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-   -   SEA light rail to downtown (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/pacific-northwest/1581727-sea-light-rail-downtown.html)

EmailKid Dec 31, 18 2:09 pm


Originally Posted by BearX220 (Post 30592538)
....

It happens to end up at the airport.

......

Not anymore @:-)

Rode it Friday to SEA, and there's a stop past, apparently first stop in the expansion.

Midday, so can't comment on what it's like at night, but very safe, though not as straight as I-5. Not as congested as what I saw in a couple of spots looking out the train windows on the Interstate.

The price was right, there were a couple of carts waiting downstairs, and one of them passed me as I was walking to terminal. LOTS of clear screens have been added, so much more comfortable even on a VERY windy day that was Friday.

^ ^ from me, but I'm a backpacker at heart (even left my normal rollaboard at home on this trip).

Mwenenzi Dec 31, 18 2:29 pm


Originally Posted by BearX220 (Post 30592538)
The train isn't optimized for airport traffic. It happens to end up at the airport. But the route wanders through disparate neighborhoods, sprawling across the landscape like untidy coils of garden hose across your lawn. It crosses I-5 at least twice; I-5 is straight; the rail right of way is anything but. Route determination was of course heavily political and had everything to do with servicing hyperlocal access demands, nothing to do with speed or efficiency, or getting to SEA faster than driving.....

When it comes to public rail transport to airports get 2 types
  1. Dedicated fast & expensive, that needs a lot of subsidies, primarily used by flyers (like Heathrow express). Tend never to meet predictions of passenger numbers.
  2. Part of the suburban mass public transport system, slower, reasonably priced that needs subsidies, used by flyers & the general public. (like Heathrow tube). May have limited express or stopping all stations depending on the city. The poorer system hit you with extra cost for the airport station.
When I go to LHR I use the (cheaper slower) tube

tatterdema Dec 31, 18 6:01 pm

I don't think the Seattle light rail was really meant to be considered "airport transportation". It did not even go into the airport at first, and was a complete fiasco trying to get from the last stop into the airport. I agree it was political on what neighborhoods it services.

EmailKid Dec 31, 18 6:27 pm


Originally Posted by tatterdema (Post 30593387)
I don't think the Seattle light rail was really meant to be considered "airport transportation". It did not even go into the airport at first, and was a complete fiasco trying to get from the last stop into the airport. I agree it was political on what neighborhoods it services.

Welcome to the world of local politics :rolleyes:

In Dallas the Orange Line to DFW is even worse, and when I used to take it in the wee hours, especially in winter there would sometimes be more homeless than pax in the cars.

And the rails were supposed to make a small detour to service DAL on the way, but they could not make the numbers work @:-)

So the rails are literally (yes, literally, not figuratively but spoken as literally) next to four lanes of Denton Drive, which is the only thing separating it from the fence around the airport.

Turns out, to make DAL, line would have to be underground for part of the airport, and that would raise the per mile overall cost just enough that it would jeopardize some federal matching grant, so now DAL has the Love Shuttle, aka bus 524.

Sorry for going a little OT, but it kind of illustrates how the sausage is made - in Seattle's case probably more districts than actual suburbs like in Dallas.

Gardyloo Jan 1, 19 7:44 am


Originally Posted by tatterdema (Post 30593387)
I don't think the Seattle light rail was really meant to be considered "airport transportation". It did not even go into the airport at first, and was a complete fiasco trying to get from the last stop into the airport. I agree it was political on what neighborhoods it services.

There was actually a lot of talk when the route was being developed that the airport service would be targeted more to serve lower-wage airport area workers, which, by the way, it does. The route choice was also based on availability of cheap right-of-way, e.g. down the middle of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. It was never planned with air passenger use as a top priority, evidence the absence of dedicated luggage space on the cars.


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