The extension of the popular light rail service means holiday travelers will have a fast, reliable, one-seat ride between downtown Seattle and the airport. The first 13.9 miles of Link opened in July with service between downtown Seattle and Tukwila, where riders could catch a free shuttle bus to and from the airport.
"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 Murray said. "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."
Link includes stops in Downtown Seattle, SODO, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley neighborhoods and Tukwila.
"With this milestone on the calendar, we can begin to celebrate the completion of the first phase of regional light rail, linking downtown Seattle with the airport and all the communities in between," said Seattle Mayor and Sound Transit Board Chair Greg Nickels. "Once again, Sound Transit delivers real benefits to the people of Puget Sound."
Passenger service at Sea Tac Airport Station begins at 10 a.m. on Dec. 19th. Normal Link operating hours are from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 a.m. to midnight on Sundays. Sea Tac Airport Station connects to the airport garage via a pedestrian walkway. Airport passengers will follow a separated guideway through the garage to the main terminal. Luggage carts will be available at the station.
"Completing this project with Sound Transit is a superb example of how public agencies can work successfully together to meet the region's needs," said Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton. "With more than 30 million passengers through Sea-Tac every year, and 15,000 airport employees, we anticipate light rail will be a welcome 'green' alternative for travel to and from the airport."
The airport is home to about 15,000 direct and indirect jobs. The station also features a "kiss-and-ride" area to the east of International Boulevard for passenger drop-off and pick up. A pedestrian bridge connects the station to the "kiss-and-ride."
Construction of light rail between downtown and the University of Washington is under way, with a scheduled opening in 2016. With the passage of the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure in November 2008, light rail is scheduled to reach all the way to Lynnwood, Redmond's Overlake area and the Star Lake/Redondo area near Federal Way by 2023.