Riders now have more options for travel as Sound Transit opened the Northgate light rail extension. The 4.3-mile extension adds three new stations to the system, with one at each of Northgate, Roosevelt, and U District. Trips are 13 minutes from Northgate to downtown Seattle.
"This is a historic day and the start of three years that will transform how people get around our region," said Kent Keel, Sound Transit board chair and University Place council member. "Northgate Link will let thousands of riders get to their destinations on time without sitting in horrendous traffic. We are able to celebrate this milestone thanks to support from Federal Transit Administration, our congressional delegation and the regional voters who approved building a world-class transit system for our growing communities."
The Link light rail network will nearly triple in reach, from 22 miles to 62 miles, with service to Tacoma’s Hilltop in 2022, East King County in 2023, and Lynnwood, Federal Way, and Downtown Redmond in 2024.
"The opening of Northgate Link is a great leap forward for Puget Sound commuters, the first of many leaps forward for Sound Transit in the coming years," said Peter Rogoff. Sound Transit CEO. "As Sound Transit looks to nearly triple our light rail network in just the next three years, we are thankful for the hard work and dedication of staff and the construction workforce in achieving this monumental feat in the middle of a pandemic."
The baseline budget for the project was $1.9 billion. It includes a $615 million credit agreement under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA). The project is coming in approximately $50 million under budget.
"The opening of the Northgate Link Extension will vastly improve travel between North Seattle and downtown," said Nuria Fernandez, FTA administrator. "With a seamless connection to the rest of the Link network, more people can easily reach jobs, schools, and other opportunities throughout the region and replace sitting in traffic with safe, fast and efficient light rail service."