Angle Lake Station under construction, June 2016

With the dust starting to settle on University Link, some have turned their attention towards to the other end of the Link light rail system–the south end–and the upcoming opening of Angle Lake Station in SeaTac. With only weeks remaining until the anticipated opening in September, construction on the station and the 1.6 miles of track leading to it from Sea-Tac Airport look just about complete and the first train tests have started. Sound Transit reports that the project is 94 percent complete, with the only substantial construction left for the station being the installation of electrical and mechanical systems, the parking garage, and street-level finishes such as bike lanes and sidewalks.

While the station is not expected to garner much more than a fraction of University Link’s ridership, it brings the system one step closer to Federal Way and points south, to be funded fully by ST3. A station at South 200th Street has been on the books since Sound Move in 1996, having been selected as the original southern terminus of the light rail system until significant revisions to the plan happened in 2001. The $383 million project was funded in the 2008 ST2 measure, with an anticipated completion date of 2020, but was accelerated using federal TIGER grants. Most of the design work wrapped up in 2012 and construction began in 2013.

Angle Lake Station escalators and stairs

Many of Angle Lake Station’s features herald a return to the architecture and design of the initial Central Link segment, sharing more in common with Mount Baker Station than the likes of UW and Capitol Hill’s new stations. Each entrance has only one escalator, which will presumably be set in the up direction, and a set of stairs up to the platform. The somewhat functional and ill-designed LCD screens introduced with University Link, is replaced with the two-line electronic signs used installed at most stations since 2009, lacking the ability to display real-time arrival information; for the time being, the signs will be sufficient, as they will only need to indicate which parked train will be the next to leave.


At the platform level, the sculpture “Cloud” by Haddad Drugan is suspended above South 200th Street in an array of acrylic discs, 6,000 of them in various colors and shades, moved by wind and shine in sunlight to create motion-based patterns. Riders who venture to the southern end of the line on clear days will also be greeted by unobstructed views of Mount Rainier, the Puget Sound, and airplanes landing at and taking off from Sea-Tac, creating some nice distractions for loiterers to wait for their next train.

Angle Lake Station parking garage under construction, June 2016

The most defining feature of the station may be its 1,050-stall parking garage, which is still taking shape. The garage will be wrapped in a translucent screen that functions as public art, and sport a public plaza and ground-level retail space as mandated by the City of SeaTac. The garage is also designed to be expandable and attached to a multi-story building that would be located on its west side. The city is exploring possible transit-oriented development around the station, which is currently surrounded by the Federal Detention Center, a long-term airport parking lot, and a handful of strip malls and gas stations.

Angle Lake Station aerial view

106 Replies to “Angle Lake Station Nearing Completion”

  1. Predicting that 1000+ stall garage will fill by 7a at the end of the first week of service : )

    1. If only there was some sort of way that we could encourage carpooling and ensure the garage is 90% full with parking always available to anyone who needs it. Perhaps some sort of trade with an object in return for garage space. It could even be done in a way to help recover the enormous cost of building the currently trade-free space. But, it couldn’t be possible for the government to do something that revolutionary; that bold. IDK what possible solution there could be… /s

      1. I know you’re being a bit facetious, BUT we have to keep in mind idealism vs. reality. Current carpool/vanpool systems work because everyone in the vehicle (for the most part) works at the same place and time. In a culture where one cherishes their independence and time, I think the mere coordination of matching with other people’s schedules with a train running every 7-8 is a hassle for the average person. Community shuttles in denser neighborhoods might be a more viable solution.

      2. Don’t even think about it. Both the constitution and the bible state free parking (and guns) should be accessible to all. If you hate our freedom you should move to Europe.

      3. know you’re being a bit facetious, BUT we have to keep in mind idealism vs. reality. Current carpool/vanpool systems work because everyone in the vehicle (for the most part) works at the same place and time

        Which is why this works so much better. Instead of a single carpool destination there could be any number of hundreds of possible destinations once you got to the station.

      4. BART and WMATA both charge for parking at their stations with lots. Given all the complaints about full P&R lots here it is far past time to to do the same in our region.

