We were lucky enough to get a front-row seat for the breakthrough of the tunnel boring machine at the eastern portal of Sound Transit’s light rail tunnel through Beacon Hill. A video with the most exciting portions of the nearly 30-minute long event is attached above (double-click the player to see the higher-resolution version).
Although the Central District has pretty good bus service, so far we’ve been mostly overlooked in the planning for high-capacity, high-speed transit service. It would be fantastic if we had a subway stop that could get people to and from downtown in just 4-5 minutes instead of the usual 25 minute trip on the #3 or #4 buses.
However, I think Link Light Rail may be useful for us for southbound trips, especially to the airport. If you’ve ever tried to take a metro bus to the airport from around here, you’ve probably had some aggravation added to your trip. The buses are always crowded – there’s no room for your bags. And the frequent delays makes it difficult to make a downtown connection that guarantees that you’ll make it there in time for your flight.
But starting sometime in the 2nd half of 2009 we’ll be able to take the #48 or #8 bus south for 5-8 minutes, then hop onto light rail at the Mt. Baker station at McClellan & Rainier, and be at the airport about 20 minutes later. That should be as quick as a cab ride when I-5 is busy (not to mention $35 cheaper), and way more dependable and less stressful than the downtown bus transfer.
Now if only we could get a subway that went from Bellevue, under Lake Washington, a couple of stops here in the CD, and onwards to downtown. Ultra-unlikely, but we can dream…