NHL Seattle is partnering with the Seattle Monorail to make improvements to the service and offer subsidized public transit for all fans attending hockey games at the new arena. The NBA’s Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns have similar free public transit programs for fans on game days.
Improvements for the Monorail include work at both Westlake Station and the Seattle Center Station. Work at Westlake could begin next January and finish in the summer in time for the 17,300-seat arena’s planned opening. The work entails improving vertical mobility at Westlake via additional elevator access, improved platforms, and modernized electric fare gates.
There isn’t a schedule for the Seattle Center Station, however, improvements include reconfiguring the existing platforms and adding new equipment to increase capacity. With the improvements, the Monorail’s hourly capacity is expected to double from 3,000 riders to 6,000 riders.
NHL Seattle anticipates that 25 percent of fans will use public transit in the first year of the arena’s opening. The trip from Westlake Station to the new arena’s front door is predicted to take 5-to-6 minutes including the 90 second ride on the Monorail.
Next year we will also see the opening of the new Northgate Light Rail Station. For fans heading to the arena from there it is estimated that the trip will take under 30 minutes:
- 14 minutes from the Northgate Station to Westlake Station
- 2 minutes to travel upstairs to the Monorail
- 90 second Monorail ride
- 4 minute walk from Seattle Center Station to the arena’s doors
Following events, the Monorail can then transport 25 percent of a capacity crowd to Westlake in less than 40 minutes.
The 1.2-mile Seattle Monorail line opened March 24, 1962 just before the Seattle World Fair. Connecting Seattle Center to Westlake, it carried about 2 million riders in 2018 and began accepting ORCA Cards last fall.