        Besides with pay parking priced to keep the lot in the 90-95% full range it means there is opportunity for nearby private lot owners to offer paid commuter parking as well. I’m mostly thinking of the airport and all the surrounding off-airport lots here but plenty of the current park and ride lots are surrounded by businesses with lots of available parking. Hopefully it means transit agencies can get away with spending less of their limited budgets building parking lots and garages.

      5. ST has been slowly experimenting with paid parking, and the board has clarified there’s no policy or legal objection to it. So far it has taken other forms than pay-at-the gate. At a few P&Rs you can pay a monthly fee to guarantee a space until 9am. Reserved spaces are limited to some 3/4 of the lot, and I understand the program is popular. ST is also focusing on charging in lots that are perennially full rather than lots that aren’t full (some of the obscure ones aren’t). I don’t know why it’s taking so long to roll out paid parking to more lots, or why it isn’t explicity lin the ST3 language. (ST says it intends to pursue paid parking in the ST3 lots maybe, but that probably goes over the head of most voters. (Huh? Our taxes are paying to build the lot. Why should we pay more per use?)

  2. Why does ST think it is okay to spend hundreds of millions of dollars and leave out down escalators? Don’t any of these designers have lots of relatives with arthritis?

    When I go through Mt Baker station today, I see most off-boarding riders running to the elevator – and I’ve seen some people have to wait for a second elevator run because the elevator cannot handle the demand.

    It’s minor decisions like this that make many people less likely to support ST.

    1. Down escalators add width if also including stairs and extra maintenance costs in perpetuity. If down escalators stop working, they must be closed as their dimensions are not ADA compliant for stairs, and down-capacity is greatly reduced (eg SeaTac and UW Station recently). Stairs provide low-cost, fail-safe redundancy.

      As for arthritis and other mobility impairments, that’s what the elevators are for. And those able-bodied folks not carrying loads of stuff upset over waiting 30-45 seconds for the next elevator? Tough; take the stairs and quit screwing it up for people who physically can’t use stairs.

      1. The ones at UW Station used to be closed but they were open but unmoving today and a couple days ago.

      2. Not funny, Mike. What other business says “Tough” about anything customary for users’ safety and comfort. Not sure I’d hold shares in an insurance company writing policies for any entity with that attitude.

        Fifteen years ago or so, I tripped while carrying my shoulder-bag down the extremely badly sized stairs at IDS. Came close to a fractured jaw and lost teeth. And counted 24 extremely sharp granite edges on the way down.

        What saved both me and transit’s litigation budget was several months’ sessions in Russian aikido (I think it’s called “Sambor”) at Seattle Central. Didn’t learn much fighting- but by age I was at back then, average American is very unlikely to get attacked by ninjas.

        Chief cause of death is falling. Broken hip-bone generally starts the process. So no problem with elevator. But with advancing age of our population, ought to mean criminal prosecution for accepting elevators of the quality we’ve been putting up with since 2009.

        Tell me: Does any other country in the world do this to passengers? Bet Dubai doesn’t!

        Mark Dublin

      3. Thank you, Mark!

        I would note that place with higher median incomes and more politically active communities are getting down escalators – like South Bellevue.

        I would also add that the fact the platform isn’t wide enough is a problem created by clueless project managers, architects and engineers.

      4. It’s a real hassle for riders dealing with mobility issues when there is no down escalator and the elevators are out-of-service for a long time (like the recent elevator closure at the Mount Baker station that lasted for weeks).

    2. Since this is a center platform station, a down escalator would require a wider space between the tracks, which would increase the project’s cost.

      1. Not necessarily. You could put them in line so that one is 20 or so feet past the other.

      2. You could also relocate a staircase as a switchback staircase and then replace an existing straight staircase with an escalator. That would be the way to add a down escalator at IDS.

      3. So why didn’t the designers set it up with a wider space between the tracks? They really couldn’t factor that into the multi-million dollar cost of this one station, or the multi-billion dollar cost of the entire system?

        This is particularly frustrating considering that Link serves an airport: it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure out that many people using this facility might have luggage – which they now have to lug down a flight of stairs, creating a safety hazard and pedestrian congestion.

