As we hope you’re already aware, major changes are coming to Link light rail service starting in January as we connect the East Link light rail line with the existing service at International District/Chinatown Station.
For 10 weeks starting Jan. 4, construction crews will close one track at a time in the downtown Seattle tunnel.
We’re calling this work Connect 2020. It’s going to mean reduced service and extra crowded trains, especially during rush hours.
Even though we’ll be running all four-car trains during this period, space will be at a premium because trains will run at a reduced frequency of every 12 minutes – and all riders will need to switch trains at Pioneer Square Station across a temporary center platform.
This is the least-painful alternative to shutting the line down entirely.
With up to 1,600 riders needing to transfer across the same center platform, bikes will be prohibited to protect the safety of all riders.
If you’re bringing a bike onboard Link during Connect 2020, you’ll be required to exit the train before you get to Pioneer Square Station.
Northbound riders with bikes must exit at International District/Chinatown Station and southbound riders with bikes at University Street Station.
We here at The Platform have partnered with our friends at the Cascade Bicycle Club to answer some of the biggest questions related to combining bikes with transit during Connect 2020.
Read on to see Cascade’s questions and our answers.
Just want the basics what you need to know about bikes during Connect 2020 work?
Pioneer Square Station bike restriction questions:
Q: With bikes not allowed on the train through this station, where should people biking get off the train?
A: If you’re heading north, get off at the International District/Chinatown Station. Heading south, get off at University Street Station. From either stop, riders can use the protected bike lanes on 2nd Avenue that connects with new protected bike lanes on South Main Street and 5th Avenue South.
Q: How can people get from the Chinatown / International District station to University Street Station (both ways) by bike?
A: The recently-completed bike improvements on 5th Avenue South and South Main Street provide a great new connection to the 2nd Avenue protected bike lanes.
Q: With the current bike lockers at SODO, Rainier Beach and UW stations, will bike lockers be added downtown?
Alternative route questions:
Q: Will there be public transportation options available to get me from Capitol Hill and SODO to the downtown stations when Link is shut down for three weekends during the Connect 2020 work?
A: Yes, free shuttle buses will run from SODO and Capitol Hill stations during the three weekend shutdowns. Buses will run every seven minutes.
Q: What is the safest way to get to 2nd Avenue by bike from any downtown station?
A: The City of Seattle’s bicycle map shows all of the city’s bike routes. Please refer to it for your route-planning.
As pointed out above, the recently-completed bike improvements on 5th Avenue South and South Main Street provide a great new connection to the 2nd Avenue protected bike lanes.
Q: Will I still be able to get my bike on the train from UW to University Street, and Angle Lake to the Chinatown/ID stations?
A: You will, but expect very crowded trains during the Connect 2020 work. Our train frequency will be cut in half during rush hours, with trains running every 12 minutes.
Q: Will the elevators at stations surrounding Pioneer Square station be reliably maintained?
A: We’re working closely with our partners at King County Metro to make sure the elevators at the International District-Chinatown and University Street stations are working during Connect 2020.
Q: Will the substitute transportation/buses be able to carry the same amount of bikes as the Light Rail?
A: Unfortunately, no. Each free shuttle bus will have rack space for three bikes. But buses will run every seven minutes, so you won’t have to wait long for a bus if the racks are full at first.
Q: Will JUMP and LimeBikes be doing any promotional deals for people biking during this time?
A: We know that JUMP is offering Seattle riders a 20 percent discount during the Connect 2020 work. Riders simply need to apply the promotion code "JUMPCON20" to their accounts, and their subsequent rides will be 20 percent off until Mid-March.