Step Up: University Link light rail opens for service this Saturday

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Community festivities planned for UW, Capitol Hill stations

At 10 a.m. Saturday, March 19, residents will get their first chance to experience light rail service to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington, with festivities including live music, DJs and family-friendly activities. For information about free opening day light rail tickets and station activities see www.ulink2016.org.

Here’s what riders can expect during opening weekend.

Launch day fun at Capitol Hill and UW

Capitol Hill and UW Station will each feature a welcome portal staffed by Sound Transit to provide information about wait times and answer questions about opening weekend and regular service. The areas around the stations will feature a variety of festival booths, kid-friendly games and food trucks. Here’s a sample of what’s in store at each station:

  • Self-guided station tours
  • A variety of live music, including instrumental, jazz, rock and hip-hop
  • Expo and game pavilions featuring activities, community booths, selfie stations and more
  • Food for purchase from your favorite local food trucks
  • Farmer’s market at Capitol Hill Station
  • Free commemorative items (while supplies last).

Inaugural ribbon cutting

An inaugural ribbon-cutting ceremony open to the public will take place at 10 a.m. at Capitol Hill Station’s north entrance at Broadway and John. A countdown ceremony will also take place at the University of Washington Station at 10 a.m.

Train schedule, station access

While light rail between Sea-Tac International Airport and downtown Seattle will begin service as usual at 5 a.m. Saturday, trains will not begin serving the new stations until 10 a.m.

Service will continue to the new stations through the end of normal Saturday operating hours at 1 a.m. The last train from UW to the airport will depart at 12:34 a.m.

Trains will depart each station about every 10 minutes throughout the day and every 15 minutes after 10:30 p.m.

All riders must get off the train upon reaching the University of Washington and get in line to board again going southbound.

Expect crowds

In addition to potential high volumes of passengers participating in the start of University Link service on March 19, big crowds are expected to attend a 7 p.m. Sounders FC soccer match at CenturyLink Field.

Getting to the stations

Riders coming from the south are encouraged to take light rail to the new stations. Parking is available at Tukwila International Boulevard Station.

Special free shuttle buses will run between Northgate Transit Center and UW Station from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Check the trip planner at www.soundtransit.org to help plan you trip to either of the stations by local bus services on Saturday.

Sound Transit will also host free “bike valet” parking areas at both University of Washington and Capitol Hill Stations for those wanting to bike to the stations and hop on the trains.

More information

For detailed maps of event offerings and much more information on opening weekend and regular service see www.ulink2016.org.