Members of the Filipino American community will now have more options for fast, reliable travel as Sound Transit this month opened the Northgate light rail extension.
The 4.3-mile extension adds three new stations to the system, at Northgate, Roosevelt and U District, with trips of just 13 minutes from Northgate to downtown Seattle.
The opening heralds the start of an unprecedented period of transit expansion in the region. In just three years, the Link light rail network will nearly triple in reach, from 22 miles to 62 miles, with service to Tacoma’s Hilltop in 2022, East King County in 2023 and Lynnwood, Federal Way and Downtown Redmond in 2024.
The project’s $1.9 billion baseline budget includes a $615 million credit agreement under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA).
Voters approved the Northgate Link extension in 2008 as part of the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure. Construction on the project began in 2012 following six years of planning. Twin boring machines began tunneling in 2014, completing the 3.5-mile twin tunnels in 2016. Guideway construction was completed in 2018 and rail installation in 2019.
Construction of all three stations was substantially complete at the beginning of 2021, and since August, trains have been running simulated service, during which all Link trains continued without riders from University of Washington Station to Northgate.
The opening of Northgate Link will also bring significant service changes for bus riders, providing seamless connections to and from local and regional routes while enabling savings to be applied in other areas. As a result of the opening, ST Express routes 511, 512, and 513 will now end at Northgate station. ST Express Route 522 will now end at Roosevelt Station. ST Express routes 542 and 556 will end at the U District Station. Riders on these routes can then transfer to the 1 Line to reach their final destination. More information about the service changes is available at https://www.soundtransit.org/ride-with-us/changes-affect-my-ride/service-changes
In addition to service changes, riders will see changes in the way that Sound Transit lines are named. Link becomes the 1 Line, Tacoma Link becomes the T Line, Sounder South becomes the S Line and Sounder North becomes the N Line.
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