He should have taken light rail.
He should have taken light rail.

On Monday, we celebrate the 240th anniversary of the colonies’ Brexit. Of course, forming a nation took a few years longer, but not as long as it has taken, and will continue to take, to build grade-separated high-capacity transit to Ballard, West Seattle, Everett, and Tacoma. There are those who think we should take even longer to build these lines, or rather, not build them.

This Monday will continue our celebration of freedom to get between downtown and North Seattle quickly for fun stuff like watching amazing pyrotechnic shows over Lake Union.

But it won’t be a day we ride transit freely about the countryside, as many smaller transit agencies shut down for the day.

King County Metro will be on a Sunday schedule, will re-route some routes including 26 and 32 after the fireworks, will have 25 extra buses after the show, and is offering advice on how to get home. Along with the extra bus service, the South Lake Union Streetcar will run until midnight.

My advice is to enjoy the walk to UW Station if you need to head south, and let those who aren’t up for the walk have space on the 32 and 44 buses. The last southbound train is scheduled to leave UW Station at 12:36 am. The last train to UW northbound leaves Airport Station at 12:04 am and Westlake Station at 12:42 am.

Light rail naysayers are going to have a hard time convincing people around the region that they have a better transit plan than Sound Transit does, now that this single line is transporting far more passengers every day than every other transit agency in the state besides Metro and Washington State Ferries, and will certainly be outperforming all the closed-down transit agencies Monday.

The list of which transit agencies are open, and which are closed, Sunday and Monday, is below the fold.

Agency / Service Sunday, July 3 Independence Day (Monday, July 4)
Bikeshare (Seattle) any time any time
Clallam Transit No Service No Service
Community Transit Sunday Sunday
Everett Transit Sunday Sunday
Greys Harbor Transit Sunday No Service
Island Transit No Service No Service
Intercity Transit Sunday Sunday
Jefferson Transit No Service No Service
King County Metro Sunday Sunday, amped up
King County Water Taxis Sunday Saturday West Seattle, No Service Vashon
Kitsap Transit No Service No Service
Link Light Rail Sunday Sunday, weekday closing times
Mason Transit No Service No Service
Monorail 8:30 AM – 11 PM 7:30 AM – 11 PM
Pierce Transit Sunday Sunday
Seattle Streetcars Sunday Monday, ending midnight and 1 am
Skagit Transit Sunday No Service
Sound Transit Express Sunday Sunday
Sounder Mariners No Service
Tacoma Link Sunday Sunday
Twin Transit No Service No Service
Washington State Ferries Sunday Weekday – Check route
Whatcom Transit Sunday No Service

29 Replies to “4th of July Service Change-Ups”

  1. Thanks, Brent. Know one thing: you wouldn’t have been able to get Benjamin Franklin off of LINK, both streetcar lines, every single trolleybus line, and the monorail.

    Though when you left him off at Sea-Tac Station, he would definitely hand you a flash-drive and tell you to give Boeing the CATIA file for the clean sustainable power source transit needs.

    CATIA is the software Boeing uses to manufacture jetliners. Designer keyboards in a series of 3D shapes, which they can then drill, cut, connect, separate, and otherwise modify. With every key-stroke telling the program to tell a Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machine to make the part.

    By the thousands. Machine is a large metal and glass cabinet, with various cutting mechanisms inside. Button-push immediately floods it with cutting fluid. Think of a washing machine full of corrosive poison.

    In this case, creating a kite the size of a 787. However, if you ask Ben whether LINK should go to Paine Field, or whether electric busways will work better than light rail, he’d tell you to assemble peaceably, speak freely, and work it out over a plenteous amount of ale.

    And there’s this great drinking song that somebody should use for the National Anthem. This is, after all, the Age of Reason! Isn’t it?

    Mark Dublin

  2. Ya, ST’s one LR line is pretty much kicking rear-end and taking names. The ridership numbers are spectacular and getting better all the time. I hear there will be some sort of deep-dive on Link performance next week down at ST. They have been strangely mum lately on how Link is performing. I’m thinking that means they will be releasing some good numbers, but that is only a guess.

    Strangely Link is doing pretty darn well when compared to Portland’s Max too. link is carrying something like 60% of what Max carries – and Max has what? A bizzilion stations? Or is it only 90- something? In any case, expect Link ridership to surpass Max’s sometime after 2021.

    1. Before we slap ourselves silly on the back, let’s remember a few key differences between Link and MAX.

      MAX has coverage. A wider geographic area has access to trains.

      MAX is entrenched. It has a 25 year head start on Link which has benefitted thousands of riders on millions of trips.

      MAX is insanely popular. Ask the Times how it feels about Link.