        People have been complaining about this design flaw ever since Westlake Station opened. There’s no excuse for this continued malpractice on the part of designers and architects

      4. People have been complaining about it but not everybody. The ones making the decisions are following the school that down escalators are needed only if it’s more than one story. The brand-new UW Station has two places without down escalators, one from the bridge to the ground, and one from the north ground entrance.

        It’s interesting that department stores and shopping centers have the opposite philosophy. They have full down escalators so their customers don’t get pissed off and shop elsewhere. Westlake Station supports a quasi shopping mall, so all the ways down from the street have down escalators, even when it leads to the shortest escalators in the world. (Although there’s probably a shorter one elsewhere.) The only places in Westlake Station without down escalators are from the mezzanine to the platform.

    3. The thing that gets me about no down escalator at Mt. Baker is that there is no ORCA card reader on the platform, only on the ground. If you dinked up and forgot to tap on whence on the ground, you’ve got to trot down the stairs or take the elevator to tap on and then come back up.

      Please tell me that AT LEAST there is an ORCA reader on the platform at Angle Lake.

      1. I believe there are four on the mid level, the one with the ORCA kiosks. Look to the right of the expected walking path, either side, either direction. I know there are at least two on that floor.

        Still, with the double escalator between you and the train, you want two minutes on the clock. A stern two at that, those drivers like to leave one minute early.

      2. UW has ORCA readers at every level except the platform, so you have two or three opportunities to tap if you use the escalators. The reason is probably the same as why it has two sets of escalators: to disperse tens of thousands of students or sports fans might descend on the station all at once. The other stations have readers only at one level, like Capitol Hill at the entrances. The DSTT has the main readers at the top of the escalators but also has platform readers because of people transferring between Link and tunnel buses, or wanting to take the first train or bus that comes regardless of mode.

        When the tunnel becomes Link only, they might remove the platform readers. I understand the desire for platform readers because I sometimes can’t remember whether I tapped because it’s so automatic, so I have to go back up and tap twice to make sure and sometimes miss a train. But I can also see the counterargument that platform readers or onboard readers make fare enforcement less effective, because some people will wait to tap until they see an inspector. (Of course, that’s probably wouldn’t work because by the time you see them, they can see you suddenly tapping. But non-payers probably wish they had that option.)

      3. ORCA readers on the platform would be used by fare evaders.

        At least with ORCA 2.0, those choosing to pay with smartphones will have a way to double-check without leaving the platform.

        A compromise, though costing money, would be a place to tap and see your balance and whether you are tapped on or off. I don’t see it happening when we can’t even get different sounds for tap on, tap off, and cancel.

      4. The Farebot app for Android phones with NFC can read your ORCA and tell you if you remembered to tap in or not.

    4. If they deemed it important enough they would have made it happen. The project is $383 million. The extra cost for installation and maintenance is marginal. Without seeing a schematic of the station I hazard to wildly suggest there might of even been a location for one that isn’t necessarily right next to the stairs and the other escalator but an elevator shaft (even 2 or 3 elevator shafts) seems like a better use of space.

      If I had a mobility problem I would think that an elevator would be safer than risk getting pinched in the steps of an escalator. Anyway just my ramblings. Have a good weekend everybody.

    5. Visiting Vancouver right now, and even many of the Canada Line stations lack down escalators.

      1. It’s because of contradictory demands: one for full down escalators, two to keep capital costs and taxes low.

  3. Any word on when this’s going to open? And are there going to be any bus restructures around it?

    1. “September.”

      Metro has not announced any bus restructures, there has been no public process for them, and I think the deadline for the September service changes was June. Angle Lake is just a mile from SeaTac, and SeaTac is still a major destination. Sound Transit has stops on 188th that it might still want to serve. Last year ST released some bus alternatives for 2023, and although nothing is final yet, all the south end routes were truncated at KDM Station. So ST may be waiting till then. And now that ST3 proposes to open Federal Way in 2024, it may slip another year till then. (But what about the 574 night owl? Airport workers aren’t likely to wait half an hour for RapidRide A if the transfer is as uncoordinated as it is for the 124.)

