An excited crowd (including Seattle Mayor Ed Murray) prepares to board a train at University of Washington Station on University Link Launch Day, March 19. Find more Launch Day photos on the University of Washington and Sound Transit Facebook pages.
On Saturday, March 19, after years of anticipation, University Link light rail arrived. Community members celebrated with music, food and more as they explored the new University of Washington and Capitol Hill stations, and rode Link to and from the UW for the first time.
Light rail has come
to the UW
Now that U Link is here, what’s next? Well, there’s another big change coming to the Seattle area transit system in less than a week: This Saturday, March 26, King County Metro Transit will debut a service change that will better integrate Metro with U Link and expand service for the third time in the past year. You can determine how U Link and Metro’s new bus service might fit into your commute or other travel – and we’re here to help. And if you missed the Launch Day fun on Saturday, you still have a chance to have some fun and explore Link at a couple of great events we have coming up in April.
New bus service
March 26 will bring Seattle’s second transit milestone in a week’s time (and just in time for the UW’s spring quarter). Metro Transit and Sound Transit will implement service improvements
that day, marking the third phase of expansion approved by Seattle voters back in 2014. [Update
: Read more about the bus service changes in our March 24 blog post
With these improvements in place, it will be even easier to connect to light rail from anywhere in the University District. Buses will run between UW Station and the heart of the U-District every eight minutes or less. Throughout Seattle, the new service will integrate buses with the new light rail stations and improve reliability and frequency of service for thousands of bus riders.
Many existing routes will be more frequent and may include routing changes, while some new routes will be added and other routes deleted, replaced or reduced. The details are available on Metro’s website
, or you can grab a new purple timetable on your bus to see how the new schedule might affect you.
What does it all mean for you?
The transit world in Seattle and around the UW is changing in a big way. With U Link in place and bus changes coming soon, your transit options for a UW commute might be quite different than they were just a short time ago.
How can you navigate the new landscape? A whole armful of resources is available for you. You can learn about what U Link means for you and how to ride light rail with our UW light rail guide
or Sound Transit’s U Link site
. To determine how the bus changes will affect you, you can consult Metro’s service change page
or plug your trips into Metro’s Trip Planner
(just be sure to enter a travel date of March 26 or later to reflect the new timetables).
If you’re a UW student, faculty or staff member, you have access to maybe the best commute resource of all: the Commute Concierge
. If all this information just seems like too much, the Concierge staff will gladly do the heavy lifting for you and provide you personalized commute options available to you in the new transit environment. You can get started online
Try out light rail at our Let’s Link events!
From the UW, light rail can now Link you to lunch on Capitol Hill or shopping downtown in a matter of minutes. And you can get to the airport in just 46 minutes. Come try it out at our Let’s Link days in April!
Come join us at the southwest entrance to Husky Stadium (right by UW Station) at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 14
, or 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 16
– or come on both days!
Bring a buddy or a group of friends as we take Link to Capitol Hill, downtown and other cool destinations. Enjoy bagels from Eltana
, get yourself some fun swag and try your hand at an interactive scavenger hunt for a chance at prizes. We’ll have Link Leaders available to help you find your way. Some of those leaders will ride back to the UW together by 12:30, but you’re free to make the trip as long or as short as you’d like.
U-PASS covers your fare on Link light rail – but if you don’t have one, you can still Link with us. The first 75 UW employees who register and who are not U-PASS members will receive complimentary ORCA cards to use during the Let’s Link events. Register online now
! See you there.