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Light rail connects to SeaTac in time for holiday rush

The Sound Transit light rail began its service to SeaTac International Airport on Dec. 19, just in time for the holiday rush. The final stop on the Seattle-to-SeaTac "Central Link" allows travelers the luxury of taking public transport seamlessly from the airport to Westlake in 35 minutes.

On Sunday, Dec. 20, the 7:45 p.m. train -- they run every eight to 15 minutes -- was nearly full with SeaTac travelers and Seattle residents alike. Tenaye Behago, of Seatac, and her children Betel, 4, Abraham, 5, and friend Nura Negewo, rode the train home after a day of holiday shopping in Westlake Center.

"This is our second time riding," she said. "It's great."

Those passengers traveling to SeaTac via light rail are dropped off minutes from the Departures and Arrivals terminal. The station, decorated with installation art and ambient lighting, is connected to the airport by a pedestrian bridge. Three minutes of walking and you arrive at the SeaTac parking lot outside of Arrivals.

SeaTac is the final station in light rail's 13-stop Central Link, which runs from downtown Seattle, through Sodo, Columbia City, Rainier Beach and Tukwila.

Until light rail connects to Mercer Island in 2020, Islanders can catch the 550 or 554 Metro bus from the Park and Ride, commute to the downtown International District station and then transfer onto the light rail to SeaTac for $2.50.

Photos by Elizabeth Celms and Corey Scott Johnsen

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