A graphic shows a passenger transferring from an ST Express bus to Link light rail at Northgate Station.
Media Caption
New bus-to-rail connections coming soon!

Big changes coming Oct. 2: what to expect when Link extends to Northgate

Learn how your commute will change

Publish Date

When Link service to Northgate, Roosevelt and U District begins on Oct. 2, some Snohomish County and North King County bus routes will change to better connect you to fast, frequent trains.  

  • Community Transit routes connecting to the Link 1 Line at Northgate: 
    • 810, 821, 860, 871 and 880 
  • Sound Transit Express routes connecting to the Link 1 Line at Northgate, Roosevelt or U District:  
    • 511, 512, 513, 522, 542, 556 and 586 
  • King County Metro new or revised routes:  
    • 16X, 20, 31, 32, 40, 43, 44, 45, 48, 49, 64, 65, 67, 70, 73, 75, 79, 301, 302, 303, 304, 320, 322, 331, 345, 346, 347, 348 and 372.  
Keep these steps in mind to make your transfer smooth!

We know this will be a change for many passengers, so check out the station maps below for a sneak peek at how to navigate our new bus-to-rail connections and remember to build in extra time the first few times you make the transfer. 

To help familiarize yourself with the new 1 Line stations, be sure to check out our 360-degree photo tour.

Northgate Station

A map showing bus stops around Northgate Station.

The bus transit center at Northgate lies directly below the elevated station and passengers transferring will not need to cross any streets. ST Express routes 511, 512 and 513 and Community Transit routes 810, 821, 860, 871 and 880 will end at Northgate Station starting Oct. 2. 

To transfer to Link trains, deboard at Bays 3 or 4 and head up to the station mezzanine, tap your ORCA card, head up to the train platform and hop on the next Link train. (Trains run every eight minutes during peak times!) 

In the afternoon, get off your train, tap off on the mezzanine, and walk down to Bay 2 to board your bus back to Snohomish County. 

We’ve added more ST Express trips to better align with Link service on evenings and weekends. This will be especially helpful when transferring from train back to bus.  

  • Route 510 and Community Transit 400-series routes will continue to travel into downtown Seattle until we open the Lynnwood Link Extension (2024). 

  • Route 510 will make a new stop at Mountlake Terrace Freeway Station so you can transfer to another bus if needed. 

  • Route 513 will now stop at Ash Way and Lynnwood Transit Center to provide additional transfer opportunities.  

  • Metro has two new routes (320 and 322) serving South Lake Union and First Hill. These routes were created to improve integration between Metro and light rail and to better serve these areas.  

  • Route 512 will no longer serve the I-5 freeway stops at NE 145th Street or NE 45th Street. From 145th, you can catch Metro routes 346, 347 or 348, which will increase frequency to better connect to Northgate. From 45th, ride Metro Routes 20 or 44 to catch Link at U District Station.  

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Northgate Station here!  

Roosevelt Station

Map illustrating walking path for transfer from bus to link at the Roosevelt Station.

ST Express Route 522 will end at Roosevelt Station starting Oct. 2. To continue to downtown Seattle, transfer to the Link 1 Line. 

For a smooth transfer experience, we’re adding two new stops next to Roosevelt Station. There will be a future bus stop (currently under construction) at 12th Ave NE at NE 67th St. In the meantime:  

  • Southbound riders should exit the bus at the temporary Bay 4 at 11th Ave NE/NE 65 and enter Roosevelt Station one block east, tap your ORCA card on a card reader, and take the escalator, elevator or stairs down to the Link platform. 

  • Northbound riders should exit the train, head up to ground level and cross 12th Ave. NE to board Route 522 at Bay 3. We’re coordinating bus service with train arrivals to help minimize your transfer times.  

  • We’re expanding Saturday and Sunday service, so now you can catch a bus every 10-20 minutes on the weekends. Please note: 

    • ST Express Route 522 and KCM routes 320 and 322 will coordinate service along SR-522 to provide a bus every 7-8 minutes along Lake City Way. 

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Roosevelt Station here!  

U District Station

Map illustrating walking path for transfer from bus to link at the U District Station.

ST Express routes 542, 556, and 586 will begin and end at U District Station starting Oct. 2. Transfer to or from the Link 1 Line to continue to your destination.  

  • Since Route 542 will no longer serve the Green Lake neighborhood, you can ride Link to Roosevelt or Metro routes 20 or 67.  

  • We’re restoring Route 556 on Oct. 2, but it will have a new routing beginning in the U District. Route 556 riders who used to board at Northgate will ride Link to U District or University of Washington instead. Route 556 will also serve the new South Bellevue Garage once it opens this fall. 

Take a behind-the-scenes look at U District Station here

U District area

A map of University of Washington showing bus connections.

King County Metro is updating their on-campus bus service to better serve the U District and University of Washington stations.  

Don’t forget: Fall quarter at UW begins Sept. 29, while the Northgate Link opening and fall service change take place Saturday, Oct. 2, so plan ahead to see how your transit may change starting the week of Oct. 4. 

Transferring and fares

Sound Transit passenger taps their ORCA card at a Link station.

With all this change on the horizon, you might be wondering how this affects your fare. When you use an ORCA card, it’s easy to pay for multiple transfers between different services.  

When taking Link, tap your ORCA card on the yellow card reader at the start and end of your trip (ORCA calculates the cost of your trip and deducts that amount from your account). This is different than paying your bus fare, where you only tap once. Link fares range from $2.25 to $3.50.  

As long as you transfer between a bus and train within 2 hours, your original fare will be credited toward the next leg of your journey.  

For example, if you use your ORCA card to pay the $3.25 ST Express bus fare and then transfer to Link, the $3.25 fare you’ve already paid will also count toward your ride on Link.

So instead of paying two separate fares, most passengers enjoy completely free transfers with their ORCA card. (If the second leg of your journey costs more than the first, you’ll pay only the difference, still saving money.) 

Don’t forget to ‘tap off’ Link at your destination, or you’ll be charged the highest fare from your origin. 

Need an ORCA card?

An ORCA card and a card reader.

Don’t have an ORCA card yet? You can purchase a regular adult card from Link station ticket machines (which accept cash, credit or debit cards), and ST Ambassadors will also be on hand to help at all three new stations during opening week. 

Be sure register your new card at ORCAcard.com so you can add value for future trips. 

We also offer reduced fares with special ORCA cards for youth (ages 6-18), seniors (65+), and passengers with disabilities or low incomes. Proof of eligibility is required, so use King County Metro’s tool to find out which ORCA fare is right for you and how to apply.   

Qualify for a reduced fare? 

KCM and Public Health representatives will be available to assist with ORCA LIFT enrollment and provide information on other reduced fare programs at select times during opening week. 

Look for information tables at Northgate Station from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 5, and Thursday, Oct. 7, and at Roosevelt Station from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 6. (dates subject to change). 

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