Aug. 29, 2008
SEATTLE - The University of Washington has reached a one-year agreement with Starline Luxury Coaches and King Country Metro Transit to continue a free service started more than 20 years ago that provides fans attending Husky football games with transportation to the team's seven home games this season.
Under this new agreement, Starline will sub-contract with Metro to continue to provide bus service to transport fans from eight park-and-ride lots as well as other locations throughout King County. Metro utilizes approximately 120 wheelchair-accessible buses on any given gameday to transport fans to the games.
In addition to the free park-and-ride service, Husky ticketholders will also continue to be able to utilize any of Metro's regular-scheduled routes free of charge by showing the driver their game ticket for that day.
"We are pleased we were able to form this partnership with Starline and Metro to continue this essential service for Husky fans," said UW acting athletic director Scott Woodward. "Having 20 percent of our fans come to Husky Stadium using public transit reduces traffic, is ecologically sound and greatly relieves the pressure on surrounding neighborhoods. It is critical that we be able to provide such a service on game days."
Under the terms of its Transportation Management Plan, developed in response to the most recent Husky Stadium expansion in 1987, the UW provides free shuttle service to home football events. The UW athletic department spends approximately $500,000 annually to pay for the service. In 1987, an estimated 3,000 fans traveled to each Husky football game via the free bus service. In 2007, an estimated 15,000 fans per game utilized the Metro service.
In 2007, an average of 67,732 fans attended seven Washington home football games in the 72,000-seat Husky Stadium. Fans typically commute to the game via automobile, public transit, private motor coach and boat. Throughout the year, more than 75 percent of visitors to the UW commute to campus via a method other than a single occupancy vehicle. An estimated 39 percent arrive by public transportation.
The free park-and-ride service will begin two hours prior to the scheduled kickoff of each home football game, with buses departing each location every 20 minutes. The final in-bound buses will depart approximately 50 minutes prior to kickoff. Buses will return to park-and-ride lots following the conclusion of each contest with the final departure taking place 45 minutes after the game ends.
Park-and-ride locations utilized for this service include: Northgate, South Kirkland, Eastgate, South Renton, Shoreline, Federal Way, Kingsgate, and Houghton. For more specific information, visit www.gohuskies.com/gettothegame or http://transit.metrokc.gov.