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U-District welcomes riders on new Link light rail stop

Kickoff events celebrated riders and business districts at all three, new stops on Sound Transit's Northgate Link light rail extension.

SEATTLE — Sound Transit's inaugural service on three new Link light rail stops on the Northgate Link extension attracted plenty of riders Saturday.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of people rode the train to the new stops at Seattle's U-District, Roosevelt, and Northgate neighborhoods and enjoyed celebration events along the way.

The U-District Partnership held a food and drink kick-off event on Brooklyn Avenue, the location of the new U-District stop.

"It's the revitalization of a great historical, iconic neighborhood," said U-District Partnership board member Miles Richardson.

The U-District stop is the second stop in the vicinity of the University of Washington campus. Richardson said the hope is to attract more visitors to the area.

"There are just a ton of restaurants; I believe the number is somewhere near a hundred," Richardson said.

Other rides in the train, like Mark Rafferty, said the extension is long overdue.

"Really excited to see a lot more expansion in the light rail and public transit but I think we need even more resources and more stops and more lines," Rafferty said.

Julie Congdon, a resident of Seattle's Broadview neighborhood, said she plans to take the train more often from the Northgate stop and is glad there will be public transportation options for her kids.

"Here it is today, we finally made it. What I'm excited by is that he and his brother are going to be able to use this," Congdon said.

One-way fare from Northgate, now the northern-most stop on the light rail service, to the southern-most stop at Angle Lake, is $3.50.

Voter approved in 2008, construction on the Northgate extension began in 2012.

Sound Transit now looks ahead to future expansions of the light rail system, with the Lynnwood extension scheduled to open in 2024.