Light rail groundbreaking

 Light rail groundbreaking

Light rail groundbreaking

The greater Seattle area will be getting light rail service starting later this year going between downtown and SeaTac airport. An extension was approved to extend service north to UW, and that project starts this year with completion targeted for 2016. Sound Transit held a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony yesterday near Husky Stadium where the UW station will be. Of course, they didn't really dig into the ground...

As you can see many people participated in the ceremony, the most notable being UW President Mark Emmert (second from left), US Senator Patty Murray (right below the balloons in the middle of the picture), and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels (fifth from the right). Before the actual groundbreaking, the participants were given instructions to dig a bit then turn and congratulate each other; this was explained beforehand so the media could take video.

Many dignitaries were given an opportunity to speak at the beginning of the ceremony, giving a bit of the history of how the project came about and an idea of the breadth of people who were involved. When Senator Murray was finishing up, she mentioned that since she was a WSU Cougar, she couldn't wait to dig into Husky ground. Unfortunately for her, all the other speakers were either UW alumni or had close ties to UW, so they each gave her a hard time over being from WSU.

The Metro bus system as it is now works pretty well for us, especially since we're very close to bus stops which make it easy for us to north and south, especially during commutes. My bus runs every 20 or 30 minutes and drops me off less than a block from work. When Melody uses a commuter bus, she gets to work in downtown about as quickly as I do to the UW. Unfortunately, later at night she doesn't have as many options; the most convenient bus only runs once an hour, and other options involve walking at least a half mile on this end or waiting for a transfer.

Depending on how bus routes will change to complement them, the light rail lines may help us a bit, but probably only after they get extended up to Northgate. We'll be able to use the new trains when we go to the airport, however.