All Aboard Newsletter: September Service Change, 2020 service proposals, new name for University Street Station, and more

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Fall 2019 edition

Welcome to the fall edition of Sound Transit's CTR newsletter! We've pulled together service-related and project-related highlights into one handy place for you to forward to your employees or professional network.

Photo of route 554 bus traveling across Lake Washington.

September 2019 service changes

Sound Transit implements changes to our existing service twice a year, in March and September. Each fall, Sound Transit publishes an annual service plan for public feedback and Board approval. The resulting plan informs the next two service changes before the cycle starts again.

The next service change begins Saturday, Sept. 21. Routes that do not have weekend service will change on Monday, Sept. 23. Find out more information about the service change on our website!

ST Express

  • Route 522: Discontinue weekday westbound trip leaving Woodinville at 11:39 p.m. New weekday westbound trip leaving UW-Bothell at 8:25 a.m.
  • Route 542: New weekday trip departing Green Lake at 6:07 a.m.
  • Route 550: Minor schedule adjustments.
  • Route 554: A new stop at S. Jackson St. and Maynard Ave. S. will restore eastbound service to the Chinatown/International District neighborhood.
Route 554 service change map.

Map of route 544 changes.

  • Route 560: Minor schedule adjustments.
  • Route 567: Minor schedule adjustments.
  • Route 577: New weekday trip departing Federal Way Transit Center at 4:45 a.m.


New reduced schedule for the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

Link and Tacoma Link

NEW! Link line colors.

To improve clarify as our system expands, Sound Transit is changing to a color system for naming Link light rail lines.

  • Link trains from Angle Lake to the University of Washington are now the Red Line. In 2021, the Red Line will open three new stations at Northgate, Roosevelt and the U District.
  • Tacoma Link trains are now the Orange Line. In 2022, the Orange Line will open six new stations in the Stadium and Hilltop neighborhoods.
  • In 2023, Sound Transit will open the Blue Line, with 10 new stations in Overlake, Bellevue, Mercer Island and Judkins Park. Trains will then share tracks with the Red Line serving all stations from downtown Seattle to Northgate.

The 2020 Service Plan – major proposed changes

Sound Transit continually monitors the performance of our ST Express system and identifies potential changes for routes or trips that do not meet standards. Every fall we release the annual Service Plan for the coming year and ask for public feedback. Read about changes proposed for 2020 and tell us what you think by Oct. 7.

1. Build Ridership: Convert ST Express routes 540 and 541 resources to create the new ST 544.

Route 544 service change map.

As part of our continued coordination with King County Metro and their adopted North Eastside Mobility Plan and to more effectively use taxpayer resources, Sound Transit is considering consolidating ST Express Routes 540 and 541 into new Route 544 (map above), serving Overlake, South Kirkland, SR 520 and South Lake Union.

2. Build Ridership: Replace weekend Route 577 service with new Route 578 trips to Auburn
Sound Transit is proposing to replace ST Express Route 577 weekend service with new Route 578 trips to Auburn. Current Route 578 weekend trips would continue to serve Sumner and Puyallup.

3. Increase Productivity: Discontinue low ridership stops on ST Express 566 at Kennydale and Newport Hills
Sound Transit is proposing the discontinuation of low ridership stops on ST Express Route 566 at Kennydale and Newport Hills. The additional service pattern has proven complex and confusing to customers and total daily ridership for the two stops is only 16 boardings. Route 560 would continue to serve those stops during all service hours. 

Tell us what you think. We are open for public comment on these proposed changes until Oct. 7. Learn more and fill out a survey!

Passengers board Link light rail train at University Station.

University Street Station is getting a new name

Help us decide on the new name; votes collected through Sept. 30


Sound Transit is planning to rename downtown Seattle's University Street Station and we are asking for public input Sept. 9-30. With new stations coming to the U District, Roosevelt and Northgate neighborhoods in 2021, renaming University Street Station will reduce confusion and provide a better customer experience. We have developed six options that conform with our station naming policy (see below); the Sound Transit Board will consider public input before making a decision in late 2019 or early 2020.

