Brand new Light Rail train station at Sea-Tac Airport

B-Town Blog – Seattle, USA

Yet another major city abandons heavy rail

This new station will expand the system from the current end-of-line Tukwila stop that opened in July, and will provide travelers the ability to travel from downtown Seattle (or other locations along the line) directly to the airport.

Prior to its Dec. 19th opening, in order to get to the airport, riders must board a Metro bus in Tukwila. Now they can just ride along to the final stop.

“With the opening of the airport line in December, Sound Transit is giving a gift to holiday travelers by providing a fast and easy connection to downtown Seattle,” Senator Patty Murray said at Friday’s ceremony.  “We made history in July by opening the doors of light rail to the public and since that time our region has enjoyed a new convenient, environmentally-friendly, and low-cost way to get around.  This new line will continue to seamlessly connect our region’s transportation system like never before.”

The new station is located near the main airport parking garage, by the intersection of So. 176th Street and International Blvd., and includes a skybridge that will connect pedestrians to the airport ticketing concourse.

By 2020, Sound Transit is projecting that approximately 3,000 riders are expected to board trains daily at the Airport Station every day.

The next big phase of this project will be a $1.9 billion tunnel that will reach the University of Washington by 2016. Voters have also approved spending $18 billion more to extend lines stops in Federal Way, Lynnwood and Redmond.

According to spokesman Bruce Gray, train testing will begin Monday, No.v 16th between the Rainier Beach Station and the new airport stop.

Adult fare to downtown Seattle is $2.75, one way.

So far, ridership on the recently opened Seattle-Tukwila line has averaged around 16,100 per weekday in October, showing growth but still 10,000 short of the number projected for late 2010.

// TVavatar

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