Hard to believe that light rail has been running under downtown Seattle for ten years already. Ten years! The bus tunnel was completed after I first arrived in Seattle, in 1990, and I remember thinking then that it was super futuristic and cool down there, though I never once rode a bus through it. Now, however, I ride the light rail through the tunnel to the airport pretty often. It’s a terrific convenience “gliding past gridlock” especially for those of us within walking distance of a station. It’s pretty slick.
The original architects of the tunnel planned all along that it would house light rail in the future. The future is now! And today was the last day for buses to run through the tunnel, enabling the light rail trains to move faster. Also, the $1.78 billion expansion of the Washington State Convention Center is taking over Convention Place Station where buses will no longer enter and exit the tunnel.
Since over 800 daily buses will take to the streets starting tomorrow, we are now entering the maximum period of constraint, aka the next chapter of the Seattle Squeeze. I’m sure if you are a driver, you won’t be much charmed by these clever names.
Will the last bus to leave the tunnel please leave on the lights. I have a train to catch.