Angle Lake Station from South 200th Street
Sound Transit's Angle Lake Link Light Rail Station as seen from South 200th Street (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Sound Tran­sit’s newest Link light rail exten­sion will open on Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 24th, just thir­ty-one days from now, CEO Peter Rogoff and Board Chair Dow Con­stan­tine announced at a press con­fer­ence this morning.

“Open­ing the Angle Lake Sta­tion marks anoth­er mile­stone in build­ing a vibrant, region­al light rail sys­tem,” said Con­stan­tine. “Trains run­ning every six min­utes will give thou­sands of rid­ers fast, reli­able ser­vice to jobs, schools, and Huskies, Sea­hawks, Sounders and Mariners games.”

The Angle Lake Sta­tion is locat­ed at South 200th Street and 28th Avenue, a lit­tle more than one and a half miles south of the SeaTac/Airport Sta­tion. It is an ele­vat­ed sta­tion, grace­ful­ly loom­ing above the inter­sec­tion. From the sta­tion plat­form, rid­ers will be treat­ed to excel­lent views of Mount Rainier on clear days.

Angle Lake Station from South 200th Street
Sound Tran­sit’s Angle Lake Link Light Rail Sta­tion as seen from South 200th Street (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

What’s par­tic­u­lar­ly notable about the sta­tion is that it has been designed as a park and ride, with a mas­sive 1,050 stall park­ing garage and an addi­tion­al sev­en­ty spaces in a sur­face lot. There’s also ded­i­cat­ed space for van­pools to park and bicy­cle lock­ers for bicy­clists, plus a pas­sen­ger pick­up and dropoff area.

The SeaTac/Airport Sta­tion, which has been the south­ern ter­mi­nus of the line since Decem­ber of 2009, when Air­port Link opened, does not have the capac­i­ty for vans, cars, or bikes that Angle Lake will offer. It will be inter­est­ing to see if Sound Tran­sit’s crit­ics will give it any cred­it for hav­ing accel­er­at­ed devel­op­ment and con­struc­tion of a new south­ern ter­mi­nus for Link that has ample park­ing and bicy­cle storage.

For peo­ple liv­ing in the area, the Angle Lake Sta­tion will pro­vide a con­ve­nient con­nec­tion to many des­ti­na­tions: Safe­co Field, Cen­tu­ryLink Field, Husky Sta­di­um, the UW Med­ical Cen­ter, West­lake Cen­ter, the Inter­na­tion­al Dis­trict, Colum­bia City, bars and night­clubs on Capi­tol Hill, and count­less oth­er places with­in walk­ing dis­tance of the oth­er sta­tions served by Cen­tral Link.

Antic­i­pat­ed trav­el times, cour­tesy of Sound Transit:

  • To SeaT­ac Air­port: Four minutes
  • To West­lake Cen­ter: Forty-one minutes
  • To UW Sta­tion at Husky Sta­di­um: Forty-eight minutes

By 2018, the sta­tion is fore­cast to have 5,400 board­ings every weekday.

The art­work at the sta­tion is fab­u­lous. The theme for the art is ele­ments in motion, and one of the cen­ter­pieces is Lau­ra Had­dad’s “Cloud”.

“The sculp­ture, installed on the ele­vat­ed plat­form strad­dling South 200th Street, con­sists of 6,000 hang­ing disks that change appear­ance in response to fluc­tu­a­tions in light, weath­er, or at the approach of a train,” not­ed Sound Tran­sit’s press team in a news release sent to NPI and oth­er media outlets.

Angle Lake Link cost $383 mil­lion to build. The project, part of the Sound Tran­sit 2 pack­age approved in 2008, is $40 mil­lion under bud­get and sched­uled to open four years ear­li­er than planned — a remark­able accom­plish­ment, aid­ed by fed­er­al fund­ing secured by Wash­ing­ton’s senior Unit­ed States Sen­a­tor, Pat­ty Murray.

(Those with long mem­o­ries will recall that a light rail sta­tion in this area was promised as part of the Sound Move plan in 1996. That orig­i­nal plan had to scrapped because it was unre­al­is­tic. How­ev­er, Sound Tran­sit has most cer­tain­ly kept its promise to get the sta­tion built as part of ST2.)

Sound Tran­sit’s recent track record (no pun intend­ed) shows it is capa­ble of deliv­er­ing high qual­i­ty tran­sit expan­sion projects on time or ahead of sched­ule and under bud­get. The agency is giv­ing vot­ers the oppor­tu­ni­ty this autumn to choose whether to expand Link fur­ther north, south, and east with Sound Tran­sit 3, an ambi­tious pack­age that would also add more express bus and com­muter rail ser­vice. NPI strong­ly sup­ports Sound Tran­sit 3 and urges a “yes” vote.

We’ve pub­lished a num­ber of high qual­i­ty snaps show­ing today’s press event and the new sta­tion to NPI’s In Brief. Take a look and enjoy the pic­tures.

After Angle Lake Link opens, it will many years before we are able to cel­e­brate anoth­er light rail sta­tion open­ing, as U Dis­trict, Roo­sevelt, and North­gate aren’t due to be com­plet­ed until 2021. So, rail­fans, be sure to show up to enjoy the fes­tiv­i­ties as new light rail ser­vice comes online next month!

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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