      That said MAX isn’t perfect. It needs a downtown tunnel and more grade separation to grow.

      1. Curious, Jack. Give us a reason why anybody needs to care what the Times feels about anything. Or what possible association there is between its opinion about anything, and the thing’s popularity, regardless of sanity.

        For mass media, remember that bigoted, bought, greedy, and stupid aren’t conditions recognized by the psychiatric professions. Gullibility to them, maybe. Since this is transit blog, above failings among psychiatrists aren’t really [ON TOPIC] here.

        Also, LINK has now been up and running for, what, seven years between 2009 and 2016? Might get some stats comparing I-5 or I-405 traffic between its seventh and twenty-fifth birthday.

        And we had 19 years of service from the DSTT before first train left the yard in service. Now that LINK adds an 8 minute ride to Westlake Station to same-seat airport trip, people are now starting to complain about standing loads.

        Flat and well-endowed with right of way, natural and commendable that Portland started MAX and has been working on it ever since. And for their future, they’ll dig tunnels when and where needed.

        We didn’t even get the hard part done first. Just the hardest and most necessary part of it- which we needed years before we needed or could get the trains we knew we eventually did. Because a very large amount of transit-building around Seattle is all the hard part.

        How many tracked floating bridges in the world, especially length our waterborne section of EastLINK? And if Ballard/Downtown/West Seattle was easy, we’d be looking at BART and DC Metro old age problems. Though nothing says we wouldn’t have repaired ours.

        At this stage, really, it’s good to be keeping track of these stats, like a gauge on a machine. But I don’t think LINK’s been here anywhere near long enough for pronouncements.

        Still, all of this is still a breeze compared to getting a second decent newspaper. Real Change does its best, and will become necessary world-city balance to the other one we need.

        Also, health department has enough to do without epidemic of whatever fresh fish can pick up from being wrapped in The Seattle Times.

        Mark Dublin

    2. Urbanists love Portland’s transit and bike lanes, but Seattle’s regionwide ridership per capita is among the top ten in the country, ahead of Portland, even without the Link extensions. Portland has a flat inner city and preserved more old buildings, but its overall density is less, and it has more wide streets. I think that means it didn’t have rapid population increases like Seattle did, so it never had an incentive to tear down old buildings and build lots of apartments. As for the wide streets, look at Stark just a half mile from Burnside in Gresham, and the Banfield Freeway near them. Seattle also has severe geographic barriers; Jarrett Walker has called it “three penninsulas”, plus there’s the hourglass shape, the Ship Canal, etc. Walker says natural barriers create bottlenecks that make transit more competitive, as evidenced by the fact that everyone on the Eastside dreads driving across the bridges and is eager for a light rail alternative.

      1. Clark county is separated from everything in Portland by two freeway bridges, just like tbe east side of King County. They want more congestion and less transit, and eagerly embrace the land use patterns that force this desire. So, geographic limits doesn’t necessarily produce good transit

        As for rapid growth in the Portland area, most of that happened by way of sprawl. Wilsonville, Hapy Valley, Forest Grove and many others have had quite a lot of growth, and Salem has had a huge number of people move there, and many of those drive to Wilsonville or Portland for employment.

    3. @Jack,

      The Time’s opinion on LR is well known, and totally detached from reality. Whatever they say Ina Seattle issue, the truth is probably closer to the opposite.

      But if ST can match Max’s ridership with less coverage, then I’d say that is a good thing. And a strong measure of success.

  3. I live behind Gasworks park and I 2nd their advice to walk to the light rail station rather than take the 44 or 32. It’s about a 1/2 hour walk and that’s probably how long it would take if you caught the 32 at Stone & 35th and certainly shorter than walking to 45th and catching the 44. Walk along N Pacific St and enjoy the view.

    1. Bike to Link via Burke Gilman for the fireworks though it’s going to be crazy crowded on the trains that there probably won’t be much room aboard the trains for bikes with the post fireworks crowds.

    2. Remember the 32 will be re-routed starting at Stone Way to 45th anyways. It’s going to be a slow slog for it to the U-District.

      I also take issue with Metro’s email wording:

      “Ride routes 32 & 44 from the Wallingford area to the Link light rail University of Washington Station; 10-15 minute service after 10:00 PM”

      Makes it sound like both the 32 and 44 will have 10-15 minute service when really it’s just the 44. The 32 is half-hourly since Metro doesn’t run the 31 on Sundays/holidays.

    3. Taking bikes on Link will be impossible but it should be robust for foot passengers. It has already passed the test with the Seahawks parade, ballgames, UW Commencement, college students, etc. You may have to wait for the second train but it shouldn’t be a horror show. You’ll also have the advantage of starting at the terminus, so it can take an entire trainload of people at UW station.

