Dept. of Transportation
Metro Transit Division

King Street Center
201 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Light Rail in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel

Q. Where does the light rail line travel before and after it enters the tunnel?

A. The light rail line begins on the north at Westlake Station in the DSTT and travels south through SODO with stops near Safeco Field and Qwest Stadium. The line then heads east through a tunnel under Beacon Hill and then south through the Rainier Valley. The line crosses I-5 on an elevated structure and continues south to Sea-Tac Airport.

Q. Will the tunnel have to close when Sound Transit extends the light rail line north to the University of Washington?

A. No. Sound Transit built the Pine Street Stub Tunnel while the downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel was closed. That will allow for the line to continue north without interruption to bus or rail service in the DSTT.

Q. Why do we need light rail downtown?

A. By 2024, there will be an additional 57,000 new jobs and 24,000 new households in the 10 neighborhoods surrounding and including downtown Seattle. Light rail will add new transportation capacity to densely populated neighborhoods, and will provide fast, reliable and easy access for people traveling to and from the city.

Q. Why won't there be a light rail stop at Convention Place Station?

A. The elevation of Convention Place Station is too high to provide a light rail station and tunnel under Interstate 5 heading towards Capitol Hill. The Pine Street Stub Tunnel was built under Pine Street to establish the route to travel east and under I-5 and then north as part of the University Link project.

Updated: Dec. 16, 2009