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SEA light rail to downtown

SEA light rail to downtown

Old Dec 31, 18, 2:09 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
....

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).
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Old Dec 31, 18, 2:29 pm
  #32  
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
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
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Old Dec 31, 18, 6:01 pm
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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.
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Old Dec 31, 18, 6:27 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by tatterdema View Post
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

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.
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Old Jan 1, 19, 7:44 am
  #35  
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Originally Posted by tatterdema View Post
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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Old Jun 10, 19, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
The few times I tried it (before moving away from the area) I found it tedious and slow. You know you are dealing with transit rubes when they build something non-competitive and expect you to rally around it anyway, just because it's the only mass transit available.
Daily ridership is over 80K now. Just because you didn't like it, doesn't make the planners rubes.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 1:36 pm
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I'm flying into SEA for the first time next week, arriving in the evening. I was planning on using the light rail (staying at the Sheraton Grand and it looks like there's a station nearby) but I just found this on the SeaTac website:

Effective June 17, 2019 Link Light Rail elevator from Sea-Tac Station to International Boulevard closed for major repairs for 2 months. During this time, the stairs will remain open. For those with accessibility needs, Sound Transit will operate a shuttle between International Boulevard and 176th ST and the Courtesy Shuttle Loop on the Arrivals loop of the Airport at Door 8. For way finding help please see Sea-Tac Airport's interactive map. The shuttle will run every 15 minutes during operating hours (5 a.m. through 1:30 a.m.).

Anyone have any idea how much of a PITA this is? How many stairs are they talking about? I'll be alone with luggage and struggle a bit with stairs, so I'm wondering if their bus shuttle is easy enough or if I should just book Shuttle Express instead. Any advise from someone who's done it?
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Old Jun 27, 19, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by ShopAround View Post
......

Anyone have any idea how much of a PITA this is? How many stairs are they talking about? I'll be alone with luggage and struggle a bit with stairs, so I'm wondering if their bus shuttle is easy enough or if I should just book Shuttle Express instead. Any advise from someone who's done it?
In your instance, none at all

No stairs involved in going from terminal to light rail station, provided you get off on the right floor. Plenty of elevators and escalators inside the terminal; procedure to get from aircraft to light rail is not changing, only if you want to get downstairs from light rail station (or vv), so if you intend to get on train a nonevent.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 2:47 pm
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
In your instance, none at all

No stairs involved in going from terminal to light rail station, provided you get off on the right floor. Plenty of elevators and escalators inside the terminal; procedure to get from aircraft to light rail is not changing, only if you want to get downstairs from light rail station (or vv), so if you intend to get on train a nonevent.
Thanks so much for clarifying! Having never been there, I had visions of schlepping my luggage up concrete stairs in a garage, which wasn't very appealing.
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Old Jun 28, 19, 7:37 am
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This is the entrance they're talking about. https://goo.gl/maps/tFyNwWwkCVwot3AS6
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Old Jul 22, 19, 7:05 pm
  #41  
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FWIW, I've taken the light rail from SEA to/from downtown twice and it was delightful. It was probably about the same time from airport to hotel, but I enjoyed the train more than I would have a taxi or Uber. I saved some money, and I like the idea that I didn't unnecessarily task a vehicle and its driver to take me on a journey that public transit is at the ready to provide.
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Old Jul 28, 19, 8:59 pm
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
FWIW, I've taken the light rail from SEA to/from downtown twice and it was delightful. It was probably about the same time from airport to hotel, but I enjoyed the train more than I would have a taxi or Uber. I saved some money, and I like the idea that I didn't unnecessarily task a vehicle and its driver to take me on a journey that public transit is at the ready to provide.
I've had zero issue the few times I have done it. Granted, I have been staying downtown (i.e. a few blocks walking distance from Pike Place Market), but it has always been extremely convenient.

What is not convenient, at least the one time I encountered it, was unexpected delays. If you end up waiting 20 minutes, you may as well hop in an Uber.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 7:28 am
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I have flight coming in around 1 AM, has anyone rode on the train to downtown from the airport around this time? Just wondering if I will be able to find room for my luggage (1 large checked bag and 1 carry-on). I try to use public transit as much as possible when I travel. Thanks everyone
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Old Dec 17, 19, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by freQ View Post
I have flight coming in around 1 AM, has anyone rode on the train to downtown from the airport around this time? Just wondering if I will be able to find room for my luggage (1 large checked bag and 1 carry-on). I try to use public transit as much as possible when I travel. Thanks everyone
Do you have a hotel reserved? Is this a long layover?

I dont recall when light rail stops working. Id be concerned at this time from a safety standpoint.

You could stay at an airport hotel then go into Seattle the next morning/.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 11:04 am
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Originally Posted by freQ View Post
I have flight coming in around 1 AM, has anyone rode on the train to downtown from the airport around this time? Just wondering if I will be able to find room for my luggage (1 large checked bag and 1 carry-on).
Link light rail generally stops running to downtown before 1AM, unfortunately. The last couple of trains departing from the airport station terminate at Beacon Hill station (so they don't go all the way into downtown). You'll want to check the schedule on the Sound Transit website to be sure.
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