Puget Sound Link Light Rail opened in the Seattle area in 2009, with big plans for eventual expansion. The original track, running from downtown Seattle to Seatac Airport has seen two expansions since 2009, with many more scheduled in the coming years. The light rail offers commuters options outside of the traditional personal car, carpool, or bus lines available in the city. It aims to reduce congestion and provide faster and more reliable transportation options through the Puget Sound.
Ridership and Current Rail
In 2018, Sound Transit reported that about 81,000 passengers utilized the Link Light Rail each business day across the greater Seattle Puget Sound area, marking an increase in ridership from 2017. The current light rail line, running from the northernmost stop at the University of Washington Husky Stadium to the southernmost stop at Angle Lake in Seatac, provides reliable north-to-south access, with trains running every 10 minutes. The current route offers 15 stops and takes about 50 minutes end-to-end. The train runs both above and below ground, but rarely intersects with automobile traffic, which allows it to typically remain on time regardless of commuting gridlock.
Planned Light Rail Growth
Planned growth of the light rail can be seen in the graphic below. While the above graphic details the current light rail route, and the below details the plan up through 2023. Expansion north and south, as well as east and west will increase transit options throughout the Puget Sound area. The light rail often offers a quicker and more direct route than bus or car options. For example, the train between University Stadium station and Capitol Hill station takes approximately four minutes, while a similar drive would be ten minutes at best, with no traffic.
Zoning Changes Around Light Rail Stations
Many of the areas around the future light rail stations have seen a change in zoning to allow for more dense development. These will be ideal locations for commuters into the city. The zoning changes promote the best use of the future transit options, to allow more people access to the service.
Simulation Video of the Future Light Rail from Northgate to Lynnwood
For a more detailed visual of the future changes from the Northgate station to the Lynnwood station within the landscape, you can view the below simulation video.
Investment Near Public Transit
Studies have shown that real estate values remain steadier near public transit, regardless of the economy. Even in down markets, properties that are located close to public transit options, such as the light rail train, are more protected. This is good news both for homeowners and real estate investors, as the zoning changes will increase the number of available properties near these transit options. We would love to talk with you about how the light rail expansion may impact your investment or homeownership options or goals.
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