Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Light Rail - It makes people happy

In July a monumental thing happened in Seattle - we finally got light rail. Working, people moving light rail.
We voted on it waaaay back in the 1990's (1995 I think?, 1998?) and it seems like it took forever to get built. So when they announced that on Saturday July 18th they were having the inaugural rides - and that it would be free to ride - I knew I was going to go. I have been excited about this! Light Rail! In Seattle! It only goes from Tukwila to Westlake right now, but they are adding on in multiple directions, and linking to Seatac airport in September.
So on July 18th I took my boys, and niece and nephews to Tukwila and we rode the new Sound Transit Light Rail on its opening day into Seattle.
Sound Transit threw a party on that day - and they were expecting the big crowds. The lines were long, but the wait was short - and we were entertained while we waited to get on board.
This was a magician that had the kids help him with his magic tricks, and it seemed like only a few minutes had passed and it was our turn to board the light rail cars.
The ride was nice and smooth, and very scenic. We had a great view of Mt. Rainier! And as we got close to Boeing Field, a plane was landing and seemed oh so close. And at every stop along the way there was people waving to each other. When we arrived in Seattle the kids all got Inaugural ride stickers. I am so glad that we went and took that inaugural ride - and I hope the kids remember it and when we have light rail all over Puget sound they can say they rode it on the first day, way back when it only went from Tukwila to Westlake.

Today - while I was in the bus tunnel waiting for my bus I was approached by an older Asian gentleman. He asked me if this is where he catches the light rail to go South. I told him that yes, he was in the right spot.
He got a big smile on his face and said - "This is my first time." He was so excited it was cute.
I clapped my hands and said "How exciting!"
He even got out his transit pass to show it to me - it was brand new and shiny - he was so proud. A few minutes later I heard the light rail coming, so I told him where to go stand so that he would be able to board. Right before he boarded he turned back to me and waved. I waved back. Then after he had gotten his seat, and the light rail cars started to pull away - he waved again. I love that he was so excited to ride the new light rail, just like I was super excited 3 1/2 weeks ago to ride for the first time. And waved - just like everybody did on that first day.

Light Rail makes me happy - and I am glad that I am not the only one. Smile.

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