Link light rail in Seattle celebrates 10 years of service next Thursday, July 18.
As birthdays and anniversaries often do, this milestone is making The Platform nostalgic. We feel a little sentimental looking back to 2009 when Mayor Greg Nickels and a host of dignitaries cut the ribbon at Mt. Baker Station to launch a new era of mobility in Seattle.
Over the coming week we’ll take a look at how Seattle has embraced Link and woven it into the fabric of the city, how Link has expanded the horizons for the youngest generation of riders who’ve come of age with the line and how Link has been the fastest-growing light rail line in the nation over the past 10 years.
But today we’re going back to the archives to remember the Seattle of 2009 and reflect on the changes Link has been a part of over the past 10 years.
Share your own memories of how Link light rail changed your life starting in 2009. Mention us @SoundTransit on your favorite social media platform or just use #Link10 and we’ll pick some highlights to share.
As timelines go, 10 years is not a wide span.
But the past 10 years in Seattle have arguably brought some of the most dramatic changes this region has seen over a single decade.
Over that time, Link has had more than 134 million total boardings and has seen ridership grow from an average of just over 15,000 weekday boardings to about 77,000 today.
Seattle then and now
When Link started service between Westlake and Tukwila International Boulevard Station on July 18, 2009 (SeaTac/Airport Station opened in December 2009), Instagram was still more than a year from launching.
Twitter and Facebook were still in their infancy after opening to the public in 2006 and neither was traded on NASDAQ.
A few other historical benchmarks from Seattle of 2009:
- Seattle’s population was 608,660. Today it’s about 747,300.
- Downtown Seattle had about 236,000 jobs. Today it’s closer to 313,000. (Remember when Amazon’s headquarters were still in Pacific Tower on Beacon Hill?)
- Average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Seattle was $1,122. Today it’s $2,450.
- The median single-family home price in Seattle was $365,000 in 2009. Today it’s $698,000.
- The most played song on local independent radio station KEXP was "My Girls" from Animal Collective.
- The top song on Billboard's "Hot 100" chart for the year was "Boom Boom Pow" from The Black Eyed Peas.
- The top grossing movie of 2009 was "Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker" won the Oscar for Best Picture.
Join the conversation to share how 10 years of Link have changed your life at #Link10 on social media, and stay tuned for a special announcement as we celebrate a decade of connecting more people to more places.