• This Saturday, when the Seahawks host the New Orleans Saints in an NFL divisional playoff game, Metro and Sound Transit will both be providing the same Seahawks game-day service they have been providing for all regular-season games.

    Metro will once again be providing $4 (each way) cash-only shuttles from Northgate Transit Center, Eastgate Park&Ride, and South Kirkland Park & Ride, leaving each lot from 11:25 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and then picking up at 5th Ave S & S Weller St (on the east side of International District / Chinatown Station) after the game.

    Sounder will once again be running pre-game trips to Century Link Field and post-game trips back to all Sounder stations. The schedule may look familiar because it is identical to the regular season game-day schedule. The only difference is this game is on a Saturday.

    For those flying in from out of town, Link Light Rail gets you from the airport to Century Link Field. You can get an all-day ticket on Link at any ORCA vending machine, including the ones at Seatac/Airport Station, for $5.50. Set Seatac/Airport Station and Westlake Station as the termini of your trips so that you can travel anywhere Link goes all day. The best station for getting to the stadium is International District / Chinatown Station. Stadium Station is designed for the best connection to Safeco Field (where the Mariners play), but is also a decent option if you will be in the south end zone.

    If you plan to be staying multiple days and want a free transfer to the bus system, consider getting a $5 ORCA smart card at any ORCA vending machine, and loading it up with several dollars of “e-purse”. There are no day passes, but you get 2 hours of transfer credit from each ride.

    $2/hour parking is available in a section of the airport parking garage closest to the station. (I confirmed by phone that the deal extends through the 2014 playoff games, and, oh yeah, the Link ticket price listed on their page is three years out-of-date.) However, you may be lucky and find an open free parking spot at Tukwila International Boulevard Station if you arrive early enough.

    If you happen to be riding Amtrak into town, look southeast after you ascend from King Street Station, and that is Century Link Field. You have arrived!

    Thanks are due to the Metro and Sound Transit staff who have pulled this service together and re-arranged their schedules to provide this service, as well as overflow runs on all the regular routes and Link.

    If you happen to be a Saints fan, any smack talk about the Seahawks will be considered off-topic for purposes of this post. If you happen to be a Seahawks fan, smack talk about the Saints will not be considered off-topic, but keep it PG.

  • 28 Replies to “Metro Shuttle and Sounder Service for Seahawks Playoff Game this Saturday”

    1. I’d like to be able to take the 255 into the game from the Eastside. But I worry about getting back – do they run extra regular buses when the game ends or do we all get in a long line at IDS and fill one bus every 30 minutes running on the normal Saturday schedule?

      1. Crushload. You’ll get back. It just may mean getting creatively like ST 545 to Yarrow Point and transferring to the 255 as riders will disembark. The options to Kirkland aren’t as sexy I guess. There’s plenty of time to get home though. Could be an excuse to get dinner, go shopping, or take an evening walk instead of rushing back.

        1. I’m not sure that the 545 would be any less crowded than the 255. If anything, it could be worse, as the 545 sometimes gets 40-footers on weekends and I would not put it past them to do it on game-day.

        2. Yeah, I think they used 40-footer 545s for the Pride parade (and probably comic-con and other large events). An experienced rider groaned at the choice of bus.

          The key seems to be to advertise the shuttles to NTC, South Kirkland P&R, etc. well enough so that they can send home the people who want to be home pronto and leave the buses for people who don’t mind a light dawdle.

        3. I live near the 545 route, an I rarely see 40-footers on it anymore (maybe early morning or late at night on weekends, but that’s about it). That wasn’t the case a few years ago though – I remember waiting for the 545 after a Seahawks game and was shaking my head when a 40-footer pulled up.

      2. I believe that they sometimes run extra buses to meet demand. This would be a good example. I also believe that there is special shuttle service to Kirkland which does cost four bucks no orca transfers or passes.

        1. The page detailing this Saturday’s shuttle to and from South Kirkland Park & Ride is linked in the post.

        2. “I believe that they sometimes run extra buses to meet demand.”

