Ten weeks of Sound Transit’s Connect 2020 construction is scheduled to begin Jan. 4, which will integrate new light rail to the Eastside into the existing system following months of preparation and outreach.
"Connect 2020 will prepare our light-rail system to grow dramatically but will require riders to allow more time and bring their patience," said University Place Mayor Kent Keel, chair of the Sound Transit Board. "We thank our riders for bearing with the pain of progress as our construction prepares to greatly expand their travel options."
The Connect 2020 work kicks off Jan. 4 and Jan. 5, with the first of three weekends of full closures using free shuttle buses to replace light-rail service at downtown Seattle stations. The shuttles will make surface stops at the closed stations between Capitol Hill and SODO. To avoid platform crowding, no fare will be required on Link light rail during the three closure weekends.
On the first full rush hour of the year, Jan. 6, and continuing through March 13, Link service will run every 12 minutes in each direction, and passengers traveling through downtown will need to make a transfer via a new center platform 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.
To make it easier for bike commuters to keep their bikes off the system, Sound Transit is installing new on-demand BikeLink lockers at the Rainier Beach, SODO and University of Washington stations.
Two additional weekend light rail closures are planned for Feb. 8–9 and March 14–15.
When Connect 2020 construction is complete, 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. 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.