Shuttle buses replace light rail downtown this weekend
Starting Friday night, preparations to connect light rail to the Eastside require track closure between SODO and Capitol Hill
This coming weekend, Link light rail will not run between the SODO and Capitol Hill stations while construction crews continue to prepare for the expansion of light rail service to the Eastside.
Beginning at 11 p.m. Friday, Red Line trains will run only between Angle Lake and SODO and between Capitol Hill and University of Washington, with shuttle buses making surface stops at all the closed stations between Capitol Hill and SODO. This is the second of three planned closures. Another closure is scheduled for the weekend of November 9-10.
Because buses have less capacity than light rail cars, travelers should allow more time (an extra 30 to 60 minutes) to reach their destinations and expect crowded conditions or seek alternate routes.
Learn more about the shuttle bus stops at http://www.soundtransit.org/shuttle.
The weekend closures are needed for the construction of a temporary center platform at Pioneer Square Station in preparation for Connect 2020, the 10-week period of major light rail service impacts beginning in January that will connect the existing light rail system in downtown Seattle to the Blue Line serving Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond. Construction of the platform requires de-energizing the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel's overhead electrical power, which drives Link trains.
The upcoming weekend closures and the more extensive Connect 2020 work starting in January are part of the "Seattle Squeeze" (see below). Sound Transit and partner agencies are working together closely during this period. 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.
Learn more about Connect 2020 at https://www.soundtransit.org/connect2020.
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 WSDOT will begin tolling the SR 99 tunnel November 9, again potentially 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 Red Line spine. Learn more about the Seattle Squeeze at www.seattle.gov/traffic.