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Countdown to a new era: all aboard Link light rail starting July 18

Publish Date

Free rides during opening weekend

Sound Transit Board Chair and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels today announced a start date of Saturday, July 18 for Link light rail service — 89 days and counting!

The launch will begin a new era for public transportation in the Puget Sound region, with work underway to expand the first 15 miles of light rail service to a 55-mile regional system over the next decade and a half.

"We are counting down to a milestone. On July 18, we will make history," said Nickels. “We invite the entire community to come out and take a test ride, and enjoy a system that will grow north, south and east. Light rail will transform how we travel, how we grow and how we live."

July’s on-schedule, on-budget light rail opening will launch service between downtown Seattle and Tukwila. The line includes stops in Downtown Seattle, SODO, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley neighborhoods and Tukwila (see attached map and travel times).

Frequent bus connector service will carry light rail passengers between Tukwila and Sea-Tac International Airport starting Monday, July 20 until the opening of direct airport service in December.

Rides will be free opening weekend. Sound Transit will announce detailed opening celebration plans in the coming weeks. Information will be posted at linklaunch.

Beginning Monday, July 20, Link trains will run from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 a.m. to midnight on Sundays.

The maximum adult fare, to ride from Westlake Station in downtown Seattle to the airport, will be $2.50, the same as a bus ride. Youth base fares will start at $1.25 and have a maximum fare of $2.00 and Senior/disabled fares will start at  $.75 and have a maximum fare of $1.25 under the adopted structure.

Construction of light rail between downtown and the University of Washington is underway, with a scheduled opening in 2016. With the passage of the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure in November 2008. light rail is scheduled to reach all the way to Lynnwood, Redmond’s Overlake area and the Star Lake/Redondo area near Federal Way by 2023.