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Watch: Guide to biking around the downtown light rail closure

Sound Transit’s downtown light rail service restriction started this week, and people with bikes must exit trains at International District/Chinatown Station northbound and University Street Station southbound.

The good news is that SDOT completed the south downtown bike connection in time to help riders get around the closure, and it’s really great. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Robert Svercl created this video with friends Bri and Nick to walk you through the whole process from train to train:

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People bringing a bike on the train into or through downtown will need to do this for the next ten weeks into March as Sound Transit works to connect the East Link tracks to the existing line. In order to avoid a long complete closure, Sound Transit is essentially single-tracking trains in and out of Pioneer Square Station. So trains arrive at the station, passengers cross a new temporary center platform to swap trains, the the trains reverse and go back the way they came. Bikes are banned because that center platform gets really crowded during the swap:

Now that we are a couple days in, how is Connect 2020 going for you? Let us know in the comments below.

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5 responses to “Watch: Guide to biking around the downtown light rail closure”

  1. Meredith

    Getting the bike off the train at those stations can be a pain as the trains are packed. Mostly the change to the 12 min schedule is making my ferry connection a nail biter, enough so that I’m looking into alternative options…

  2. sb

    “use the elevators”

    Would be curious to know what the average wait time for elevators is in the those stations now.

    1. NickS

      Average wait time for elevators? Could range into the weeks, based on how frequently elevators and escalators out of service, and average repair time. OK, the elevators are generally fixed more quickly, but escalators truly are out of service for remarkable periods of time (yes, literally weeks). This of course drives more traffic to the elevators.

  3. Keith

    If it hasn’t been mentioned, it’s worth mentioning that you can breeze through downtown on the link if you have a folding bike. I bought my Dahon Boardwalk on Craigslist for $120. Folded up it is no bigger than an average suitcase. I commute to work at UW from Othello 5 days a week so the folding bike has been really nice so far in the 2020 Connect period. In the past I’ve used it from beginning to end of spring quarter when the fair-weather riders start to fill the link. No fun standing with a bike from Othello to UW. Keep your eyes on CL.

  4. Pilder

    the video is helpful in theory. But completely unrealistic in reality. In the video there are no people on the trains or the platforms. if you exit the train at University Street and ride to the ID stop there is no way you’ll get back on a train with your bike during rush hour. All 4 cars are crushed to capacity. For 10 weeks it’s not just restricting bikes in Pioneer Square it’s restricting bikes on the light rail. One bright spot during this Connect 2020 shit, is the on-demand bike lockers. It’s cheaper to leave my bike in a locker all night than it is to ride a Jump bike for 7 minutes.

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