Sound Transit to hold ribbon-cutting Saturday to celebrate start of Sounder service to Lakewood and South Tacoma on Monday

Oct 3, 2012

Celebrations at Lakewood, South Tacoma and Freighthouse Square stations to include free train rides, face painting, balloon animals, game booths, and live music

On Saturday, Oct. 6 community members can join in celebrating Sounder commuter rail's arrival in Lakewood and South Tacoma with free train rides, family-friendly festivities and a ribbon cutting-ceremony. Regular weekday train service starts Monday morning.

"The start of Sounder service to South Tacoma and Lakewood on Monday is nearly here, and this is a time to come together and celebrate this milestone for Pierce County residents," said Sound Transit Board Chair and Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. "From free Sounder train rides to live music to a Kid Zone, we will have something for everyone."

Activities will take place at the Lakewood, South Tacoma and Freighthouse Square stations, with free parking at each location.

Lakewood Station - 11424 Pacific Highway S.W., Lakewood

Launch celebrations will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Lakewood Station and last through 4 p.m., with remarks and a Posting of Colors by the Joint Base Lewis McCord 4/2 Stryker Brigade at 11 a.m. and an inaugural community train ride at noon. The 56th Army Brass Quintet and Clover Park High School Steel Drum Band will provide live music, and Sound Transit will give away commemorative souvenirs, including signed prints of commissioned work by noted artist J. Craig Thorpe. Sound Transit Board Chair and Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, Federal Transit Administration Regional Administrator Rick Krochalis, Washington State Department of Transportation Director Brian Lagerberg, and Lakewood Mayor Doug Richardson, and Sound Transit Boardmember and Sumner Mayor Dave Enslow will speak at the event. Representatives from Sound Transit, InterCity Transit, JBLM Commutes, and the City of Lakewood will be on hand to answer transit and schedule questions.

South Tacoma Station - 5650 S Washington St., Tacoma

Festivities at South Tacoma Station, which has been designated as the "Kid Zone," will begin at 11:30 a.m. and go through 3 p.m. Children can enjoy face painting, balloon animals, coloring, model paper trains, and live music by Mariachi Mexico. Guests will have the opportunity to take a free train ride at 1 p.m., meet traffic-fighting superhero Zap Gridlock, and have their photo taken at a Sounder photo booth. A "Be smart, Be safe" game booth and Operation Lifesaver trailer will provide tips and tools for staying safe around active tracks. Representatives from Sound Transit, STAR Center, South Tacoma Business District, and South Tacoma Neighborhood Council will be available to answer safety and other questions.

Freighthouse Square at Tacoma Dome Station

Live music by the Duwamish Dixieland Band and commemorative items will be provided at Freighthouse Square from noon to 3 p.m., with a free train ride to Lakewood Station at 2:00 p.m. Guests will also be able to talk with representatives from Sound Transit, the Freighthouse Square Merchants Association, the Dome District, the Downtown Merchants Group, and Tacoma's Downtown on the Go!.

Starting the morning of Monday, Oct. 8, Sound Transit will operate five peak-service trains that will start at the Lakewood Station, stop at South Tacoma, and proceed to the Tacoma Dome station and other stations further north. The first northbound train will leave Lakewood at 4:42 a.m. The first afternoon train to Lakewood will leave King Street Station at 4:20 p.m. Morning and evening trains will leave every 25 minutes.

Departure schedules for other south line Sounder stations remain unchanged.

Service to Lakewood and South Tacoma will also include Sound Transit's popular game day trains, which served more than 132,000 Seahawks, Mariners and Sounders FC fans last year. This fall, Sounder event trains will also serve Husky weekend afternoon games taking place at CenturyLink Field.

More information on the Sounder to Lakewood launch celebrations is available at About-Sound-Transit/News-and-events/Calendar/Lakewood-Launch-Celebration-10-6-12.xml.

Schedule, fares and other information on the Sounder extension to Lakewood is available at www.soundtransit.org/soundertolakewood.