Finally! U LINK LAUNCH 2016! 3/19/2016

Morning – Beautiful sky, crisp air, and coffee.

2016-03-19 07.08.42

Morning view from Montlake bridge

My brother won a pair of Golden Tickets from twitter. This special pass allows us to join the launch and ride before the public. We also get to keep this commemorative Orca card, which has a free-fare pass for a good two weeks.

The countdown starts from the UW Station. We did the countdown in neon lights, cars launched on both side, and we rode to Capitol Hill together. I was a little confused at first about the same direction riding thing. It was just for the event though. Within around 4 minutes, we arrived together on both sides of the platform and opened the Capitol Hill Station. I was so happy, and envious at the same time. I envy the kids who has the choice to commute to school on these trains. During my time of having business commuting to and fro the Hill, Chinatown, U-district, and downtown, there was no such thing.

After the launch, we waited for our mayor to cut the ribbon at 10am for the public. I was too spacey and high from coffee to realize the ribbon cutting. All I remember was confettis falling from the indecisive sky. Our Golden Tickets would allow us back in the stations without needing to line up. I don’t think I noticed any kind of line up though. The food trucks and community booths set up near Cal Anderson park were already up and ready. I noticed my brother‘s maps at the Sound Transit booth. Apparently, these fold-up Seattle Transit Maps were quite popular. The booth at UW ran out of maps before noon. There are fold-ups and posters of these maps sold on their website.

My brother and I both have been out of town, and have not had the chance to ride the First Hill Street Car until this weekend. We railed around in a loop. From Capitol Hill, through the tunnel to International District, then from there we got on the street car on Jackson St, and rode back up to Capitol Hill. The street car didn’t make a big impact on me. It seems convenient to get from 5th Avenue up to Seattle U, but waiting for it seems like the worse part. Getting stuck in traffic seems even worse. Because it just feels wrong to get stuck in traffic on rail. It feels kind of pointless. If you know what I mean.

Just adding two more stops to the Light Rail makes so much difference. While going back and forth on the first day, my internal clock couldn’t keep up. It was like having jet lag. It was kind of like this. Within an hour, I could grab drinks and snacks in Chinatown, be at the UW quad watching people watching Cherry Blossoms, then having ice cream at Molly Moons on the Hill afterwards. Summer date in a flash, eh? Imagine when ST3 is realized.

People who has lived in Seattle probably knows going up the damn Hill can be a pain. It is either you enjoy walking up the Hill, or you bike (cheers to those who know how), or you like waiting for those squeaky old busses that may or may not come. The dreadful wait that makes you feel like it is faster just walking up. And when you start walking up and just barely half way through the bus comes humming behind you. Even if you don’t mind waiting, there’s no way those buses are more pleasant than a crowded train to UW.

My friend complains the UW station is too far from the Ave. I agree that the station is faraway from most things. However, for going to class I find the walk from Husky Stadium to the rest of campus alright. You can pretty much run to class without needing to look out for traffic. It only requires a little crossing on Stevens Way which is very minor.

My sister joined us later in the afternoon for some ice cream. It was a beautiful day out.

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