We now have a date: University Link will open at 10am on Saturday, March 19. Just 52 days from now.
Sound Transit (ST) will be throwing a full day of festivities from 9am-5pm, with a “tailgate party” at UW Station and a “street festival” at Capitol Hill Station. ST has also released a new website, ulink2016.org, that provides information on schedules, trip times, event details, and more.
In the spirit of its Annapurna walking tours, ST will also allow riders to enter the chance to win a “golden ticket” to be among the first riders to ride ULink on the 19th. If you want to ride a packed inaugural train with happy politicians in black peacoats, now’s your chance. Word is that the ‘golden ticket’ will be a commemorative (and fully functional) gold-colored ORCA card. You can enter to win 3 ways:
- Share a photo or video about how you’ll use ULink using hashtag #ULink2016 on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram
- Listen to KEXP (90.3), KUOW (94.9), or KNDD (107.7)
- Spend $5 or more and enter a contest form at the following merchants:
Sound Transit is encouraging people not to drive to ULink, stressing that there will be no available parking at either station. But ST has partnered with Metro to provide a nonstop shuttle service from Northgate to UW Station every 15 minutes from 9am-6:10pm.
The launch will come 7 days ahead of the big bus restructure, allowing for a transitional week of outreach and education to help riders learn the new system, especially in Northeast Seattle where Montlake Triangle transfers will feature so heavily. Bus service will change the morning of March 26th, with nearly 50 bus routes changing in every corner of the city. In addition to ULink-related changes, the same day Rapid Ride C and Route 40 will begin using the new Westlake Avenue transit lanes in South Lake Union. The first regular weekday with ULink service and new peak bus service patterns is Monday, March 28th.
Seattle Transit Blog will also host our own ULink Launch Party at the reborn Charlie’s on Broadway (1/2 a block north of Capitol Hill Station) from 3 to 5 pm in the Back Bar. Come have a couple drinks with us as we celebrate a huge day for mobility in Seattle and the greater region, and stay to watch the Sounders beat the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Until then, we’ve dusted off the countdown clock and added it to the sidebar. See you in March!