pass. No ORCA passes are accepted. But the shuttles depart as soon as they fill up.

Sunday will feature the first Sounder service to a Seahawks game for this season, and the first-ever Sounder trains to a Seahawks game from Lakewood and South Tacoma, departing Lakewood at 9:50 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Pierce County residents can also use this service if they want to spend the day at the Fair (its final day), and catch the train back after the Seahawks game, with the first of the two returning trains reaching Puyallup Station sometime after 5 p.m. Seahawks fans can also jump on one of those two trains (making sure not to jump on the train that skips Puyallup) to catch the final hours of the Fair, and then catch the 578 back.

Metro will also have special shuttles to the Seahawks from Northgate, South Kirkland P&R, and Eastgate P&R, costing $4 cash each way, with no ORCA passes accepted. If you just want to use your ORCA pass, the 41, 255, and 554 will get you from these locations to very close to the stadium. You can still take the shuttle back for $4 if you don’t want to wait for the regular bus. The shuttle pick-up point is 5th Ave S and S Weller St.

19 Replies to “Special Service to Fair and Football this Weekend”

  1. If the sounder actually ran with the same frequency in both directions and also on the weekends I think I would actually use it a few times a month.

    As it runs now though it is very little use to basically everyone I know who comes into Seattle from anywhere in the suburbs. The biggest problem with it is the running times I think, but the limited stations certainly do not help. Having to transfer a few more times to get to the final destination makes it pretty difficult to compete with express buses.

    I know that Amtrak does actually run with that kind of frequency, but the ticket price often does not make it worth taking unless you are going to Portland or Vancouver and are staying overnight.

    That being said, when I lived near Everett and within walking distance of King Street Station, I used the sounder quite a bit, and it was one of the nicest commutes I have experienced in this state.

    1. What do you mean by “frequency”? Amtrak has five daily runs from Seattle to Tacoma. Sounder will now have ten.

      The only affordable way to reduce running time is to skip stations.

      As far as utility to the most riders, the simplest test of that is to look at Amtrak’s ridership figures for the corridor, and see who is using which service more.

      1. I am not talking about skipping stations. I was just talking about how there are so few runs going out of Seattle in the morning and into Seattle in the evening. Of course this is because it is a commuter train. The problem with “frequency” was specifically referring to routes that would be used by anyone not commuting to Seattle.

        It will not be anything other than a commuter train if they keep it that way, but maybe that’s all sound transit wants.

        Maybe I am just foolishly hoping that we could use the sounder as a viable transit option around the sound until the light rail extends out to other cities. I know that the locations of stations and the rail itself makes this difficult though, and I know that this is probably not the objective (at all really) of sound transit in the first place. Its nice to dream of a near term functioning intercity transit system though…

      2. ST’s long-range plan is to gradually add more runs on Sounder South until it becomes not quite hourly but almost (e.g., a 2-hour gap here and there). Sounder North is constrained by the single track and frequent mudslides, distance from the Lynnwood population center, and low ridersip, so it won’t be expanded. Some people are urging ST to cancel it and put the money into an Everett Link extension.

    2. I would think you would need a lot more people who only ride a few times a month riding to make the service productive enough to keep.

      1. Yep, and there lies the problem. I think we would need more supporting infrastructure first.

        People would be more likely to use this if there was an efficient system to deliver them to and from the end points.

      2. Well, here’s the silliness of it.

        Sounder, which has a track all the way down to Tacoma and beyond.

        LINK which goes from Seattle to the Airport runs 15 minutes an hour, nearly all the day and night.

        I know — different technologies…but the bottom line is they are both commuter/transit type trains.

      3. Link… for which the track is owned by Sound Transit.

        Sounder … for which the track is owned by BN&SF, and Sound Transit has to pay an arm and a leg for each run.

      4. I understand there are reasons why…but stepping back and taking the big picture…it’s completely stupid!

  2. Brent,
    Which train skips Puyallup? It used to be Puyallup was the last stop before the train went into express mode.

    1. The second northbound train Sunday will start service at Sumner (which is unfortunate given that the Fair is still going on). See the link in the post. The ST page doesn’t specify whether a return train will just go to Sumner, but I would presume the routes would be mirror images of the inbound runs.

      1. Though I never taken a Seahawks Sounders Special, I think all return trips go to Lakewood and are not mirror image of the morning trips (where one trip is express after leaving Puyallup and and another trip is a Sumner local. The last trip is the clean up trip, serving all stops). This way, there is no confusion for any riders . They can take any return trip and all 3 train trips serve all stops.

        Return schedule – from Seattle/King Street Station
        Return trains to Lakewood depart 10*, 20* and 45 minutes after the end of the game
        *Trips may leave King Street Station early if the train is full.

        Remember, the trains have to go back to Lakewood/S.Tacoma anyway, since there is where the layover track is at.

      2. How is the train getting to Sumner in the first place? I though the trains are all stored in Tacoma, which would suggest that the Sumner train is actually deadheading past Tacoma and Puyallup without carrying passengers.

  3. When it comes to extra service to The State Fair, Seahawks, Huskies, etc., does the special event, like the Seahawks, subsidize 100% of the service? Do they reimburse King County for the driver’s wage and cost of operating the service to and from the game? And where does that “$4 cash each way” go? Does King County keep it, or does it go to the Seahawks?

    1. I don’t have answers to your questions, and welcome you to follow up with all entities involved (except me — I’m too lazy to do research for you.)

      When I go to a Sounders match, I notice that they do not charge sales tax on anything. This bothers me. We charge sales tax on basic necessities, but not on a Clint Dempsey jersey? Count me in on the petition to have the Sounders, Seahawks, Mariners, and Huskies join the rest of us in paying sales tax.

      I would certainly welcome having the cost of special transportation services be rolled into the cost of tickets, including season tickets. At least with the Sounders Football Club, we have a board that represents all the season ticket holders, and can strongly request that the cost of these services be rolled into the ticket price. The benefit to the ticketholder would presumably be a free day pass for all transit services on game days. Yes, I would be willing to pay more to subsidize the other fans’ bus or train trip to/from the match (since I already have a monthly pass), including one South Sounder train for each match.

      1. Just curious how you know they aren’t charging sales tax. There are many places that list prices as the final, post-tax price (mostly restaurants and bars), so it could just be that you aren’t seeing the built in tax.

      2. I’m sure that they do pay sales tax, and like RapidRider says the cost listed per item is the total including tax. At least it is at Husky Stadium, where I’ve purchased apparel and the tax is shown in the receipt. The back of the ticket even shows all possible permutations of ticket price + tax.

        The UW Athletic Department pays for the bus shuttles to Husky Stadium and has since 1987. This is the first year that they have asked users to pay additional fare. I don’t know how they are doing so far this year, but in past years approximately 20,000 took various forms of transit to the games…almost all potential choice riders who likely vote on transit issues. From my own experience on them (I walk now when not tailgating) and from what I hear from others, it is an extremely popular and easy way to get to the games.

  4. The Burke-Gilman also looked as if it was running special service to Husky Stadium this morning – an endless stream of purple and gold-clad fans encountered me on my westbound run.

Comments are closed.