Sound Transit - Central Link Light Rail

The contractor has fixed last weekend’s failed electrical test. There will be an additional Link closure this weekend “for final testing and safety certification of the new trackwork and systems,” says ST’s David Jackson. Once again, shuttle buses will run between Sodo and Capitol Hill.

” Monday we should return to two-track service in the downtown Seattle tunnel with no transfer required,” he added, pending any more test failures. However, reduced pandemic volumes will leave Link at 14-minute headways indefinitely.

On a related note, Link construction has suffered no schedule slippage due to the pandemic, according to Jackson. “Sound Transit is actively working with the contractors and construction management teams on all our projects to assure that public health guidelines are being followed,” he said.

16 Replies to “Another Link closure this weekend; “normal” service Monday”

  1. 14 minute headways with no schedule and no transit apps is stupid and insulting towards riders. 15 minute headways with a schedule is more useful, and truthfully 10 minute headways all day would be much more useful, especially given that much service is geared towards transfers to and from Link.

    1. Yes. I think 10 minutes is more than reasonable. If it has to go to 15 minutes, drop the frequency after 7 or 8 pm.

      Keep in mind that train drivers can get sequestered in their own cabs (unlike bus drivers) so it’s safer to be driving a train than a bus.

    2. This would be less of an issue if Link had real-time arrival. We’ve now been waiting over a decade for this extremely basic service.

      1. Link used to have excellent real-time data before Connect 2020 started. Looks like we’ll be waiting another few months before real-time starts again…

    3. With connect 2020 over, there no excuse for not at least posting a schedule.

      Also, of you’re going to do 14 minute headways, I’d say just do 15 to make the arrival times easier to remember.

      1. It will be best for sound transit to do 15 minute headway’s for the remainder of the year. Given the potential for a second wave of sickness in the fall, we should discourage transit use for the remainder of the year and possibly into 2021. I am hopeful more major employers will make telework permanent, and that riders will use less transit to minimize their exposure to disease. I recommend making permanent 15 minute headways during the week and 20 to 30 minute on weekends and nights. Good start and thinking on sound transit to minimize frequency!

      2. I would start taxing (and banning) taxicabs before I did that. You are basically saying that poor people should suffer (wait extra time on the street, or underground) while those with money get to enjoy car sharing.

      3. Telework is not a permanent solution. I’m doing it, but, even with the latest videoconferencing technology, people are not as productive as they are physically working in the same office. There are several reasons why. Part of it is that chat and videoconferencing isn’t as good at exchanging information as face-to-face interaction. Part of it is all the distractions you get at home that you don’t get at the office. There is a reason why companies spend billions of dollars on office real estate.

      4. What are you talking about? Chat is *better* at exchanging information than face-to-face. And lacks the incessant irrelevant small talk and constant interruptions that plague office cultures.

      5. You lose information with chat, such as body language and tone of voice. A lot of it is processed subconsciously, but it’s still important.

  2. Thanks for the update.

    I highly recommend that others read the “Platform” piece that the OP linked to which essentially gives the same info as ST’s 3/19/20 news briefing.

    This part pertains to the ST Express service on routes operated by KC Metro:

    “ST Express buses operated by King County Metro (Routes 522, 541, 542, 545, 550, 554, 555 and 556) will see an overall reduction in service of 15 percent. Riders will find more information on the specific trips cancelled at and via rider alerts, which they can sign up to receive electronically.”

    One last note…

    “On a related note, Link construction has suffered no schedule slippage due to the pandemic, according to Jackson.”

    Sorry, Mr. Jackson, but your pronouncement is entirely premature. Even your own CEO made that evidently clear at Thursday’s Finance and Audit Committee meeting.

    1. “ST Express buses operated by King County Metro (Routes 522, 541, 542, 545, 550, 554, 555 and 556) will see an overall reduction in service of 15 percent. Riders will find more information on the specific trips cancelled at

      There is no information that I can find on the website showing what trips are cancelled.

      Meantime, is ST still penalizing King County riders with a 50c fare increase? So they can give a gift to Pierce and Snohomish County riders and continue to create perverse economic incentives to discourage Sounder ridership?

  3. I can understand headway of either ten or fifteen minutes. But why in the world would anybody choose fourteen? Clarification appreciated.

    Mark Dublin

  4. 4.285714285714286‬ is how many trains per hour a 14-minute headway gives you. Too crude to adjust passenger capacity by changing number of cars. But could an Olympic-trained team of mechanics with real fast power wrenches constantly go racing through the trains throwing seats in and out the doors and windows?

    Point I’m making here isn’t to taunt The System, but to call its attention to some grand-scale years-long habits that can lose it not only passengers’ respect and patronage, but also their votes. Namely decision-making- doggedly-defended- that is beyond the comprehension of a vast majority of passengers.

    Whose natural only-human reaction is to sense a calculated declaration of rule-making that considers them idiots. Or worse- my own pet hate about “tap” policy is really good example- that, straight out of old-time Chicago Transit Authority gangland: “We’re in charge here! Forget the ‘Why’ crap. Just do as you’re told and you won’t get hurt!”

    So somebody in a position to know, will you please tell us: For the purpose I’m talking about, when you make a rule or any other decision affecting your passengers, what’s your own mental picture of whom you’re talking to? Because world-wide now, from Brazil to Russia to the Philippines, we’re cursed with a generation of much worse leaders than you with a lot better sense of their own audience.

    Mark Dublin

  5. If they are keeping the frequency the same as Connect 2020 then will they continue to use 4-car trains?

    1. Unless they are seriously short of operators, running 2 or 3 car trains every 10 minutes would be much more useful. There is a cost to running each car mile, though I don’t know how it compares to the labor cost, so they can run every 10 minutes with equal or fewer car miles than 4 car trains every 14 minutes. And yes, the operators are well-distanced from riders.

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