Sponsor spotlight: Northgate Station now open — fast and convenient bus connections to light rail are here!

Local public transit options just got an upgrade as the newest light rail station at Northgate opened on Oct. 2. Today, people traveling from Snohomish County have even more travel options for getting to destinations in Seattle, King County, and beyond.

Bus service to the station also got an upgrade with the addition of 48 new direct bus trips between Snohomish County and Northgate. Community Transit and Sound Transit buses drop riders right at the front steps of the station, making for fast and easy bus-to-rail connections.

It is estimated that the Northgate Link Extension will serve up to 49,000 daily riders by 2022. With only 1,175 parking spaces in lots surrounding Northgate Station, bus connections will be essential for connecting people to light rail.

Two other stations that connect to the 1 Line (Link) — Roosevelt and U District — also opened on Oct. 2. The 1 Line serves 19 stops on a north-south route between Northgate Station and Angle Lake station, with even more stops expanding north and south currently under construction.

With light rail’s fast connections, riders can get from Northgate to the University of Washington in 6 minutes, Northgate to Westlake in 14 minutes, and Northgate to SeaTac in 49 minutes — all without the added unpredictability that traffic brings.

Along with more frequent service, people taking the bus will find their fare takes them farther, too. When paying with an ORCA card, a rider’s bus fare payment counts towards a light rail trip within a two-hour window. Riders still need to tap their ORCA card on and off at the light rail stations where you board and exit.

This is the first step in expanded light rail service throughout the region. In 2023, riders will be able to travel directly from Northgate Station to Bellevue and the Microsoft campus. In 2024, light rail will expand north to Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, and Shoreline.

As light rail expands to Lynnwood in 2024, Community Transit bus service will expand as well, with service increases and added routes. The new Swift Orange line bus rapid transit, also launching in 2024, will run between Mill Creek and the Lynnwood City Center Station. Learn more at communitytransit.org/swiftorange2024.

To learn more about the bus routes serving Northgate Station, tips for taking the bus to light rail, and what you need to know before you go (don’t forget your mask!), visit: communitytransit.org/northgate.

— Sponsored by Community Transit

  1. While the increase in bus frequency is nice, the transfer made my commute from lynwood Park and ride to UW at least 20 minutes longer

    1. I suspected this was what would happen. “Everyone” (whoever that is according to SoundTransit) was so excited about the predicged decrease in commute time, the reality (once you add all of the walking) tells a different story.

  2. I just took the ride from the Northgate station to downtown. The park and ride lot was a little confusing and full but I figured it out. The ride was fine, plenty of seats, it was all in tunnels underground so also dark out the windows. I got out at the University Station downtown. The elevators were really slow so I took it up the stairs. I only had to step over one guy who was sleeping passed out on them. Out on 3rd Avenue there was a pile of used needles on the street, but the bright orange caps helped with the scramble. Also I only saw one man urinating on the side of a building. I walked over to the Pike Street Market bought a snack and then went back to Northgate for the round trip. This is certainly an interesting way to spend it an hour or two in our Progressive City.

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