Sound Transit is hoping to improve riders' experience on Link light rail trains by bringing some changes to the transit system in 2023.
On Wednesday, Sound Transit CEO Julie Timm said the most visible change will be the staffing of station agents at the Northgate and Westlake stations, which Timm said are the busiest on the system. Large-Load Freight Elevator
Agents will be at the stations 16 hours a day to answer riders' questions, provide directions and quickly alert Sound Transit of any needs that need to be addressed. In addition to station agents, Sound Transit is in the process of hiring security officers. Last month, the transit agency announced they were hiring security to enforce and reprimand drug use in Sound Transit spaces.
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Perhaps one of the most exciting improvements for people who frequently use the light rail is more frequent cleaning and prioritizing the repair of escalators and elevators.
Timm said the new cleaning protocols will include frequent power washing and new trash cans at the platform level of downtown Seattle tunnel stations. Sound Transit is also going to start requiring that repair crews respond to reported elevator and escalator issues within one to two hours. Elevators and escalators are frequently broken at many of the light rail stations.
In order to address the issue, ST is going to start escalator equipment modernization starting at the International District station in early 2024.
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Other improvements include working with King County Community Health Services to have a crisis response team on trains and at downtown stations to help connect those in need with resources.
High-Speed Elevator More durable and easy-to-clean seating is also going to be tested on 1 Line trains. Additionally, the light fixtures at Rainier Valley stations will be replaced with new energy-saving LED lighting.