Link light rail
Transportation in minutes
By Spencer Kelty
On March 19, 2016, the UW welcomed a long awaited light rail station next to Husky Stadium. The stop connects the UW, by way of underground light rail trains, to stops throughout the Seattle and Sea-Tac area.
As with all King County buses and the Sounder commuter train, UW students can ride the light rail free with their U-PASS. To ride, simply tap your Husky Card on one of the station’s yellow scanners before boarding the light rail, and again at the station where you disembark.
The Husky Stadium station is easily accessible for UW students. Located just a short walk from Drumheller Fountain, and with access from the Burke-Gilman Trail, the station is pedestrian friendly and includes a walking bridge across Montlake Boulevard.
Bicyclists are welcomed, and the station includes several bike amenities. Bicycles are allowed on board the light rail, though space is limited to four per 150 passenger train car. The Husky Stadium station is also equipped with approximately 200 bike “parking spaces” where commuters can lock their bikes before riding.
The light rail line now runs from Husky Stadium to the Sea-Tac airport. Stops are made in between at Capitol Hill, Westlake, the International District, Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field, SoDo, Beacon Hill, Mount Baker, Columbia City, Othello, Rainier Beach, and Tukwila.
The rapid transit system allows for travel from Husky Stadium to Capitol Hill in four minutes, and Husky Stadium to Sea-Tac airport in about 45 minutes. Trains leave consistently, with no more than a 12-minute gap during normal hours.
Bus services are also available, but routes and frequencies have been reduced along the light rail corridor. Many bus routes now specialize in bringing people to the light rail stations from across the city, and this is especially true on and around campus.
By avoiding surface streets, the light rail can cut down significantly on commute and travel time in the area, especially during high traffic occasions such as sporting events.
The project to extend Seattle’s light rail to the UW has been in the works for 20 years, since voters approved a Northgate to Sea-Tac light rail line in 1996. The plan is expected to be completed in 2021, with a station in the U-District (near the West Campus dorms), and several stations on the way to Northgate.