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Light rail closures to have minimal impact on students

This weekend’s closure of the downtown Light Rail stations is slated to cause minimal disruption to the SCC community.

Sound Transit will stop service from Friday night until early Monday morning between the Capitol Hill Station and Sodo Stations to prepare for the connection of the upcoming Blue Line to the existing Link network. The Westlake, University Street, Pioneer Square, International District, and Stadium stations will all be unavailable for service. Trains will continue to run outside of the affected zone, and Metro shuttle buses will be routed between all the closed stations.

The same stations will also be closed during the weekends of October 26-27 and November 9-10.

According to Jeff Keever, Director of Auxiliary Services at SCC, these weekend closures will have a negligible impact on the school community. However, students should prepare for major delays during the 10-week-long construction of a new track junction in the International District/Chinatown station, which will force northbound and southbound trains to run on the same track in some sections.

Just as during the famed “Seattle Squeeze,” transit riders will again have to readjust their commuting habits for new conditions caused by the 10-week winter closure, which will take place from January to mid-March. This will split the existing service into two separate lines – Angle Lake to Pioneer Square and Pioneer Square to University of Washington. 

For students commuting via Link from south Seattle, Keever says this will mean an extra transfer in Pioneer Square, lengthening commute times significantly. He also speculates that it will cause major congestion and overcrowding of train cars due to the reduced frequency of service, meaning that even those who board at Pioneer Square will likely encounter delays. For West Seattleites accustomed to getting downtown via bus and transferring to the Light Rail at the University Street or Westlake stations, Keever recommends opting for Metro Route 49 instead to avoid Light Rail delays.

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