Station naming criteria:

  1. Reflect the nature of the environment.
  2. Be brief, easy to read and remember.
  3. Avoid commercial references.
  4. Avoid similar names/words used in existing facilities.
  5. Limited to 30 characters (including spaces), complying with ADA legislation.

Current station name options:

  • Arts District Station
  • Benaroya Hall Station
  • Downtown Arts District Station
  • Midtown Station
  • Seneca Street Station
  • Symphony Station

How to vote:

You can vote online at:

There will also be a number of in-person voting opportunities available at the station, which you can find along with additional information at our website.

Your feedback will help inform the Sound Transit Board when they make a final name decision later this year or early next year!

A parking permit hangtag hangs from a vehicle's rearview mirror.

Tukwila Sounder Station and Tukwila International Blvd. Link Station parking permits

A new parking permit program gives commuters access to reserved parking areas at the Tukwila Sounder and Tukwila International Blvd Link stations. On weekdays, parking lots at both Tukwila area stations frequently fill well before 7:30 a.m., which is problematic for those who cannot arrive so early, including parents who must drop children off at school or day care, and other potential riders who don't work a conventional 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule.

Purchasing a new Single Occupant Vehicle (SOV) permit or signing up for an existing free carpool permit will give riders access to reserved parking spaces. Sounder commuters will have spaces reserved until 8 a.m.; Link riders will have spaces reserved until 9 a.m. SOV parking permits are available for a standard monthly fee of $60, with a discounted rate of $20 per month for riders who are eligible for ORCA Lift reduced transit fares. Prices were set based on market rates for commuter parking in the vicinity of the station.

Each lot will have reserved parking spaces exclusively for permit holders arriving during the morning rush hours. The size of the permit area at each station will be set based on the number of permits purchased and issued each month, but will not exceed 50 percent of the spaces at either station. All other station parking will remain open on a first-come, first-served basis, as will any unused permit spaces after 8 a.m. for Sounder commuters and after 9 a.m. for Link riders, as well as holidays and weekends.

Riders can now submit permit applications. Apply online or obtain more information about Sound Transit's permit parking program at our parking permit webpage.

Take Sounder to the Washington State Fair email banner

Ride Sound Transit to the Fair

Why fight traffic and hassle with parking when you can just take Sounder to the Fair? Special Sounder trains will run on two Saturdays, Sept. 14 and 21, serving nine stations between Everett and Puyallup. From the Puyallup Station, you can jump on a free Pierce Transit shuttle bus to the Fair's exclusive Sounder entrance.

For more info, including fares and train schedules, visit the Fair page.

Link riders: Plan ahead!

No Link service between SODO and Capitol Hill for three weekends this fall

We're laying the groundwork to open the Blue Line, a new Link line that will begin taking riders from Northgate to Redmond in 2023. As part of that work, we need to reduce Link service for three weekends this fall. On the weekends of Oct. 12-13, Oct. 26-27 and Nov. 9-10, there will be no Link service between SODO and Capitol Hill. Trains will run from Angle Lake-SODO and UW-Capitol Hill, and free buses will connect the six stations in between.

Graphic illustrating impact of link service disruptions.


Crews will use these three weekends to construct a temporary center platform at Pioneer Square Station. That new platform will prepare us for an even bigger project in early 2020: building a track junction to allow future Blue Line trains to branch off at International District/Chinatown Station and run to the Eastside. Check out Connect 2020 project page to learn more about that work, and remember to subscribe to rider alerts or follow us on Twitter for the most up-to-date service information.

Fans exit the light rail station at Husky Stadium for a game.

