A Link train pulls into Northgate Station, with green stained glass art visible on the right side of the platform.
Media Caption
Northgate Station opens in about two weeks!

Improving access at new light rail stations

Publish Date

When the U District, Roosevelt and Northgate Stations open on Oct. 2, Link light rail will be easier to access for so many more riders in our region.

Of course, access means more than just having a station closer to your house.

Accessibility is a priority for us here at Sound Transit. It’s why we’re improving wayfinding, signage and elevators and escalators across our system.

All are welcome aboard trains and buses, regardless of race, gender or ability.

We always have resources on our website to help riders navigate the transit system, and you can request more information by emailing accessibility@soundtransit.org.

If you’re new to light rail, or a seasoned passenger looking to explore the new stations, here are all the ways we’re making it easier to move around:

Signage and wayfinding

The new stations will have the same tactile wayfinding as current stations – though it will be a different pattern (bar tile rather than the braided pathway riders might be used to).

The floor of Roosevelt Station features a bar tile to help people with canes find their way around, including to the elevators and platform.
Wayfinding at Roosevelt Station.

The path will still start at the entrance to each station, and lead passengers to the ticket vending machines, fare paid zones, stairs, elevators and escalators. On the platform, it will lead to waiting pads where train doors will open.

Link light rail trains feature level boarding at all stations, allowing passengers who use wheelchairs or other devices to simply roll aboard.

A woman walks with a cane next to a Link train.
Similar to other Link stations, the new facilities will also have tactile waiting mats.

Similar to other stations, there will be detectable warning strips along the edge of the platform that indicate the safety zone. Those will also be installed along the bus bays.

Paratransit

For passengers who use paratransit service, there will be a paratransit stop at each of the new stations, including one in the new Northgate bus loop – making it possible to take paratransit to one of the new Link stations and then transfer to Link to complete the trip.

A King County Metro bus drives through the bay near the new Northgate light rail station on a sunny day. A train can be seen in the background.
The new transit center at Northgate will have paratransit access and additional accessibility features.

The advantage to this is that Link moves much more quickly through Seattle traffic than does a bus of any kind, reducing the time spent traveling.

Click here to learn more about the Access Transportation program.

How to get assistance

If you are on the train and are concerned about having enough time to deboard, use the emergency talk button available in eight locations in each car to ask the operator for more time. It is a red button with both print and Braille signage indicating it as an emergency talk button. 

A placard on a Link train reads "Emergency intercom. Push button to talk to operator."
Request assistance onboard by pressing this button to talk to the operator, or text our security team any time. 

If you find yourself lost, confused or stranded in one of our stations, you can call or text Sound Transit security at 206-398-5268 and someone will be dispatched to help. They are available 24 hours a day. 

In addition, Sound Transit staff will serve as Ambassadors after the new stations open, helping to guide riders and answer questions.

Marlon Herrera smiles at the camera while wearing a blue beanie, teal vest and blue face mask.
Sound Transit ambassadors are here to help!

Transit instruction program 

Did you know that free training for using public transportation is available to both individuals with disabilities and senior citizens?

Knowledgeable instructors, experienced with the King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit systems, provide the training.

The goal is to help people gain independence by learning the skills needed to ride public transportation, including use of the lift or ramp.

If you are a person with a disability or an older adult, you can request assistance in learning how to navigate our stations. For more information, contact Marie Marquart at marie.marquart@mvtransit.com.

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