Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Travel Light... A few things to keep in mind

Sound Transit has formally and informally issued a number of tips and advisories so far about riding Central Link. Figured I'd post a bunch of these for people who are thinking of taking the train tomorrow.

First, Link information is not yet available in the online regional trip planner which is offered by King County Metro. It is expected to be available in a few days.

Second, shuttles are not yet operating between Tukwila International Boulevard Station and SeaTac International Airport. A few commenters have wondered about this over at the Seattle Times' website. Shuttle service starts Monday, July 20th. They're supposed to run every fifteen minutes between the airport terminal and light rail terminus, although the released schedule shows seven minutes for weekdays and nine minutes for weekends.

Third, the electronic readerboards in the stations are in fact equipped to display information about incoming trains (estimated time of arrival) but this functionality won't be operational for at least a few days. Getting the audio cues and LED screens on the trains to work was a huge undertaking in itself. That's what Sound Transit's Paul Denison (the guy in charge of all the trains) told NPI yesterday.

Fourth, regarding fares, riders are supposed to be able to pay via ORCA beginning Monday. To pay with ORCA, simply tap the smart card to a reader before entering the platform, and then tap it again after exiting the train. For those buying good old fashioned tickets, there are ticketing machines. The adult base fare is $1.75; with five cents added per mile traveled. So it's necessary to figure out where that trip is ending in advance of buying a ticket.


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