          I have heard that too. But, why don’t Metro/ST advertise which routes & times they will be running extra buses? Getting to the game is easy enough, but not knowing if there will be room on the bus home makes it tough when the weekend schedule is only every 30 minutes. Sure, I can drive to S Kirkland and take the shuttle, but I’d much rather leave the car at home since it’s only a 5 minute walk to the 545 stop.

      3. In my expert opinion, the 255 is the better bus to take. Always a 60 footer. Passes by just two park and rides. One of which will draw passengers onto Seahawks shuttles. 545 passes by three park and rides (four if you count OTC), none of which has shuttles, and is often a 40 footer on weekends.

        1. The 255 stops at three P&R’s: Brickyard, Kingsgate & S Kirkland (4 if you count Evergreen Pt). It also has an extensive local portion where it picks up passengers in Kingsgate, Totem Lake, Juanita, and Kirkland. The 545 serves the same number of P&R’s (Bear Creek, Redmond TC & Overlake TC) but has a very limited local segment (and the 40-footers on weekends are mostly a thing of the past).

        2. You are correct and I was mistaken. The 255 stops at three P&R’s. But the 255 still gets the coveted “Sam’s Pick” for best bus to the game from the northern eastside. Oh, and it cost less money to ride!

        3. True, but I can’t imagine anyone driving to Brickyard or Kingsgate P&R to ride the 255, given how slow and circuitous it is north of Kirkland TC. South Kirkland P&R is the only real destination for people to drive to.

        4. “Oh, and it cost less money to ride!”

          That is true. Funny how our silly fare system makes the 255 cheaper than the 545 in the off-peak, but more expensive in the peak.

    2. I thought I would go to Metro’s website to see how they are advertising their Seahawks shuttles to this January the 11th playoff game.

      Front page of Metro’s Website … “Transit News.” Clicked the link “Metro shuttles heading to the Hawks game.” Here’s what comes up … “Football fans who want an easy trip to the game this weekend can climb on King County Metro Transit shuttles to the Seahawks game on Sunday, Dec. 29.”

      They haven’t updated their shuttle page to reflect this Saturday’s game! hahahaha!

        1. No, I am referring to the page I said I was referring to. Main page. “Metro shuttles heading to the Hawks game” link. Which is STILL directing people how to get to the upcoming Dec. 29th game. The page you are referring to is buried three levels deep from the main page.

      1. I want to apologize to any new riders out there who went to Metro’s website to find out information about Seahawks shuttles. I want to apologize that on the main page, the shuttle link hasn’t been updated since December 27th. Keep your cars. If Metro can’t get even the little things right, like updating their website, how can they possibly get the big things right?

      2. To my surprise, Sam’s exactly right. The “Transit News” feed on http://metro.kingcounty.gov hasn’t been updated since December 27th, meaning that the top post is still “Dec. 27: Metro shuttles heading to Hawks game.”

        Let me join Sam in his apology to anyone trusting Metro’s website, and let me further recommend they keep their browsers pointed to STB.

    3. So…when will Sound Transit begin special Sounder service for Sounders matches? Riding a near-full 512 to/from Everett Station every match day is okay, but not a good solution, especially for open-bowl matches.

      1. They do have Sounder event service for some games, but not many. Perhaps they will do it more regularly when Sounders games fill the stadium all season long.

        When you say “open-bowl matches” did you mean Open Cup? Since most of those are in Tukwila and have limited attendance, it wouldn’t be worthwhile. I suppose they could run service to Tukwila Station, but it would be a long walk to Fort Dent.

        1. By open-bowl matches, I mean the ones against Western Conference teams (or international friendlies) that don’t have tarps over the upper bowl.

      2. Sounder served all the afternoon Saturday and Sunday matches last year, as welll as the last two evening weekend matches when the Timbers came to town. It just happens that most Sounders matches have been in the evening (which is often what they have to do to be on the NBC Sports Network or ESPN).

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