Capitol Hill Station by the numbers

Countdown to the future

IMG_3623-2 (1)The countdown to “the future” at the corner of Broadway and John inside Capitol Hill Station is winding down. You know about the two parties separated by two miles of tunnels and free rides planned for the Saturday, March 19th launch. You know about getting your own keepsake from the big red construction wall. Here are a few more numbers to count down while you wait.

  • 4… 8… 10… 12… those are the planned travel times in minutes from Capitol Hill Station to the first four stops to the south. Expect a “3.6” minute trip to University of Washington. Those, of course, don’t count the time you’ll need to grab a coffee, hustle down to the platform, and wait for your subway train.
  • 42 minutes from Broadway to the airport. Yay.
  • 6-minute frequencies are planned for rush hours on weekdays with 10-minute waits planned for “off-peak” hours. (Updated per ST)
  • $2.25 will take you as far as SODO station, $2.50 to Othello, $2.75 to Rainier Beach, and $3 to Sea-Tac Airport. The fare from Capitol Hill to Husky Stadium will also be $2.25.
  • 5 AM to 1 AM are the system’s hours of operations (and Capitol Hill Station’s hours), every day but Sunday when hours are reduced to 6 AM to midnight.
  • $5: Spend five bucks at a Broadway merchant and keep your receipt on March 19th to get a chunk of the station construction wall.
  • 3.15: That’s how many miles of twin tunnels now connect downtown Seattle to UW via Broadway. We’ve been calling it 3.1 miles per years. Sorry, 0.05.
  • 250: The tunnel route passed beneath around 250 apartment buildings, homes, and municipal buildings between downtown and Montlake.
  • 15 and 300: The twin tunnels run at depths between 15 feet (beneath the Montlake cut) and 300 feet (beneath Volunteer Park) below the surface. The deepest digging between Broadway and downtown bottoms out at a still impressive 150 feet below the pavement.
  • $1.9 billion: You helped put together a package of sales tax, MVET tax, federal grants to pay for it. Nice work.
  • $150 million: The project is expected to come in around 8% under budget. UPDATE: ST says the line is now $200 million under budget.
  • 19,000 jobs were created by the project, according to city officials.
  • $110 million: That’s how much Capitol Hill Station itself cost to construct.
  • 5/16/2011 was the start the tunnel boring process for U-Link. The work was complete by 5/15/2012.8446374218_97711a4382_o (1)
  • 16 to 18 trucks per day were used to haul dirt away from the Capitol Hill Station site during construction. Sound Transit officials said some 19,900 trucks plied the streets of Capitol Hill hauling muck churned up by the boring machines.
  • 21-foot-diameter boring machines Brenda, Balto, and Togo did the nearly flawless work.
  • 105 feet per day of tunnel was bored by each machine.
  • 1,000 entries were received for a contest to walk through the completed tunnels in 2014. CHS got to go.
  • 65 feet is about how far Broadway riders will descend via escalators or elevators to reach the Capitol Hill Station platform.
  • 418 apartments with 38% of units to rent for below market rate for 12 years and 86 units designated for “permanent affordable housing” are planned for development to surround the new station.
  • 33% of the units will have at least two bedrooms.
  • 71,000: That’s how many riders Sound Transit forecasts will be added to light rail ridership by 2030 thanks to the U-Link extension. But we’re told that forecast that puts total ridership at only 114,000 fourteen years out is old and conservative. Aim higher.
  • 14,000 riders are expected to board at Capitol Hill Station by 2030.dennybroadway
  • 2021: U-District Station digging is underway and planned for a 2021 opening, Lynwood by 2023.
  • 3: The third Sound Transit funding package is being prepared with possible service to Ballard and West Seattle.
  • (Image: Brad Kevelin with permission to CHS)

    (Image: Brad Kevelin with permission to CHS)

    2009: That’s when the first demolitions began on Broadway to make way for the new station.

  • 45% of respondents to a CHS survey said they planned to ride the new subway line once a week or more. 57% said they plan to ride light rail to the airport. 69% said they planned to use it to “go out” or for shopping etc.
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15 thoughts on “Capitol Hill Station by the numbers

  1. Can’t wait!

    Anyone know when the Sound Transit site will get updated with timetables including the new stops? I just tried to check on getting to the airport for a flight at the end of the month and it’s still telling me to take a bus downtown to catch LINK. I want to know how early and late light rail will be running at the CH station.

    • 6-minute frequencies are planned on weekdays with 10 to 15-minute waits late night and on weekends. 5 AM to 1 AM are the system’s hours of operations (and Capitol Hill Station’s hours), every day but Sunday when hours are reduced to 6 AM to midnight. Riders from 1:01am to 4:59am can suck it.

    • Use the online King County Metro trip planner or the Sound Transit trip planner and put in a date after March 19. I just tested if for my trip to the airport on March 25 and it gave me directions to use Link from the Capitol Hill station

  2. I remember when the wall went up in 2009 and boasted that light rail would be arriving in 2016. “2016??!” I thought. “We’ll all be dead!” Somehow, some way, a good chunk of us are still alive.

  3. Many people using Link to “go out” as indicated in the article will not be able to get back home using Link, since it closes down an hour before bars close. Also, Seatac operates longer hours than Link does. Chicago has a 24/7 subway. Any chance of extending the hours?

    • I don’t even care if Link doesn’t run late every night, but there’s no excuse not to have a couple post 2am trains on Fridays and Saturdays. Sound Transit is wrong on this.

    • Chicago has network, we have 1 line. Chicago has way more people. And the D word.

      In other words, not enough people would use it. Perhaps in 10-20 years, when we have different lines and a different housing mentality. Otherwise, you will have to wait for self-driving trains and cars.

    • And that’s a double shame considering how early bars are forced to close. Seattle is typically such a progressive place; it’s strange that we are still stuck with these relics of Prohibition, a century later.

  4. Hopefully the times can generally be as they say, however I’m suspect because of how frequently the trains just site in the tunnel in or between stations (Westlake to ID). Shares it with buses for now, so those times just aren’t realistic, but I hope I’m wrong.

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