      1. Take Pronto. The closest station is at 11th and Campus Parkway. You can bike there from downtown, or from the UW Hospital station next to Link.

      2. There are a couple of stations along Eastlake and there is one close to South Lake Union Park. Nothing by Fremont and Gas Works Park yet though.

      3. The Seahawks Parade overwhelmed all transit modes, including Link. Thousands of people couldn’t get on Link because it was crushloaded before even opening its doors at Airport Station. Riders further north figured out that the only way they could get north was to first go south, and then not get off the train. A Phalanx of thousands of riders filling the pedestrian bridge over to the east side of Pacific Highway were mostly not able to get on.

        The ridership set a record, but demand was way higher than ridership. If ST had been able to use 4-car trains and turn them around in the DSTT (which it could not, because of the demising wall in the stub tunnel for U-Link construction), it probably would have had twice as many riders, but I’m still not sure it would have been able to clear the platforms.

        That is the only event I can remember where Link’s capacity failed to meet ridership demand. If the Seahawks get another such parade, I have confidence ST will be prepared.

  4. How much you want to bet that while the STB Board of Regents are encouraging us to trek miles to and from the nearest Link station on Monday, they probably took the blog jet to Monaco or Wimbledon for the holiday?

    1. How much you want to bet nobody even asked SDOT for Holiday weekend transit lanes between UW station and the rest of the planet? With a side bet as to likely response to the request. And how remote possibility of a direct order from the Mayor.

      Leaving Us the Passenger Public to peaceably assemble in City Hall chambers to petition for redress of grievances (no Constitutional limit how many). How did the Age of Reason actually gamble? Which, I think, they called wagering instead.

      “State Wagering Commission” sounds more powdered wig, goose quill, parchment, and pewter tankard of ale, don’t you think?


    2. How much you want to bet that none of the ST Board jetted to Monaco or Wimbledon or other billionaire places this weekend?

  5. I honestly believe that if you take the biggest sanctimonious blowhards on this blog, and looked into how they traveled on this holiday weekend, the majority of them spent the majority of time in their car. But when they come back on Tuesdays and start back up with their finger-wagging and lecturing, you won’t hear one word of all the driving they did. They’ll let us all believe that they were slummin’ it on public transit with the rest of us.

    Fact of the Day. That George Washington crossing post pic up above … half a dozen miles from Levittown, PA.

    1. Polls and research speak louder than stereotypes. You might also ask, of those that drove, how many of them drove to places where transit doesn’t go, such as too the woods or mountains or a small town. And now many of them have argued for better statewide transit and rural transit so that they could take transit to those areas (as you can in Switzerland and Germany and Ireland).

  6. As I read on another message board: Brittan didn’t exit from us, it was the other way around. It was a U Sexit.

    1. The US were also colonies of Britain. The EU is an organization that Britain joined.

  7. ST website says Sunday schedule on July 4 with last train 11:36 from UW and 11:04 from SeaTac. Absurdly early. Or wrong?

    1. Here it says the last southbound run is at 12:36am. The last complete northbound run is at 12:04am, the last short northbound run to Beacon Hill is 12:49am. The fireworks usually go until 10:20pm, so that’s plenty of time to catch a train.

      Normal Sunday service ends an hour earlier than other days. Your southbound time is right, 11:36pm, but northbound the last full run is at 11:0ram and the last short run to Beacon Hill is at 11:49am.

    2. It’s Sunday schedule but weekday closing times. You need to use weekday last run times.

      1. It looks like the information listed above is wrong. The SoundTransit site does in fact just provides a link to the Sunday schedule. There isn’t anything that I have found on the web site that says the above listed information is correct.

        Where on the ST web site does the above table get its information about the weekday close time being observed?

      2. OK, Here we go:

        It’s in their alerts page rather than their standard holiday schedule page.

        If you click on the “extended service hours” thing it says

        On July 4th, Link will operate an extended Sunday schedule for the holiday. Link will operate a regular Sunday schedule until about 10 p.m. when it will operate every 15-minutes.
        Last departures:
        From SeaTac/Airport Station to UW: 12:04 am
        From SeaTac/Airport Station to Beacon Hill: 12:49am
        From University of Washington Station to Seatac/Airport Station: 12:36am
        Last arrivals:
        Arrive SeaTac/Airport Station: 1:20 am
        Arrive University of Washington Station: 12:48am

  8. If anyone is taking Pierce Transit on July 4, it’s free all day (with express service to Ruston Way) thanks to Freedom Fair.

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