The Platform

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Signs on the wall of Westlake Station include a map, directory and lettered exits (A for 5th Avenue and Pine, and B/C for 3rd Avenue and Pine).
Media Caption
Starting this month, the labeled exits in downtown Seattle Link stations will be lettered instead of numbered.

Changes coming to downtown tunnel exits

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In November 2019, Platform readers got a sneak peek of updated exit signs, maps and directories at four Link stations in downtown Seattle: Westlake, University Street, Pioneer Square and International District/Chinatown. The signs are meant to help passengers navigate the system and get where they want to go once they get off the train.

After looking at Vancouver, Boston, Hong Kong and other cities for best practices, our signage team decided to test out a numbered exit system as part of a pilot program.

Toward the end of April, the signs will change again: this time, from numbers to letters.

The signs will look, feel and function very similarly, with a few small tweaks.

Previously, each exit had its own number, even if two exits led to the same cross streets.

Now, where two exits lead to the same cross streets, they’ll be labeled with the same letter and have a secondary distinction using numbers, such as C1 or C2.

An image shows overhead signs pointing to the exits at Westlake Station.
An example of the new signs in Westlake Station.

We’re planning to roll out more labeled exits system-wide as we continue expanding our lines and improving the passenger experience.

As we prepare to introduce the 1 Line this fall as we open the Northgate extension, we needed to change the exit signs from numbers to letters to avoid duplication and potential confusion.

In case you missed it, we are beginning an overhaul of how we name and illustrate our transit lines, with Link becoming the 1 Line, Sounder becoming the N and S lines, and Tacoma Link becoming the T Line. East Link will launch as the new 2 Line in 2023, and several other changes are planned as well.

We’re excited to begin rolling out these new line names on October 2 when we open three new 1-Line stations at Northgate, Roosevelt and the U District!

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