Link riders encouraged to prepare for 10 weeks of disruptions starting in January
Shuttle buses operate instead of Link in downtown Jan. 4–5; afterward, passengers traveling through downtown must change trains at Pioneer Square
As Link light rail users prepare for the holidays, they should also be planning for significant alterations to their normal trips in the New Year. Starting Jan. 6, construction to integrate new light rail to the Eastside into the existing system will require trains to operate less frequently for 10 weeks.
The construction, known as Connect 2020, gets underway the first weekend of the New Year with a full closure of light rail through Downtown Seattle. From Saturday, January 4 through Sunday, Jan. 5, shuttle buses between Capitol Hill and SODO will make stops at the closed stations.
Beginning Jan. 6 through March 13, Connect 2020 will require Link passengers traveling through downtown to make a center platform transfer at Pioneer Square. For safety, bikes will not be allowed at the Pioneer Square station. Passengers with bikes must exit at University Street or International District/Chinatown.
Throughout this period of light rail service impacts passengers should:
Allow extra time, at least 30 minutes, especially the first week. Trains will run every 12 minutes and may be crowded.
Pay attention to signage. Boarding platforms and station entrances will change through the duration of this project.
Two additional weekend light rail closures are planned for February 8–9 and March 14–15.
When Connect 2020 construction is completed the existing tunnel will be connected to East Link in preparation for 2023 when light rail expands to 10 new East King County stations.
Connect 2020 is another phase of the "Seattle Squeeze" (see below). Sound Transit and partner agencies are working together closely during this period to keep people moving. Sound Transit's commitment over the next five years is to complete light rail extensions that will more than double the reach of current service, expanding congestion-free commuting options for thousands of new riders each day.
Managing the 'Seattle Squeeze'
As the "Seattle Squeeze" continues over the next five years, Seattle's downtown will continue to undergo transitions to meet the needs of a growing city. Regional transportation partners including the City of Seattle, the Washington State Department of Transportation, King County Metro, Sound Transit and the Port of Seattle are all working together to keep people and goods moving safely to and through downtown.
The latest developments in the Seattle Squeeze began this fall with the demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the construction of the new waterfront continuing to change travel behavior. Increased King County Metro Transit service began Sept. 21, adding transit trips during the shoulder peak periods, and Sound Transit closed light rail downtown for two weekends in October to prepare for Connect 2020. This month, WSDOT began tolling the SR 99 tunnel on November 9, again altering how people travel to and through downtown. In January, Connect 2020 will require a 10-week light rail service modification as the tracks to the Eastside are connected to the existing Link line. Learn more about the Seattle Squeeze at www.seattle.gov/traffic.