The start of service at Angle Lake Station in SeaTac will be the last light-rail station opening for five years.
Light-rail service will reach Angle Lake Station in SeaTac starting Saturday, increasing park-and-ride access for a broad area south of Seattle.
Opening ceremonies start at 9:30 a.m., with music by the Northwest Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet and Sounders FC Sound Wave Band. After speeches and a VIP ride, train service will open to the public about 11 a.m.
The 1.6-mile, $343 millionextension goes to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and on to downtown and the University of Washington — a 41-minute ride to Westlake Center, 48 minutes to UW Station.
Construction costs for the Angle Lake segment were $40 million less than the $383 million budgeted.
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This is the last big light-rail opening for five years. North of the university, the Northgate, Roosevelt and U District stations are on target to open by September 2021.
An estimated 5,400 passengers a day are expected to depart or return at Angle Lake, which offers 1,120 parking spaces, a connection to the RapidRide A bus, an easy walk to six apartment complexes, and a loop in the station for taxis and friends with cars to meet transit users.
Station parking is meant to take pressure off the 600 spaces that overflow at Tukwila International Boulevard Station. Carpools and van pools can get reserved parking at either station for $5 a month, operated by Republic Parking Northwest.
Parking is limited to 24 hours and not intended for airline customers.
Passengers board from a center platform, where trains depart from either side. Overhead is the sculpture “Cloud” by Laura Haddad, made of 6,000 white, pink, orange and purple discs.
The agency says it slashed opening-day costs by two-thirds, from more than $306,000 down to $103,800, after pushback over the $858,379 expense for the March launch of the UW and Capitol Hill stations. Event consultants, crowd control, entertainment and broadcast advertising were eliminated or reduced, and Alaska Airlines contributed a $25,000 sponsorship, said transit spokeswoman Kimberly Reason. The city of SeaTac will present a “Party on the Plaza” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Voters will decide this fall whether to raise property, sales and car-tab taxes for Sound Transit 3, featuring 62 more light-rail miles, commuter trains south to DuPont, and bus-rapid transit for Highways 405 and 522. If it passes, taxes would increase $326 for a median household in urban parts of Snohomish, King and Pierce counties next year. You can figure your tax increase, here, and view a light-rail network map.
Abigail Doerr, manager of the Mass Transit Now (pro-ST3) campaign, said in a debate this week the station is opening four years early. That’s based on goals from the 2008 ST2 campaign. Back in the Sound Move campaign of 1996, Angle Lake service was promised by 2006, but severely flawed cost estimates for the overall network led to project delays.