Various private transportation entities have caught on to the Big Deal that is the Period of Maximum Constraint, starting with the permanent closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct on Friday, January 11 at 10 pm, three weeks before the SR 99 tunnel under downtown opens.

Lyft and Uber both rolled out $2.75 discount deals Monday on shared rides (on Lyft) (as in two or more passengers, in addition to the paid driver) and all rides on Uber to and from four park & rides and nine light rail stations. The deals run through February 15, 2019.

Light rail stations included in the deals, from north to south are:

  • University of Washington Station
  • Beacon Hill Station (Uber only)
  • Mt. Baker Station
  • Columbia City Station
  • Othello Station
  • Rainier Beach Station
  • Tukwila International Boulevard Station
  • SeaTac Airport Station (Uber only)
  • Angle Lake Station (Uber only)

The four park & rides included in the deal are:

  • Northgate Transit Center Park & Ride, with its very frequent 2-way express connection to downtown on Metro route 41, its frequent peak-direction First Hill Express on route 303, and its less-frequent connection to South Lake Union on Metro route 63.
  • Olsen/Meyer Park & Ride (next to Arrowhead Gardens), from which the infrequent peak-direction-only Metro route 113 heads downtown. (Lyft only)

Per Todd Kelsay, Lyft Pacific Northwest General Manager, “The stations were chosen with guidance from the City and we worked directly with SDOT to identify the stations where they are anticipating the biggest need and where we could have the greatest impact to make sure riders can get to and from transit centers easily.”

While the rideshare companies have become prolific in getting subsidies from transit agencies across the country to help solve last-mile problems, including with Pierce Transit and with Sound Transit on Mercer Island, neither Lyft nor Uber are getting any subsidies for the Highway-99-closure-period deals listed above.

Link has space to carry some bikes, but most stations have multiple bike storage options. Uber is offering to waive the $1 unlock fee on its JUMP bikes from January 11 through February 15.

There are also carpool parking permits available at various Sound Transit facilities.

Unfortunately, Sound Transit won’t be able to increase the number of 3-car Link trains running during this period, as it is maxed out on capacity, per spokesperson Kimberly Reason. Reason offered the following tips to commuters for getting through the period:

  • Be prepared for extra crowded trains and plan extra time for your commute in the event you have to wait for the next train [which will come 6 minutes later during peak commute times, and on which there is usually the most spaciousness on the third car].
  • Talk to your manager about working an alternative schedule so you’re not commuting during peak hours.
  • Better yet, ask your manager if you can telework so you can avoid commuting during the closure period altogether.

9 Replies to “Period of Maximum Deals Has Arrived”

    1. A huge number of electronic systems that fail do so in the first few hundred hours of use. Thus, transit agencies do “burn in” testing with no passengers before they are allowed to carry passengers. TriMet prefers 4,000 miles, according to their press releases.

      Published delivery schedule + burn in suggests to me you might be looking at August 2019.

  1. “Better yet, ask your manager if you can telework so you can avoid commuting during the closure period altogether.”

    Longshore Workers
    Nurses/Doctors/Medical Fields
    Cooks/Chefs/Waiters/Food Service
    Postal Workers
    Bank Tellers/Clerks
    Professionals who work on-site (inspectors, managers, etc)

    Yes, they can all stay home. ???

    The vast majority of Seattle’s workers will be reporting to work, every day, through this entire period. Except… Amazon? Non-essential banking personnel? One or two people in accounting?

    1. The number of jobs with telecommuting options are about 7%, which is similar to the number of people who carpool. Obviously not everyone can do it but it’s worth at least encouraging, right?

    2. Not to worry. Jeff Bezos has invented a drone the size if a bus, which is probably what he used for the fuselage, fitted with those giant circular fans like the ones in Mall camera shops except bigger.

      With a fleet of them, Jeff’s plan is to collect as many workers in all your categories who have indicated required amount of resentment against having to weld things on their leather upholstery, for instance….

      And evacuate all of them to the new third headquarters where he’ll locate instead. He’ll keep us briefed where when his Time Capsule opens after Climate Change freezes over.

      Only one real danger. Have promised to leave STB and YouTube forever separate as Nature intended. But can’t get out of my mind the sight of a girl chimpanzee furiously whacking a drone somebody was teasing her with ’til it fell out of the air in a lot of pieces.

      No tape measure in the scene, so we really don’t know who was in it, do we? But having gotten into SolidWorks- little brother of the CATIA program that Boeing uses to design and build jetliners it’s possible to design something in Bellevue, since you can’t get into Seattle- and with a key-stroke, feed it to a milling machine in Vladivostok.

      Hate idea of military drones almost as bad as book delivery ones, but up to the customer what you whether help build or destroy with them. Saw bumper sticker saying: “When it Absolutely Positively Has To Be Destroyed Overnight” And Marine Corps emblem.

      So really is possible for all these people to do their jobs in Seattle while living someplace else. Seattle traffic? Ever see a Sikorski Skycrane Helicoper? Looks like a big green insect with a rotor a hundred feet across.

      It lifts loads with a heavy cable with a mechanically operated hook on the end. So when Seattle’s done with its every traffic obstacle….one thing you can fit on the hook is an electromagnet like a six foot diameter aspirin pill made out of lead.

      Is that electric steel furnace out by Delridge? If not- you know, what’s across the tracks from the Vancouver WA station? Anyhow, once the work that drove you out of Seattle is done with, you can just move back to …

      Hate to break the news to you, but word from Climate scientists say that due to Climate Change, it won’t freeze over for another hundred million years. Though it’s also true that that’s what people said about being able to do above all the jobs from three thousand miles away.

      Only one thing needed to complete the intercontinental operating room: Autonomous Personal Injury and Workers’ Comp law,


    3. On minor holidays and popular vacation days around other holidays, the traffic shrinks noticeably. So even if only a fraction can telework, it’s enough to make some difference.

  2. Shouldn’t have lost control there, Engineer. But I really have had it with the simpering shruggery I’m hearing from the media. “Welllll, it’s gonna be a mess and a lot of us are going to have a real slow commute and nobody knows how long and in other news…”

    Your list is a badly needed warning. I’ve worked alongside skilled tradespeople since college. And therefore know a longshoreman’s reaction to being late, either for work or for getting home. And also, who all those people are going to blame for rest of my life.

    Think Seattle residents are a minority on your list. And remember what Seattle’s monetary magnificence looks like from their point of view, or most of them. Same as mine when I got shoved out of Ballard- formerly a working-person’s town.

    Somebody’s gonna pay. My worst hate over all my years after college has been seeing this group of people turn into my political enemies. It’s good to see somebody stand up to a screw-up. But can live without another term for Donald Trump by way of driving home their point.

    Any bets on how these workers will look at Seattle and its changes in 2020? Wouldn’t like winning this one,. So priority for me is to get transit’s part of it through Seattle, operating as it should, and can. We’re not talking bullet trains. Just buses with nothing in their way.


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