    2. There really shouldn’t be a need for a restructure. As Mike said, SEA is a major destination and so is Tukwila Int’l Station. Until the Federal Way Link opens up, the current layout is needed.

  4. Next to federal detention, huh? Better not misbehave at this station.

    1. Specifically, Donde, and especially if you’re a harmless boy or girl from Olympia, don’t refuse to inform on your friends to a grand jury called by a Federal prosecutor who considers ten grand worth of malicious destruction of Federal windows as treason and terrorism.

      And has already identified and jailed the actual perpetrator for much less time than the non-informers spent in detention. In a privately run prison, which should have died with Ebenezer Scrooge. And whose owners doubtless have a PAC to lobby for ever more prison time for ever smaller crimes.

      So long as you confine your crime to ten thousand dollars worth of Federal windows, you’ve won’t get sent to anything with a CEO and shareholders. And for shorter time than people won’t inform.

      I’d also rather have prosecutors need to work a little harder, and concentrate on larger crimes, than get Americans in the habit of being informers. In a foreign or domestic forcible takevoer, these people are worth more than billions in surveillance equipment to the Occupation.

      Will also not hesitate to call in on somebody I see destroying transit property, if it looks too dangerous to stop them physically myself. And will be proud to testify, publicly in court at their trial for malicious destruction. But would rather prosecution leave their innocent waitress alone.

      None of this really on-topic for this posting, except that facility is mentioned. And just explaining why I don’t intend to use the station very much. Pioneer Square Station? Good point. But at least King County Jail isn’t on the stock exchange.

      Mark Dublin

    2. Angle Lake Station is walking distance to Alaska Airlines headquarters. Not sure why that fact was left out of the article, but that’s potentially hundreds of commuters that won’t need to drive to work. Good move, ST!

  5. No mention of the monstrous size of the stop’s “District Boundary”, roughly 10 blocks north/south (194th to 204th) and containing Angle Lake Park, a swimming hole and huge draw to the city? Or of the proposed hotel that is part of the TOD literally taking a chunk out of the park (southeast corner)? This is destroying the single best green asset in Seatac. Doesn’t that even get a passing nod on a transit blog?

    1. 10 blocks (5/8-mile) seems like a fairly conservative walkshed estimate for the station, really.

      What’s the deal with Angle Lake Park? Is the city selling the land? How much of the park is affected?

      1. The deal with Angle Lake Park is it lies within the TOD zone for the station, slating the entire park for TOD development. The currently planned hotel is not a huge part of the park, but this is a very busy park. I’ve seen more people use it at a single time than I’ve seen using Green Lake. For South King County, it is essentially the go to location for cooling off in the summer.

        Personally, three generations of my family have enjoyed it. It would be like putting light rail or a hotel up on Mt. Si, or putting a cut and cover on the Snoqualmie Falls (maybe modern hipster elites will understand those trendy locations a bit more). But because South King County doesn’t have the cash to pay off politicians and developers, their park infrastructure is little more than undeveloped land to the money hungry.

      2. A. Johnson,

        Is it possible you were misinformed?
        This ref says only:

        The Council also gave preliminary approval to sell city land along International Boulevard near Angle Lake for a new hotel development, but the deal would include an easement so citizens would have access to the lake park and waterfront.

        I read this as the city is selling non parkland, with an easement for continued public access.
        Seems pretty clear Angle Lake Park proper is not being sold.

      3. The link embedded in “exploring possible transit-oriented development” leads to a page that has a link for the City of Seatac’s 60 page plan for the area.

        It shows the location of the hotel, the park, and the TOD boundary. It also shows how massive the changes are to the area compared to what is there now. To many of the YIYBY crowd (because it is never their backyard) that kind of development is a good thing.

      4. It’s true — because YIYBYs do not physically exist, nothing is ever in their backyards, which do not physically exist.

    2. I’m not sure which one you’re talking about, but there are rumors of two hotel developments going up near Angle Lake. Neither one is slated to take any part of Angle Lake Park away.

