Seahawks celebrants, commuters packing Sound Transit trains and buses
A second added Sounder southline train will depart for Tacoma, Lakewood at 6:30 p.m.
From the start of service this morning, the estimated 700,000 blue- and green-clad Seahawks fans converging in downtown Seattle have created what will be a record ridership day. Here's a rundown on the day so far, and what riders need to expect tonight.
Sounder commuter rail
Southline Sounder: To help respond to the huge demand, Sound Transit has arranged to add a second special southline train to the normal evening schedule, which will depart King Street Station for Tacoma and Lakewood at 6:30 p.m. This train is hoped to ensure that riders who rode Sounder this morning can use it to get home. The special train that was announced earlier will depart at 2:30 p.m. and terminate in Tacoma These trains will operate in addition to the eight regularly scheduled trips. Southbound Sounder riders can find more information on this evening's service athttp://www.soundtransit.org/Schedules/Alerts/Seahawks-Victory-Parade---Sounder---23.
Northline Sounder: Sound Transit has added cars to some Sounder trains serving Edmonds, Mukilteo and Everett. Trains will operate on regular schedule, with trains leaving King Street Station at 4:05 p.m., 4:33 p.m., 5:05 p.m. and 5:35 p.m. The 4:05 p.m. departure will operate five-car trains and the 4:33 p.m. departure will run three-car trains.
Link light rail
Link light rail service into downtown Seattle has operated at maximum capacity from about 6 a.m. this morning. Trains have been able to run as frequently as every six minutes carrying about 4,000 riders per hour northbound into the city. We are expecting to remain at capacity through the afternoon, with the congestion shifting to southbound trains as people leaving the Seahawks festivities merge with regular commuters.
Riders should expect significant waits at stations. The increased service will run through the evening rush hours to help fans and commuters leave the city. In addition to regular two-car trains, Sound Transit has begun operating three four-car trains on the segment between Stadium Station and the airport.
Around 11:30 a.m. Link service was disrupted for about 45 minutes after tracks in the Rainier Valley were blocked while authorities cleared a motor vehicle collision with a utility pole.
ST Express buses
Sound Transit express bus services coming into Seattle also ran at capacity and were delayed by overall traffic congestion getting into and out of the city. Afternoon services can expect delays as fans and commuters leave the city. Buses serving Fourth Avenue will return to normal routes as the street reopens after the parade but significant delays and full buses are expected. Detailed information on route revisions and other issues can be found at http://www.soundtransit.org/Schedules/Alerts. Signing up for rider alerts via e-mail and text message is the best way to stay informed on route-specific issues.
Expanded ST Express Route 594 service to Pierce County is in effect utilizing additional buses and operators provided by Pierce Transit. Until streets are reopened and normal routes are restored, riders should board near Safeco Field at Fourth Avenue South and South Atlantic Street.
Sound Transit thanks riders for their patience and good humor as a record number of travelers join the celebrations on this historic day.