Seattle’s Northgate Link Light Rail Extension Officially Opens for Riders with 3 New Stations

Seattle Residents now have more reliable, traffic-free transit options – the long-awaited Northgate Link light rail extension officially opened for service on Saturday morning.

With 4.3 miles of new tracks and stations in Northgate, Roosevelt and the U district, the new extension will connect Northgate to the Westlake station in downtown Seattle in just 14 minutes. Trains will run every eight minutes during peak hours and every 10 minutes on most weekends and noon.

The new extension is expected to handle 41,000 to 49,000 daily passengers by 2022, according to projections from the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). Local leaders hope the new transit option will be transformative and reflect North Seattle’s rapid growth over the past decade.


“You will never get stuck in ship canal traffic again,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said when announcing the station openings in April. “It’s a continuous 8-mile underground tunnel from here to the Chinatown International District.”

In addition to the fancy new stations, John Lewis Memorial Bridge (Northgate Pedestrian and Bike Bridge) will also open on Saturday. The 1,900-foot-long structure will connect the Northgate Sound Transit light rail stop to North Seattle College, providing safe passage over Interstate 5.

From where to park to how to connect to bus routes, read on to learn everything you need to know about the new Northgate Link extension.

Where is the parking lot?

Those coming from the north and looking to avoid traffic jams on Interstate 5 can park in the Northgate Station Garage, which offers 447 free seats and nine ADA seats. Parking is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis on the first three levels, while the fourth level is reserved for carpooling and individual drivers. parking permit.

Other nearby parking options for Northgate Station are available at the Northgate Mall Garage, Thornton Place Garage, and Metro parking.

Several blocks near the new Roosevelt The station has been converted to pay parking, and the city has also added charging areas near the District U station.

The new U-District station is scheduled to open this fall.

Sound transit

How will the bus service change?

King County Metro too adjust bus routes with your fall service change starting Saturday. Passengers, especially those from North Seattle, need to be prepared for major changes as six new routes will be added and even more will be removed.

Service will increase to nearly 90% of pre-pandemic levels, according to King County Metro, although 18 routes still remain suspended due to low ridership. Passengers are encouraged to use Metro Trip Planner to see what transit options are available.

Changes to Snohomish County community transit bus services are also taking place with the new Link extension and fall service changes, effective October 2-4. Three Sound Transit bus routes (511, 512, 513) will now connect to light rail at Northgate Station and will no longer serve District U, the University of Washington, and downtown Seattle.

Community Transit passengers can use the trip planner service to see what transit options are available.

Why did the names of the lines change?

Along with the new stations, passengers must be ready to use new names, numbers and line colors. The Link light rail, which now runs between Angle Lake and Northgate, is called Line 1, colored green on maps. The Tacoma Link is now also the T Line, in orange. Sounder North is now called Line N, and Sounder South is called Line S, both light blue in color.

The changes reflect a new branding initiative from Sound Transit as more and more lines open in the coming years.

The new Roosevelt station will open this fall.

The new Roosevelt station will open this fall.

Sound transit

What’s next for Sound Transit?

While the opening of the Northgate expansion marks an important milestone for transit in the region, the next few years will also see major service expansions. Scheduled to open sometime in 2023, the East Link Extension will bring a total of ten new stations and 40 miles of tracks to Judkins Park, Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond.

the Federal Way Extension It is then expected to open in 2024, taking service south through Angle Lake, Kent / Des Moines and Federal Way. the Lynnwood Extension It is also expected to open that year, serving four new stations, including two at Shoreline, one at Mountlake Terrace and one at Lynnwood City Center.

Two other stations will also open in 2024 in Redmond, which connects the downtown business hub and Marymoor Village near Marymoor Park. Once completed, travel time between Redmond and the downtown Seattle Westlake Station will be approximately 45 minutes.

Project timelines for ST3, a voter-approved ballot measure that would add 62 new miles of light rail with stations serving additional areas in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. underwent a realignment process in August due to rising real estate and construction costs in the region.

Several Seattle projects received accelerated schedules as part of the realignment, with the estimated completion date for 130th Street Station moving from 2036 to 2025. The completion date for Graham Street and Boeing Access Road also increased from 2036 to 2031.

Other projects saw delays in their schedules. The board voted to delay several parking projects, including one at Lake Forest Park Town Center for bus rapid transit customers. The Ballard station is also delayed to 2039 instead of the voter-approved 2035.



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