City Adventures in Urban Transporation
Last week I traveled to the fine city of Minneapolis, home of Prince, two-for-one beers, and light rail.
The light rail line, called the Hiawatha Line, runs from the Warehouse District in downtown Minneapolis, out past both of the area’s airports, and finally deadends, fittingly enough, at the Mall of America. It’s a simple line with 17 stations, but it’s not a hassle and works great (just $1.50 and 25 minutes to the airports). My only complaint: A wretched, high-pitched shriek of an alarm that pierces the ear drums whenever a car’s door is closing. At 5:30 a.m., it’s not the most pleasant sound to experience 14 times.
Still, I’ll take hearing loss over my experience when trying to get back into Seattle from Sea-Tac, when bus 194—pretty much my only option unless I felt like forking over something close to $60 for a cab ride—broke down near Safeco Field.
Thankfully, as our afflicted bus made its way out of Sea-Tac we passed major construction on our very own light rail line, under which a massive banner promised: “Ride the Rail to the Airport in 2009!â€ť
It may be long overdue—and will no doubt be way over budget by the time it’s done—but if our light rail works as well as the one in Minneapolis, all will be forgiven. Just keep the ear drum piercing to a minimum, okay Sound Transit?