My Walk+Link Commute

At the end of March Sound Transit opened two new stations as the University Link extension to the existing Central Link light rail line. I decided to change up my commute to take advantage of the new connection available at Capitol Hill Station, giving up a very unpleasant walk along Denny Way for a quick subway ride followed by a relatively more pleasant walk through Belltown.

Being the data nerd that I am, I've been timing each segment of every commute trip I've made between my house and my office, excluding only trips that weren't directly between the two. I tracked the time I spent walking to and from each station, the time I waited for each train, and the time I spent on each train.

In the morning my commute to work takes an average of 47 minutes and 49 seconds, saving me about 10 minutes over the old walking commute. The evening commute is slightly faster at 47 minutes and 25 seconds. The vast majority of my time is spent walking to and from the stations. I could probably cut that down a few minutes by riding connecting buses, but I've found that it's a good way to get a bit of exercise every day and avoid the stress of trying to transfer to a bus.

Zooming in on the transit portion of the trip shows some interesting day-to-day differences. During my commute trains are running every 6 minutes, so on average I should be waiting about three minutes (assuming I don't try to time my trips to meet a train). That seems to be borne out by the data, which show an average wait of 2:47 in the morning and 3:21 in the evening. Surprisingly some days are noticeably better than others, with very short waits on my way to work on Wednesdays and coming home on Fridays. I'll be interested to see if that trend holds up as I make more trips. The train trips themselves are much more consistent.