Wondering what the star decals on the Link light rail system are about?
They mark our new busking locations! Stars have been installed at the following stations:
- U District
- University Street
- Pioneer Square
- International District/Chinatown
What exactly is a busker? Glad you asked!
A Busker is just another name for street performers who play for free and/or donations.
They can be professional musicians, music teachers, or students who want to share their music with the world. Or at least to passengers riding the Link light rail.
After all, what better way to chill out or lose the stresses of the day than with some toe-tapping music?
But don’t take our word for it. According to an online survey, many transit riders find buskers a welcome presence.
“The buskers are great,” wrote one respondent in the survey. “They make the station feel more like a destination, not just a place to pass through. Keep on supporting them.”
In the past, Sound Transit only allowed busking outside Link light rail stations; for congestion and safety reasons, buskers could not perform inside stations or on platforms.
Feedback from performers led to research into busking practices at other transit agencies, including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York, King County Metro, Metro Vancouver’s TransLink, Calgary Transit, and the Bay Area’s BART.
In conjunction with Sound Transit Security and external stakeholders such as the Seattle Music Commission and Seattle Department of Transportation, we developed a new set of guidelines.
Our goal is to create a welcoming experience for passengers. By providing opportunities for street musicians to perform at more stations, we help support the unique character of the neighborhoods served by Link.
If you are a Busker and are interested in playing at one of our stations, check out Busker Guidelines here, and then just look for our Busker 'star' symbol, which lets you know where you can safely play and bring joy to everyone.