A primer on using the new UW Station: fares, schedule, transportation links and more.

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Prices vary by distance. It’s a $2.25 adult fare from UW to Capitol Hill Station, maxing out at $3.25 to reach the other end of the line, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. All trips are $1.50 for low-income residents using the ORCA LIFT fare card.

How to pay

Most riders pay by tapping an ORCA or ORCA LIFT fare card at the yellow reader devices around all stations. You can also buy train tickets using cash or a credit card from station vending machines. Paper transfers from buses, and Metro bus tickets distributed by social-service agencies, are not accepted on Link trains.


The first train leaves UW Station at 4:45 a.m. The final night train returns at 12:50 a.m.

Travel time

Eight minutes from UW to Westlake Station, at a top speed of 55 mph. The trip from UW to Sea-Tac Airport takes 46 minutes, with stops at 14 stations.


Every six minutes during peak hours; every 10 minutes midday; every 15 minutes after 10 p.m.


Each railcar has 75 seats and can carry 150 people (or a packed crowd of 200 for brief periods), so the standard capacity per two-car train is 300 passengers. Three-car trains would be sent to handle big sports crowds or especially tough commutes.

Bus, car, pedestrian access

Twenty-eight public bus routes stop within a two- to five-minute walk. There is no park-and-ride. Drivers can pay standard fees in UW garages and lots. A footbridge stretches over Montlake Boulevard to campus, and riders can take one elevator to descend from the footbridge to the light-rail platform below ground.


A few bicycle hangers are available on the trains, and UW Station provides 130 rain-shielded rack spaces to lock bikes.


The new UW and Capitol Hill stations, along with this fall’s Angle Lake Station in SeaTac, are supposed to add 45,000 weekday passengers by 2021, for a total of 80,000 in the 21-mile network. Ridership will increase when extensions to Northgate, Lynnwood, Overlake and Highline College open in the early 2020s.

Project cost

About $1.8 billion to build the 3.15-mile tunnel linking Westlake, Capitol Hill and UW, including the stations and 27 railcars, of which $813 million is federally funded.