University Link extension. Click to enlarge. (SoundTransit)
University Link extension. Click to enlarge. (SoundTransit)

A start date for the opening of the new University Link extension has been set for Saturday, March 19th at 10 a.m. King County Executive Dow Constantine, Mayor Ed Murray, and Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff broke the news at a press conference this afternoon outside of the newly completed Capitol Hill Station.

The University Link extension is a 3.15-mile segment that will add two new stations to Central Link. It was built as a twin-bored tunnel from Downtown Seattle to Husky Stadium and will directly connect the University of Washington and Capitol Hill to the existing light rail line system through Downtown Seattle. The new light rail segment will substantially lower travel times for many transit trips along the corridor. Estimated trip time from University of Washington Station to Westlake Station will be as little as 8 minutes.

The total project cost for University Link has topped just over $1.9 billion, but has come in $150 million under budget. It is also opening six months ahead of schedule. This short segment alone is expected to carry up to 71,000 people per day by the year 2030.

The first train will depart from University of Washington Station at 10am on March 19th, 2016.

The opening of University Link will also allow Sound Transit to finally provide three- and four-car trains during peak travel times to help relieve overcrowding along the route.

For more information about University Link, please visit

Approximate Train Frequencies


5:00 a.m. - 6:00 a.m.Every 15 minutes
6:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.Every 6 minutes
8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.Every 10 minutes
3:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.Every 6 minutes
6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Every 10 minutes
9:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.Every 15 minutes

Weekends / Holidays

5:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.Every 15 minutes
8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.Every 10 minutes
10:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.Every 15 minutes

Preliminary Fare Structure

Adult One Ride FareUWCapitol HillWestlakeUniversity StreetPioneer SquareInternational DisctrictStadiumSODOBeacon HillMount BakerColumbia CityOthelloRainier BeachTukwila / Int'l BlvdSea-Tac AirportAngle Lake
Capitol Hill$2.25--$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.75$3.00$3.00$3.00
University Street$2.50$2.25$2.25--$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.50$3.00$3.00$3.00
Pioneer Square$2.50$2.25$2.25$2.25--$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.50$3.00$3.00$3.00
International Disctrict$2.50$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.25--$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.50$3.00$3.00$3.00
Beacon Hill$2.50$2.50$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.25--$2.25$2.25$2.50$2.50$2.75$2.75$3.00
Mount Baker$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.25$2.25$2.25--$2.25$2.25$2.50$2.75$2.75$3.00
Columbia City$2.75$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.25--$2.25$2.25$2.50$2.75$2.75
Rainier Beach$2.75$2.75$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.25$2.25--$2.50$2.50$2.75
Tukwila / Int'l Blvd$3.00$3.00$3.00$3.00$3.00$3.00$2.75$2.75$2.75$2.75$2.50$2.50$2.50--$2.25$2.50
Sea-Tac Airport$3.25$3.00$3.00$3.00$3.00$3.00$3.00$2.75$2.75$2.75$2.75$2.75$2.50$2.25--$2.25
Angle Lake$3.25$3.00$3.00$3.00$3.00$3.00$3.00$3.00$3.00$3.00$2.75$2.75$2.75$2.50$2.25--
Spreadsheet version: Click here (Google Docs)

Fare Guide (Adult): Base fare: $2.25 + 25¢ for each additional Zone
Fare Zones:
  1. Capitol Hill Station - North
  2. Westlake - Mt Baker
  3. Rainier Valley
  4. Tukwila / Int'l Blvd Station
  5. SeaTac Airport - South

courtesy of SoundTransit

University of Washington Station. Click to enlarge. (SoundTransit)
University of Washington Station. Click to enlarge. (SoundTransit)

University of Washington Station

At the northernmost end of the light extension, University Link will have a station at Husky Stadium that will provide direct access to the University of Washington Campus, sports complexes, and the UW Medical Center.

The new station will also give new local connections to surrounding neighborhoods, particularly in Northeast Seattle. In fact, the station area will serve as a major new transit hub for local bus service in an upcoming service change this year.

The new station will have platforms located below ground. Escalators and elevators will lead passengers to a mezzanine and platform. But the station at ground level appears largely as an elevated structure from the street.

The station also features a pedestrian and bike bridge over Montlake Boulevard, which connects the station to the Montlake Triangle and land-bridge on the edge of the main UW campus. The Burke-Gilman Trail runs underneath the new land-bridge providing a convenient way for people on foot and bike to reach the station.

The station will also feature a covered bicycle storage area for those who may want to leave their bikes behind.

Capitol Hill Station. Click to enlarge. (SoundTransit)
Capitol Hill Station. Click to enlarge. (SoundTransit)

Capitol Hill Station

The new Capitol Hill Station is located centrally in the neighborhood at the north end of Cal Anderson Park, just east of Broadway and south of E John St. The station will have three station entrances: one at the corner of Broadway and John, another southwest of the E Denny Way and Broadway intersection, and a smaller entrance on the southwest side of the same intersection.

Passengers arriving at that station will be within walking distance of Seattle Central Community College, the neighborhood core of Pike/Pine, and many other neighborhood attractions.

With the new First Hill Streetcar up and running, the Capitol Hill Station will have a direct rail connection to Pioneer Square and the neighborhoods in between. Major bus connections also are located on Broadway and E John St.

Passengers arriving at the station will also be lead down to an underground platform. Each station entrance will come with escalators and elevators to the platforms. Sound Transit will also provide covered bicycle parking.

The area above the station will remain undeveloped for the time being, but Sound Transit plans to eventually have the parcels redeveloped with mixed-use developments providing affordable housing and major plaza space for community use.

We hope you loved this article. If so, please consider subscribing or donating. The Urbanist is a non-profit that depends on donations from readers like you.


Comments are closed.