Board Link Shuttle Here
Atomic Taco (Flickr)

On March 28-29, Link will not run between Westlake and Mt Baker Stations to accommodate system upgrades in the Beacon Hill tunnel. Trains will operate normally between SeaTac and Mt Baker, and shuttle bus 97 will run between Westlake and Mt Baker. Unlike previous bus bridges, however, Route 97 will run in the Downtown Transit Tunnel, serving all stops from Westlake to Stadium, then running express to Mt Baker Station.  Sound Transit’s press release is below:

On Saturday, March 28, and Sunday, March 29, the downtown section of the Link light rail line will be closed for system upgrades to prepare for extending service to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington in early 2016.

Trains will operate normally between Sea-Tac Airport Station to Mount Baker Station. A free shuttle bus will connect at Mount Baker Station, serve a temporary stop near Stadium Station and then make all normal downtown tunnel stops.
Route 97 – Service between Mount Baker Station and downtown Seattle.
Mount Baker Station – pick up/drop off at Mt. Baker Transit Center
Stadium Station (temporary stop on S. Royal Brougham Way and SODO Busway, in front of the Greyhound station)
International District Station
Pioneer Square Station
University Street Station
Westlake Station
This Link shuttle does not serve Beacon Hill and SODO stations. Bus options for those neighborhoods:
From Beacon Hill
To Downtown/Westlake: Board Route 36 north.
To Sea-Tac Airport: Board Route 36 south and transfer to Link at Othello Station.
To Downtown/Westlake: Take any SODO Busway route north to downtown.
To Sea-Tac Airport: Board Route 50 east at SODO busway and S. Lander Street and transfer to Link at Columbia City Station. After 11:07 p.m. Saturday and 10:23 p.m. Sunday, board any SODO busway route north to Stadium Station and then take Route 97 south.
If possible, we recommend that you adjust your schedule to add extra time or use alternative travel options such as taxis and shuttles. Thank you for your patience during these upgrades.

12 Replies to “No Downtown Link Service This Weekend”

    1. They get 51 hous one shot versus 4 hours with nightly work. Takes a while to get set up and clear out each nIght. More cost effective this way.

      1. … and the Sounders and Mariners aren’t in town this weekend. (But, be forewarned, the Sounders are playing tonight.)

  1. Why is it that Sound Transit can’t do a proper bus bridge? Why skip Beacon Hill and Sodo stops? I understood their line of thinking the last time this happened was because of the construction on Beacon Avenue as it came down the hillside toward Holgate, and was restricted to downhill travel only. But that construction has been complete since the end of last year. ST’s solution is that riders take local service from Beacon Station (36) or SODO (busway routes). But that only helps if your traveling to downtown or the airport. I regularly travel from Mt Baker Station to Beacon Hill Station in order to avoid walking up the 250 foot elevation change on McClellan St. Or similarly from SODO to Beacon Hill to avoid the even greater elevation change on the west slope of Beacon Hill. What is normally a 2-3 minute ride becomes a 30-45 minute ride with transfer and additional wait times.

    I understand that it’s only for the weekend, but I anticipate that we may see more of these weekend closures in the future, and this level of service is not helpful. A bus bridge should do just that: bridge all of the stops not served by the train.

    1. It’s not a 1-seat ride, but you can still take the train to Othello Station, and backtrack to Beacon Hill on the 36.

      Likewise, you can get from Columbia City Station to the Busway on route 50, but if you are going downtown, I assume you would just take the 7 (or the 97).

      Nobody goes to SODO Station except to transfer or find the car they stashed away, or to get to nearby jobs on weekdays. All the SODO Station routes except the 50 serve downtown. And if you want to get on the 50, that’s Columbia City Station.

      I actually don’t see the purpose in having the 97 run this weekend, given its redundancy with the regular built-in connectivity. Trips will take longer than normal. The 97 won’t change that.

      1. I think the biggest reason for running the 97 is that the 7 is already pretty full and doesn’t have enough excess capacity to handle more than a tiny fraction of the riders who normally take Link to/from downtown on a weekend. Also, since the 97 doesn’t stop every hundred feet, it will still be quite a bit faster than the 7 (although still slower than if Link were running).

      2. The biggest reason for running the 97 is that visitors and occasional riders don’t know about the 7 or 124 or whatever you’d use instead. These alternatives with the 36 and 50 are complicated, but at least most visitors won’t be going to those stations. The 97 is as much about keeping up Link’s reputation and doing what other cities would do, as about available-seat necessity.

      3. And since it will be serving tunnel stations, it can stop mid-platform where the train would.

    1. That’s months off. This fall sometime. It won’t happen until after they tear down the demising wall between the PSST and the new tunnel to CHS. That’s what’s kept longer trains from operating in the DSST – as long as the wall is up they can only get a 2-car train through the turn-back crossing.

      Maybe we should start a Reaganesque plea “Ms Earl, Tear Down This Wall!!!”

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