      First is a 150-room Hyatt Place planned by Ariel Development for the parcel immediately south of Angle Lake Park. No part of the park will be taken for this development. They would tear down the office building at 19518 International Blvd.

      Second is a Residence Inn by Marriott being planned by TMI Hospitality for city-owned, non-park land a few parcels south of Angle Lake Park at 19608 International Blvd. Again, this is not part of Angle Lake Park so no need to worry about that. I walked by this parcel last Thursday and it was set up as overflow parking for Angle Lake Park.

  6. That’s a huge investment in continuing car dependence. Brought to you by Sound Free Parking.

    1. With bus service skeletal and infrequent, it’s the only way a lot of suburbanites can get to the station, so the only way Link can effectively serve the area. And ST is moving slowly on paid parking.

  7. I highly doubt this will add much if any additional users. The station is only 1.6 miles from the existing station at Seatac. It’s a 1 minute drive from Angel Lake up to Seatac on 99. So people are going to park further south to save 1 minute? Sure some will but let’s not pretend this extension is going to be a huge change for the system.

    To put it in perspective. I have a friend who lives in Des Moines. The commute to the station is 15 minutes instead of the 16 minutes to Seatac. Then you’re still stuck with a LR commute to DT that exceeds most travel times except during the worst peak commutes.

    1. Sorry replying to my comment. I said Angel but I meant Angle. Sorry if that confused people. In any event, have a good 4th everyone! Try not to drive everywhere ;)

      1. I only realized a couple of weeks ago that the place is ANGLE Lake and not Angel. And I’ve read this blog almost daily for years. Good grief.

    2. My secret hope is that the ridership increase is very minimal, or at best equivalent to the number of parking stalls. That way we can compare the massive ridership gains of U-Link (with zero parking, UW notwithstanding) to the gains of Angle Lake (with massive parking) and be able to easily show that massive parking doesn’t really move the needle; we need to build in dense places, or alternatively build the density at stations.

    3. Ridership will nowhere be explosive as U-Link. But the new parking option is the highlight of Angle Lake. Whether you’re for or against parking at stations, residents will have a long-awaited alternative for parking. Link users aren’t confined to SeaTac and Tukwila residents, but come far away as Kent, Fed Way and places elsewhere. I bet this garage will fill by 7a by the end of the first week of service.

    4. it’s about parking capacity. SeaTac is paid, and TIBS is full, so people driving in from the south will prefer Angle Lake. The “2 miles closer” is irrelevant.

      1. TIBS is far from full. I pass by it on Link weekly, during the day. I have never seen it at full capacity, ever. I have family in the area. They’ve never seen it full either. The need for more parking is a red herring at best.

      2. @A. Johnson, I’m not sure what you’re seeing, but TIBS -both north and south lots, are 100% by 7 or so each weekday. Spots start opening around 2p.

      3. That is a laughable statement. 11 am to 1pm is my average through that area, and it has never been full. The last time I went through the area to confirm this was Thursday. It wasn’t full just yesterday. If you think I am wrong, I encourage you to actually talk to Tukwila and Seatac locals.

        While I am a fan of light rail, it behooves all of us to at least be honest with the current state of the system. If we start spinning yarns and over-exaggerating now, it will be used against us (and light rail) in the future.

      4. Every time I’ve been at TIB during the workday the lot is over 100% capacity. I’ve had people ask me as I exit the platform where I’m parked so they can have their waiting companion pull their car into the space they hope is being vacated. “Sorry, I’m getting picked up.”

        South Kirkland is also maxed out but strangely doesn’t fill until after 7:30am which is after crush loading on the 255 starts to taper off.

        With all of the economic activity in DT Seattle I’m sure Angle Link parking will be at capacity as soon as it opens. Sadly some will be people that previously took the bus and transferred. Without a bus restructure expect on/offs of <2k coupled with a small decrease at TIB from the kiss and ride crowd.

    5. People are driving to Link from Auburn, Federal Way, and Kent. Angle Lake is closer than TIB and will have more parking. TIB’s parking was never intended to be sufficient for all of south King County, an area of 800,000 people.

