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What Expanded Light Rail Means for Seattle

With new stations opening in March, the city takes a crucial step toward a much-needed transit overhaul.

Seattle’s unique geography, situated on a narrow band of land between stunning Puget Sound and Lake Washington, is no doubt a part of what’s lured tens of thousands of new residents there in recent years. But it’s also contributing to an increasing number of transportation bottlenecks, especially as the city continues to experience a tech-fueled job boom.

In this third episode of Van Alen Sessions, presented by Van Alen Institute with The Atlantic and CityLab, we go deep inside Seattle’s newest ULink rail stations in advance of their March 2016 opening. As regional transit expands in and around Seattle over the next decade, it’s clear that tunneling, rather than relying exclusively on street-level service, will remain a crucial option. In this city in particular, increased light rail service also carries with it the potential to bridge equity gaps.

About This Series: Van Alen Sessions is presented by Van Alen Institute with The Atlantic and CityLab. Season One, “Tunnel Vision,” is directed and produced by Kelly Loudenberg. The series is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, AkzoNobel, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Connect with Van Alen Institute on

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