Opening weekend attracts more than 92,000 light rail riders

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Large crowds, smiling faces as the region embraces its new mass transit system

Opening weekend light rail service concluded this evening with more than 92,000 boardings -approximately 51,000 in 10 hours on Saturday and 41,000 over an eight-hour period today.

"The crowds at light rail stations throughout the weekend showed the excitement people feel as we have become a light rail region," said Sound Transit Board Chair and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. "That excitement about our mass transit future will only grow as we continue to build and expand on the light rail system."

Operations ran smoothly all weekend.

Central Link light rail trains will start rolling again tomorrow at about 5 a.m. as regular service gets underway. The time of first service at each station will range between 4:58 a.m. and 5:39 a.m. on weekdays, depending on the station and the direction of travel. Service will span 20 hours Monday through Saturday and 18 hours on Sunday. Riders must plan ahead to make sure their trips conclude before the close of service. The specific times of first and last service at each station are posted at the stations' ticket vending machines.

On weekdays, trains will run every 7-1/2 minutes during peak times (6 a.m.-8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.-6:30 p.m. and every 10 minutes during other times, except very early and late, when trains will run every 15 minutes (5 a.m.-6 a.m. and 10 p.m.-1 a.m.).

Starting tomorrow riders will pay fares to ride Link light rail. Regular adult fares range from $1.75 up to $2.50. The ticket vending machines at each of the stations dispense Link tickets and ORCA cards. Valid transit passes and bus transfer slips are also recognized as proof of payment on Link light rail.

Link passengers are reminded to pay before they board trains and are required to provide proof of payment upon the request of fare inspectors. ORCA card users need to tap their card on a card reader on the platform of the station before they board, and tap again at the station once they get off, and the new transit smart card will automatically calculate the correct fare for their trip.

Tomorrow, airport connector buses will begin providing service to and from Tukwila International Boulevard Station. The connector bus service will be provided until light rail service directly to the airport begins in December.