SDOT Crews Help Improve Bus Service to UW Light Rail Station

This past weekend brought some welcome regional transportation options with the launch of the two new LINK Light Rail stations at Capitol Hill and University of Washington in Seattle.

Now you can take LINK light rail from the airport, Rainier Valley or downtown to Capitol Hill and to UW, the state’s biggest university and Seattle’s largest employer.

In just eight minutes, the LINK takes you from Westlake Station to UW station.  This is also a major enhancement for people riding the bus.

Starting next Saturday, you’ll be able to take over a dozen bus routes to the UW light rail station.  By redesigning bus routes to connect with light rail, King County Metro tripled the number of households in northeast Seattle that are near 15-minute transit service.

To keep all these additional buses moving and to improve the experience of people riding transit, crews from SDOT and Metro improved three bus stops near the UW station. They relocated bus stops to shorten the walk to the station and made the stops longer to handle more buses. They also added more bus shelters to increase waiting area for riders and installed real-time information signs.

SDOT Paving Crews, SDOT Traffic Signal Crews and contractors worked as a team to remove existing sections of sidewalk, excavate, install and bury underground conduit lines, and then repave the sidewalk to create improved transit stops. Metro then installed new bus shelters.

Building Sidewalk

Building the new sidewalk

Installing conduit

Installing conduit for traffic signals

Improved Sidewalk

Improved sidewalk for the expanded bus stop

Installing Bus shelters

Installing bus shelters at the improved bus stop

Improved bus stop with large shelter near Husky Stadium

Improved bus stop with large shelter near Husky Stadium

This work was notable for several reasons. It required unprecedented coordination between Metro, different SDOT divisions and the adjacent UW Medical Center. Also, work was completed in phases so bus stops and pedestrian walkways remained open throughout the project. Finally, crews used innovative methods and worked seven days a week to complete this large crew project on time, while simultaneously working to complete transit improvements in South Lake Union.

For more details on these bus stop improvements, see our previous blog story