Link stops at the University Street Station. COURTESY PHOTO, Sound Transit

Link stops at the University Street Station. COURTESY PHOTO, Sound Transit

Sound Transit seeks input on name change for University Street Station

Vote online or certain dates at station mezzanine

Sound Transit wants input from residents about six proposed new names for the agency’s light rail stop at the University Street Link Station in downtown Seattle.

The renaming aims to stem passenger confusion with the light rail system’s two stops that serve the state’s flagship university, the currently operating University of Washington Station and the U District Station, opening in 2021, according to a Sound Transit news release.

Residents can provide input online or in-person on six options tied to the station’s location and nearby cultural amenities and landmarks. The proposed names are:

1. Seneca Street

2. Midtown

3. Downtown Arts District

4. Arts District

5. Symphony

6. Benaroya Hall

Sound Transit’s station naming policy requires that they “avoid similar names or words in existing facility names.”

However, University Street predates Sound Transit, having opened in 1990 to serve buses as part of the former Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. Sound Transit began light rail service in four tunnel stations in 2009 and expanded the tunnel to serve Capitol Hill and the University of Washington in 2016.

Sound Transit will assume control of the four downtown stations from King County Metro in January 2020. The new station name will be in place when light rail expands to the U District, Roosevelt and Northgate in 2021.

In-person input can be provided on the mezzanine of the University Street Station on the following dates and times:

• Sept. 12, 3 to 6 p.m.

• Sept. 17, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Sept. 26, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

• Sept. 28, 2 to 6 p.m.

Online participation is also available at soundtransit.org/rename-usstation-survey.

After the agency gathers public input, staff will present the results to the Sound Transit Board. The board will select the new name by January 2020.

Eventually, the agency will seek input about names for the three stations, two in Kent and one in Federal Way, for the Federal Way Link extension scheduled to open in 2024.

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