The Platform

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Lynnwood Link

What to expect when you’re expecting Lynnwood Link

With the long-awaited 1 Line extension due in mere weeks, you might notice some — ahem — exciting changes happening in unexpected places. Here’s what’s coming during this big transition.

Publish Date

Next week will mark another major milestone in the countdown to opening the Lynnwood Link Extension: The start of “simulated service” on the 1 Line north of Northgate.  

This is the final phase of pre-revenue testing that we conduct before opening a new light rail extension, making sure our stations, tracks, utilities, escalators, elevators, systems, and vehicles all work together as expected before we welcome you aboard.  

Starting Monday, July 8, 1 Line trains will deliver passengers to Northgate as usual, then continue empty all the way to Lynnwood and back, at all hours of service. We’ll also be updating our Passenger Information Management System (PIMS), which controls electronic signage at our stops and stations.  

That means starting Monday, electronic signage on northbound 1 Line platforms will show trains bound for Lynnwood; however, trains will still show Northgate as the correct northern terminus.  

We know this might be a bit confusing, and we promise the tease will be brief—we’re just a few weeks out from the Lynnwood Link opening on Aug. 30!  

If you’re a Northgate Station passenger, you can also expect another small change starting July 8: Instead of using both tracks to board trains, riders will board at the southbound track only, and the northbound track will become drop-off only. Think of it as a chance to get used to your new rider routine before Lynnwood opens.  

These a just a few of many changes you might notice happening in the weeks ahead. Here’s a taste of what else you can expect in the final countdown:  

Rolling out now

  • Updated line maps inside 1 Line trains: You might have already noticed some new maps showing the four new stops opening next month: Shoreline South/148th, Shoreline North/185th, Mountlake Terrace, and Lynnwood City Center — plus the 2 Line on the Eastside, as well as future Link extensions in the works. We’ll be swapping in these updated maps on all our 1 Line trains in the weeks to come, so keep your eyes peeled! 
  • University Street Station becomes Symphony Station: Some eagle-eyed passengers who’ve seen our new line maps have also noticed University Street’s name change to Symphony Station, which will clear up longstanding and unnecessary mix-ups with University of Washington Station and U District Station. We’ll be updating all our signage systemwide ahead of the official name change on Aug. 30.
  • New numerical station codes: As our system keeps growing and maturing, now’s the time for our region to shift toward the international station coding standard used in places like Tokyo, Dubai, Seoul, and other world-class transit cities. You’ll see this change included in the new signage we roll out over the next few weeks, replacing our original system of pictograms. 

    Going forward, each of our stations will have a three-digit numerical code to help riders with limited proficiency in English or low literacy navigate the system. While many riders might not use these codes, for those who need them, they represent a huge leap forward in making our transit network easier to understand and use. 

Starting Aug. 30 

  • Shifting to flat fares on Link: The Lynnwood Link opening will mark a big shift in light rail fares, going from a structure based on distance traveled to a $3 flat fare per ride. This will mean Link riders with an ORCA card will no longer need to “tap off” at the end of their ride.  

Starting Sept. 14 

  • Bus route changes to better connect with Link: After years of public engagement and collaboration with our local partners Community Transit and King County Metro, the region’s Fall Service Change the weekend of Sept. 14 will include some big changes to local bus routes in North King and Snohomish counties.  

Starting Sept. 16 

  • More N Line trips: This service change will also restore two pre-pandemic roundtrips every weekday on the Sounder N Line. In addition to our two existing Sounder roundtrips and two provided by Amtrak RailPlus, passengers traveling between Seattle, Edmonds, Mukilteo, and Everett will once again have six daily roundtrip options to choose from. 

These are a lot of changes packed into just a few weeks, making for a busy and exciting time for our current and future passengers.  

But don’t worry — we’ll be sharing lots more in the weeks to come about the hows, whys, and need-to-knows behind each of these changes — so be sure to sign up for rider alerts and stay tuned to The Platform as we ride the wave into summer!