Link light rail launches new era of mobility for central Puget Sound

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Opening day crowds greeted with smooth service

Link light rail rolled out to a great start Saturday with approximately 45,000 train boardings on its opening day of service.

"Today was a story-book ending to decades of hard work," said Seattle Mayor and Sound Transit Board Chair Greg Nickels. "It was also an incredibly positive beginning of a new era in transportation for this region."

Service on the new 14-mile line kicked off with an inaugural ribbon cutting at Mt. Baker Station in Seattle's Rainier Valley neighborhood before trains departed for downtown Seattle to the north and Tukwila to the south. Operations ran smoothly throughout the day to the 12 stations where riders boarded trains for free between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Sound Transit and special event staff counted riders as they boarded at each station and limited the number to ensure riders could board all along the line. Most stations featured acoustic family-oriented entertainment for riders waiting in line.

Free service continues Sunday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. On Monday, regular paid weekday service runs from 5 a.m. - 1 a.m. Service to Sea-Tac International Airport begins in December.

Saturday's opening kicked off service on the first of what will be 55 miles of light rail service in Central Puget Sound stretching from Seattle to Lynnwood, Bellevue, Redmond, Mercer Island and Federal Way by 2023. Construction on Link light rail from downtown Seattle to the University of Washington has begun and opens for service in 2016.

More information

For detailed maps and much more information on opening weekend and regular service see: www.soundtransit.org/linklaunch.

Follow us on Twitter

For up-to-the-second information during opening weekend events follow Sound Transit on Twitter at Twitter@ST_TravelLight. We'll tweet all day about which stations have the shortest lines, what's happening at the stations and behind the scenes updates.