(11/15/2019 update: Since this story was originally published Sound Transit heard from community members who objected to the Red Line as a name because of historical connections with discriminatory practices. The agency has since decided it will not use the Red Line as a segment name. Please see this updated blog post for more details.)
In a timely complement to the region’s emerging fall foliage, Link light rail unveils two new line colors beginning Saturday.
Existing Link service from Angle Lake to the University of Washington will officially become "the Red Line," while Tacoma Link service from the Tacoma Dome to Theater District will become "the Orange Line."
Why now? We want riders to get used to using line colors in advance of a big milestone: opening the East Link Blue Line in 2023.
Blue Line trains will run from Northgate to Overlake via Mercer Island, Bellevue, and Redmond. The 22-mile line will have 19 stations, 10 of them brand new.
Meanwhile, Red Line trains will also start at Northgate but will run to Angle Lake.
Between Northgate to International District/Chinatown, the Red and Blue lines will combine for service every four minutes during peak hours.
Though the Red and Orange lines are official beginning September 21, the full transition will take time.
We’ll update Red Line signage in 2021 when three new Red Line stations open at the U District, Roosevelt and Northgate, and we’ll update Orange Line signage in 2022 when six new stops open in Tacoma’s Stadium and Hilltop neighborhoods.
But you’ll increasingly hear and see references to Link line colors, including in the 2019-2020 Ride the Wave Guide.
It will all come together like this:
Curious about colors to come? Check out our System Expansion Map to learn more about future Green Line service connecting Ballard to Tacoma and Purple Line service from South Kirkland to Issaquah.