      1. I agree! The parking at angle lake, Kent Des Moines, and star lake should satisfy this hopefully…

    6. I live in north federal way and would use angle lake. Every time I drove up to TIBS (around 6:30), all spots are taken. The overflow lots – even the leased parking on top of the garage are full. Crazy.

      And the A line needs skip stop or express service. Every time I take the a line to TIBS, it’s almost 40 minutes vs 15 via car. There’s just too many stops.

      1. The A Line has already been put on more than one stop diet. That is above and beyond the number of stops reduced when it was changed over from the old 174.

        What you want is a 194 that serves the Link stations. That really doesn’t exist at all right now.

      2. Well if you don’t mind paying there is gobs of parking around Seatac station. Even more so if you count the off-airport lots with free shuttles to the terminal.

      3. “the A line needs skip stop or express service.”

        That’s what the Link extension is for, and the 574 in the interim.

    7. People will ride it because they get million dollar “free” car storage. That’s two rides a day for every $50000 parking space.

      1. The problem is the layout of the suburbs. The P&R is just a symptom of it. If the P&R isn’t there they’ll drive all the way and those externalities harm the rest of us.

      2. If the P&R isn’t there (i.e. park for free and take sprawl rail) people will be less and less likely to move to the suburbs as commute times grow increasingly long. Angle Link is an uber expensive way to boost ridership on high capacity transit to low density area. Operate WSF on a revenue neutral fare and watch sprawl on the west side of Puget Sound start to reverse.

      3. So 25,000 a boarding. For 100,000 daily boardings that would be about 2.5 Billion dollars. Is that really all that out of whack in the context of Link?

  8. I look forward to finally learning if John Bailo’s prediction that Angle lake will generate more ridership than UW or CHS was correct.

    1. I don’t recall him saying that. He was excited to use the station for years, and he kept expecting the 180 to be rerouted even though I said Metro hasn’t said it’ll do that and he’ll probably have to drive. So I guess he will drive to it if he’s still around. He hasn’t commented here for months.

      1. I’m not going to be able to google up the thread, but he said Angle lake would be a “bigger deal” than UW or CHS, and I asked him point blank if he was claiming they’ll attract more ridership, and his answer was vaguely cagey but basically affirmative.

  9. Link to the city of SeaTac’s land use and transportation plan:

    Not too bad. It’s a pretty terrible spot, what with wide highways, low flying planes, and slog through the RV to get downtown. But they’re making the most of it with their plan.

    My hope is that the station area becomes a hotel hub. For residential and commercial TOD, it’s inferior to the RV station locations, which (Columbia City excepted) are already difficult places to get developed with Link and a booming real estate market.

    But staying at an Angle Lake hotel when flying in or out of Seatac makes all kinds of sense. Of the airport vicinity services, hotels are the densest and most transit friendly, and the market is really large.

    1. The Rainier Valley overhead is only ten minutes. Visitors won’t know anything different, and they won’t know that the valley exists until they see it. The St Louis light rail is more or less similar.

      1. Exactly. Way less time than renting a car, no guessing about how early you have to leave to deal with traffic. RV overhead is an obstacle for building TOD and building commuter Link ridership, but much less of an issue for travelers. I’d see a big market in out-of-towners wanting the shortest path from a bed to an early morning flight (or from a late flight to a bed), and business travelers looking to save a buck relative to downtown hotels.

      2. 10 minutes compared to what?

        It’s 20 minutes from TIBS to Mt Baker on Link, and 19 minutes driving.

      3. The first time I took Link northound from the airport, the biggest thing that struck me was the 10-minute industrial gap between TIB and Rainier Beach. I imagine visitors think, “Is most of the line like this?”, “Is downtown really far away?”, “Is this train really going downtown? Oh good, the map says so.”

    2. The Angle Lake Station is in a horrible location for housing. The station lies directly under the jet path, the neighborhood reeks of jet fuel and the soil is undoubtedly highly contaminated with carcinogens. It’s not someplace I would raise a family.

      Generally speaking, parking garages are a bad idea at Link stations, but if there ever is going to be an exception, Angle Lake is it. There also should be some adjacent commercial development, but residential development should be located elsewhere.

