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A picture of the commemorative Link 10th birthday ORCA cards showing a light rail train, the Space Needle, Mt. Rainier and other Seattle icons.
Media Caption
The commemorative Link 10th birthday ORCA card

Link light rail turns 10!

Thank you for a great first 10 years!

Publish Date

Happy 10th birthday to Link light rail!

Thank you to everyone who has made Link a huge success over the past 10 years.

It was on a sunny Saturday 10 years ago today when Mayor Greg Nickels and a host of dignitaries cut the ceremonial ribbon to open Link to the travelling public. 

Since then, Link has had more than 134 million boardings and has become part of the fabric of the community in Seattle.

Excited riders on board one of the first opening day trains in 2009.
Excited riders on board one of the first opening day trains on July 18, 2009.

Special 10th birthday commemorative cards

To celebrate and thank our riders for making the first 10 years of Link a success, we loaded 1,000 special 10th birthday commemorative ORCA cards into the ticket vending machines at Westlake, Mount Baker and Tukwila International Boulevard stations.

The ORCA cards have all been snatched up but keep an eye out for future commemorative cards.

We’re just getting started

In the next five years, Link will add 22 stations and expand to more than 50 miles of rail service.

In 2021, we open light rail service to the University District, Roosevelt and Northgate.

In 2023 trains will reach Mercer Island, Bellevue and Overlake.

After that, new lines to Lynnwood, Federal Way and downtown Redmond open in 2024.

Future Link extensions approved by voters in 2016 as part of ST3 are planned for West Seattle-Ballard (2030), Tacoma Dome (2030), Everett (2036), South Kirkland and Issaquah (2041).

With these additions, the system will grow to 116 miles and is projected to serve about 600,000 riders every day.

Thank you again to everyone who has made Link's first 10 years successful.

Here's to the next 100 years as we look back one more time to a narrated slide show from The Seattle Times that first aired the week leading up to opening day. 

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