New stairs are open to the public at University of Washington Station

Now open: stairs at University of Washington Station

Publish Date

Riders at the University of Washington Station will notice new options starting this weekend to get to and from the underground platform and the station mezzanine level.

Sound Transit has opened stairwells at either end of the platform and mezzanine level for general use. Riders will see the doors standing open at the north and south ends of the platform and mezzanine.

The stairwells were previously only open if the escalators to or from the platform were not available.

Now that we’ve finished the safety upgrades to maintain daily operations, we’ll leave them open for general use.

Opening the stairs is part of our ongoing work to improve the rider experience at UW.

The escalators have not met our customer expectations or our own performance standards since the station opened in 2016.

We will replace all 13 escalators at UW by 2022. Eleven will be replaced with new heavy duty escalators and two will be replaced with permanent stairs.

Check here for details on the comprehensive plan for that work

Using the new stairwells

The main thing to remember – use the stairs with the open doors. Not the closed ones – those are still for emergencies.

Riders will notice the open stairwells at the north and south ends of the mezzanine and platform levels.

The new public stairs are open at University of Washington Station
The newly-opened public stairs at the north end of the platform at University of Washington Station

From there, go up to the mezzanine or down to the platform.

Inside the stairwell at the University of Washington Station
New "supergraphics" inside the stairwells guide riders at University of Washington Station

New stairs opening at Capitol Hill

Later this year we will also open stairwells previously only available during emergencies at Capitol Hill Station. Please stay tuned as we wrap up that work. 

Stairs from the platform to the mezzanine will open later this year at Capitol Hill Station


The road ahead

The lessons we’ve learned at UW will benefit future riders as the system expands. Sound Transit has upgraded the escalator requirements at every new station we build moving forward and all stations will also have public stair options to reach all platform levels.

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