      1. The station exists because they didn’t know when/if ST2 would ever happen, and SeaTac is not suitable for a P&R (it would be overwhelmed by airport drivers wanting free/cheap parking, and there was going to be a civic plaza/TOD east of SeaTac station).

  10. Has ST said what Southbound trains will say? Angle Lake? SeaTac/Airport/Angle Lake? I would advocate for Airport/Angle Lake.

    1. Take a cue from highway systems. Designate control stations, major stations that are used as the reference point. Also, put both direction and destination on the sign. So, control stations would be Angle Lake (as end of line), Seatac, Westlake & UW, and signs would say “South to SeaTac” or “North to Westlake” etc

      1. From the airport (and Sea Tac and Tukwila), it makes more sense for the northbound trains to be signed to Seattle than to Westlake. Westlake is meaningless to an out of town air traveler.

      2. The signs are already there. On the UW platform it says “Seattle & [sticker saying ‘SeaTac/Aiirport’]”. Under the sticker it presumably says “Angle Lake”, as it does under the station map stickers (some of which have been removed or they forgot to put a sticker). There’s not enough room for “SeaTac/Airport & Angle Lake” under the sticker, so the full sign will probably say “Seattle & Angle Lake”. That’s not a problem because people normally look at the map to see which direction is the airport, and ST could put an airplane icon on the sign.

    2. I agree that it should say something like Angle Lake via SeaTac Airport as visitors will have no idea what Angle Lake is. I have had people at Westlake Station ask me where to catch the train to the airport and right now the signage says airport and if those signs were changed to say just Angle Lake you are just going to add to their confusion.

      1. Very good point, Jeff. Whoever does signage, and everything else in passenger information, most important state of mind is for designer to put themselves in the position of a passenger who doesn’t know the city

        Contract specs for an information system should stipulate local personnel who’ve actually ridden every transit line in the system. Nobody cares enough for a recorded PA announcement where Boston and First is.


      2. The signs will say “Angle Lake & Airport”, if you’ve seen where the patches are. With the airport symbol also there, it hopefully shouldn’t be too confusing.

        The perils of having an unusual rail transit line that continues past its airport stop, instead of terminating there…

      3. I would add that the vending machines should be programmed to be a bit more visitor friendly. At seatac I would add an extra button (big and red) like “single ride to downtown”. I also guess many visitors have no clue what is orca card, so a simple and easy explanation might be useful, a little bit like well written howtos.

    3. If you look at current signage posted in the tunnel, it reads: “SeaTac Airport/Airport or Airport/Airport.”

      Basically it already says AIrport/Angle Lake or SeaTac/Angel lake. But the Agle Lake portion has been covered until this September.

  11. I find Angle Lake station mostly uninteresting. It makes more sense as a stop on the way to Kent-Des Moines/Federal Way. On its own, it seems like kind of an arbitrary place to stop, especially since it’s duplicated 100% by the A-Line and it doesn’t serve a major transit destination like the airport or Highline College. It makes a lot of sense as a stop in between stations, but it seems weird to have the line terminate at Angle Lake like Sound Move originally did.

    1. No it makes sense as a transit hub for Alaska Airlines employees. Totally overlooked by the article. And for Kenworth Truck Corporate offices. It’s not just about the Federal Detention Center. Easy to see on Google maps that these destinations are quick walking distance to Angle Lake.

      1. Kenworth has a large facility directly adjacent to South Kirkland. For some reason they couldn’t or wouldn’t allow any of the vast sea of unused spaces to be used by Metro during the construction debacle. I’ve seen a few people using the gate to get to work via transit but it’s a minuscule number. There’s pretty much zero either Alaska or Kenworth will add to transit use as long as they are providing free parking to employees.

      2. Awesome. Give employees at two major employers a transit option, plus proposals to build two hotels one transit stop away from the airport so that travelers staying there do not necessarily need a car or shuttle.