Catch a train to a football game

Football season is well under way and we have trains running to CenturyLink Field and Husky Stadium so fans can worry less about stadium parking and traffic, and more about their stadium snacks. Link light rail serves both Husky Stadium and CenturyLink Field, while Special Sounder Game Trains transports Seahawks fans from as far as Everett and Lakewood. Fans with the best game day experiences know these tips. Sound Transit's online trip planner will find the best transit route from door to door. The Transit GO Ticket App or pre-loaded ORCA card is the ideal option for skipping lines at ticket vending machines. Free parking is available at all Sounder stations as well as Angle Lake and Tukwila International Boulevard Link light rail stations. The savviest fans even know stadium bag policies. Neither Husky Stadium nor CenturyLink Field not allow bags larger than 4.5x6.5." A 1-gallon plastic freezer bag, 12x6x12" clear plastic bag or no bag at all will get you to your seat faster.

With a little planning and Sound Transit, you'll make it to your seats without missing a minute of the action!

Graphic of a Sound Transit transit tip.

Transit Tips: Door-crowding edition!

As we head into back-to-school season, trains are going to start filling back up with students and people back from their summer vacations. With so many riders using the system, there's bound to be some crowding, particularly by the doors to get on and off the trains. If we can all remember to follow some simple rules, we'll all have a better trip. This month, we are focusing on door crowding.

To the door crowder: We know you're afraid of getting left behind, but if you let people get off first, you'll board a lot faster.

For more useful tips, visit our transit tips page!

Sounder South expansion map.

Investments coming to Sounder South

Provide feedback by Sept. 24

Sounder trains have provided reliable and traffic-free service for South King County and Pierce County residents for nearly 20 years. With funding approved by voters in 2016, Sound Transit is considering options to expand capacity in the coming years so more people can ride Sounder. Improvements could include additional daily trips and station updates to accommodate longer trains and more riders.

We've studied several options for adding capacity —now we want to hear from you. What are the best ways to serve more riders on Sounder?

Visit our online open house between Sept. 10 and 24 to weigh in with your priorities for Sounder. Or visit us at community events and drop-in sessions.

Sign up for updates or contact us with questions.

Game over text on photo graphic for safety campaign.

Safety tip!

The weather is starting to change: mornings and afternoons aren't as bright, and roads might be rain-slick. If your commute takes you across train tracks, please remember to always obey crossing signs. Keep in mind:

Never cross tracks when the light is red, or gates are down.

Always expect a second train.

Never try to beat a train – they are closer than they appear.

Never stop your vehicle on the tracks.0

Crossing accidents are preventable. More information about how to stay safe is available on our website!

Corrie Adams exits route 412 Community Transit bus.

How WE get to work — Corrie Adams

In our second edition of highlighting how different people get around the region, meet Sound Transit's Customer Outreach Specialist Corrie Adams.

Out of everyone on the customer outreach team, I have the farthest commute since I live in the Snohomish area. Even with living the farthest distance away, my commute is only one hour each way. I feel fortunate because the bus I take every day, Community Transit Route 412, takes the I-5 Express lanes and gets off on the James Street exit. This means that I get off at the first stop, at Fifth and James, and walk to our office.

One downside – it's a commuter route, which only comes into Seattle in the morning and then runs outbound in the afternoon. This can be a challenge if I ever need to work late. In those situations, I typically park at the Lynnwood Transit Center, which has many bus options that run until the end of the day.

Taking the bus into Seattle as part of my daily commute has been a part of my life for the past 10 years, and I cannot imagine having to drive alone. During my commute I am able to catch up on work, do some reading or even take a quick nap. I am also excited to see how the system changes and adapts as Link light rail stations continue to open over the next five years.

We want to feature you in an upcoming newsletter! Send us your stories.

Contact us

Have an upcoming Commuter Fair? Need Sound Transit schedules? Let us know!

Alex Ko

South King County, Pierce County, South Seattle


phone: 206-903-7269

Kassandra Andrews

Central Seattle


phone: 206-903-7572

Corrie Adams

Snohomish County, East King County, North Seattle


phone: 206-903-7528

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Sound Transit system map