Sound Transit announced an official start date for the Link light rail service: July 18. This is a delay of two weeks from the previously rumored date of July 3, but had been expected because of delays in the Beacon Hill station construction. Rides will be free on opening weekend if you want to check it out. Sound Transit’s Link launch site will be updated in the coming weeks with more information about the opening festivities.
In related news, today is the kickoff of the ORCA card program. The ORCA card is a smart card that will eventually be used to pay fares on all the local transit systems. If you plan to be using the train (or other transit in the area) much in the future, particularly if you plan to transfer between train and bus, you will want to pick up an ORCA card from the orcacard.com website. Eventually ORCA will be required in order to transfer between different systems (such as light rail to bus, bus to Sounder, etc.). Read more about ORCA here.