    2. Going further south in the first phase would have cost more money, and the mandate was to go “to the airport” not “to Highline Community College”. Angle Lake Station was mostly about a terminal P&R that could become the permanent end if no extensions were approved. SeaTac Station was not a good place for a P&R, and people coming from south King County wouldn’t want to be caught in airport traffic, so they made the line a little longer to get away from the airport. It also serves the city of SeaTac a little more (two stations instead of one), and ST is all about the number of stations per city. (One is better than zero, two is better than one, but eleven in Seattle is not better than ten.)

    3. I think the regional FAA offices are moving to an office very, very close to Angle Lake Station. That will be a lot of commuters who have free transit passes.

  12. Question about Link in Seattle vaguely related to Angle Lake station: I’ve never used it, only Link and buses down here in Tacoma and buses in South King County. Do any Link stations have any vending machines or vendors at all? It would be nice to get a snack or drink from a vending machine and watch planes while waiting for a Link train…

    1. None that I have seen. No bathrooms either. While stations are pleasant enough, they are constructed so that you don’t linger.

      I tell ya, a coffee vendor (even one where you have to bring your own cup) at the Husky Stadium Station will make a killing. Of course then you’d need a bathroom as you can only rent coffee.

    2. Health department could weigh in on how many customers will be furry with whiskers, big teeth, and long tails. Especially underground. Also, I think all food-serving facilities need a sink somewhere close by. And water, at least to fill water tanks in espresso machine stands, and drains.

      But deliberate attempt to discourage me from not hanging around have similar effect on my transit riding habit too. Certainly if there’s a friendlier station to use. I wonder how much mezzanine space in the DSTT was originally intended for coffee or newspapers.

      I know that IDS was supposed to have pretty much constant outdoor markets in the sheltered area on the Fifth Avenue side just behind the front escalators. Always had same sense as with the CPS fountain and the clocks: something was too much trouble for somebody. For 25 years.

      These places aren’t really for necessary nourishment. Their main purpose is to make passengers feel comfortable, in an atmosphere that communicates welcome. Because even stuck in traffic, people generally feel welcome in their own cars.


      1. Every station in Toronto’s subway system has a Gateway Newstand selling food, drinks, magazines, newspapers, etc., and they don’t seem to have issues. Some stations even have multiple retailers selling food and drinks.

    3. Restrooms; ST’s policy is only at major transit centers. So far that means SeaTac, TIB, and Bellevue. The argument is that they have high staffing costs, since unattended restrooms become trashed by vandals and drug addicts. (And in 24 Hour Fitness, where everybody pays to get in, the restrooms get paper strewn everywhere all the time. When I complained to the manager, he said it’s a neverending problem because it happens every few hours. So it’s not just drug addicts and homeless people who are sloppy.)

    4. It wouldn’t take much infrastructure to designate a spot or two for food trucks at most stations since they can be self contained. Ideally they’d have a 30A outlet (which wouldn’t be too hard to retrofit) so we wouldn’t have to listen to generator noise. They might even give the vendors access to the staff only restrooms that must exist at these stations.

      Any sort of vending would help to activate these spaces and provide a contentious presence beyond transit security. There’s been a program to put Goodwill donation stations at P&R lots with car prowl problems, a similar modest effort that has worked well.

  13. I just realized that I think aviation enthusiasts, such as myself, will have a new plane-spotting location: the top of Angle Lake’s garage.

    1. Thanks, Reyes. Favorite airline, easy time, always beautiful plane, my favorite jetliner, good memories. Just hope I don’t have to look over the Detention Center to see it.


  14. You should do a post about the transit-oriented development going up around this station. The first project going up is Reserve At SeaTac, a 55+ apartment complex with 289-units. They’re almost done with that.

    There’s also the option-to-buy contract Wright Runstad has in place in order to build a 1 million square foot hotel/office/retail building on the land immediately west of the station, where City Park parking lot currently operates.

    Next is a 150-room Hyatt Place planned by Ariel Development for the parcel immediately south of Angle Lake Park at 19518 International Blvd.

    Finally there is a Residence Inn by Marriott being planned by TMI Hospitality for city-owned, non-park land a few parcels south of Angle Lake Park at 19608 International Blvd.

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