The weekend of October 2nd was momentous for Seattle residents and transit aficionados alike. Before dawn on Saturday 10/2, Sound Transit began running Link light rail service on the 4.3-mile stretch of track north of the University of Washington, opening three brand-new Link stations: U District, Roosevelt and Northgate. Along with these new openings comes a name change for the Link light rail line, which will now be known as the “1 Line” in anticipation of upcoming expansions to the East and West in the next few years. Commute Seattle staff were present at the opening day celebrations, where community organizations hosted live music, a food walk, art installations, and more in the three new stations. Follow along as we explore!
At Northgate station, a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge now spans I-5, linking the Sound Transit light rail station to North Seattle College across the freeway, and neighborhoods beyond. This will be a vital access point for users from the Northgate area, allowing human-powered users to access the station and surrounding area without interacting with vehicles. Leaving from the Northgate Station, travelers can reach the U District in 5 minutes, International District/Chinatown Station in 18 minutes and SeaTac Airport in 49 minutes.
Colorful new public art installations greeted the community at the new Roosevelt light rail station on NE 65th St. On opening day, families enjoyed taking photos and exploring the new spaces.
Even on opening day, lines for the ticket vending machines at the new stations were long at times. An employer-provided ORCA Card can help commuters avoid waiting in lines to buy tickets or re-load their passes. For more information, check out our Orca Business page!
These eagerly-anticipated stations are just the first of many exciting Sound Transit openings. Over the next three years, we’ll see the opening of 25 new light rail stations, connecting Seattle with Bellevue, Redmond, Shoreline Lynnwood, Kent and Federal Way. These regional connections will be an invaluable resource for expanding community mobility and reducing driving trips throughout the Puget Sound.
For more information, check out these resources from our partners:
- Sound Transit’s Northgate Link Website
- Sound Transit Link Service and Expansion Maps
- “Northgate Link Light Rail Expansion: How We Arrived” from the Urbanist
- “Fast facts about light-rail expansion to U District, Roosevelt, Northgate” from the Seattle Times
- Sound Transit Northgate Link Press Release