In just shy from a month from now Seattle Center monorail. Will be turning 58 years old so 58 years of service in the city the monorail was built for the 1962 World’s Fair and. During the six months of the fair these trains carried over eight million passengers so that’s equivalent to about 45,000 passengers a day this system was designed to move people since 1962. The monorail has been the fastest way to get between Seattle Center in downtown Seattle and were thrilled to announce a key transportation. Partnership with NHL Seattle for the arena that’s opening in 2021 monorail station improvements are an investment in an enduring and iconic system leveraging the vision that city. Leaders had nearly six decades ago the station improvements that are being outlined today will double system capacity improve accessibility and.
Better connect the monorail to the regional transit network we can increase capacity by decreasing the trains dwell time and station that’s the amount. Of time that the trains are loading and unloading passengers the changes will also improve connections to street level and to the downtown transit tunnel and these upgrades will improve passenger. Experience and allow us to provide significant lift during post event surge we know that public transportation is. An important way that people would get to the games of the new arena and we’re excited to be.
Partnering with NHL Seattle it’s now my pleasure to introduce Todd. Lee Wiki CEO for NHL Seattle well good morning and it was a great day for Seattle NHL I want. To call out a few people first a couple of my bosses are here Dave Wright who is our Vice Chair Dave if you’ll raise the hand there he. Is jeido inches here and Jay is one of our great investors there’s Jay right here I want to call out our partner Tom albro who has just been an absolute pleasure. To deal with and this wasn’t a business deal this was a deal talking about making something so special.
On our city better and we completely related so tom has spent an incredible steward of the monorail and we’re proud to be your partner sir I want to call out Robert nellams Robert nellams. Has been an incredible partner to us he’s represented the city at every turn of the way this is the largest. Bat ever made in the history of sports in this town and you have been a great partner and today. Is another great step in our partnership sir and then I want to call out a gentleman named Jay Wescott Jay please raise your hand.
Come on come on forward I want to tell you this man sorry come here jack so Jay is in charge of all the mechanical repair for this amazing system. And this system has history and some of the parts are history so they’ve had to they’ve had to manufacture the parts hand.
By hand and the and the care and and the knowledge and the expertise is extraordinary and that’s what his resume says but as a resume. Also says he played hockey at a very very high level and was one of the final cuts for the 1980 US Olympic team so so you heard about the emergency. Goalie and Jay will talk thank you well for us it’s really exciting that after all of this history we think that the monorails best days. Are in front of it and that is a really really exciting thing it was a bold vision with the World’s Fair and now it has the second act and that’s how it should work. And it’s now officially part of our DNA because we believe in second acts we believe in taking what.
The leaders created for the World’s Fair and making it better eight. Million riders enjoyed this system we just talked about that on a per day basis that would fill our arena.
Three times so this was a critical link between Seattle Center in downtown and it’s going to become. That again through the partnership of the city and Tom the.
Monorail now accepts the Orca cart we’ve seen ridership go up and we’ve only just begun private investment literally a millions of. Dollars is going to more effectively connect the monorail transit system to our regional system it’s going to connect Seattle Center to our downtown core and our rapidly growing. Transit Center most importantly it’s going to serve our community it’s going. To serve daily riders it’s gonna serve music clamps it’s gonna serve storm fans and it’s gonna serve hockey fans fans with a free transit pass on. The orca card embedded in every ticket is a big idea and we stand before you very very.
Proud of this announcement these developments these partnerships and this is really the dream coming true of what it meant to revitalize. Our part of the campus and to play a role in the revitalization in the monorail so we couldn’t be more proud I want to bring up our councilman. To have you come up and say a few were sad and please come.
On up Thank You Todd thank you everyone for coming out this is great it is great to see this public-private partnership that will benefit Seattle commuters leveraging the immense. Public asset that we have here at Seattle Center and connecting it. To downtown and the regional transportation network it’s going to. Be a number of years before Sound Transit gets here to see our Center and I bet it’s gonna be here on time or early and under budget.
From what I can tell and so it is that we need to have these full capacity transit options and connecting the last mile between Seattle Center and our regional network transit. Network is so vitally important we are you know I use the.
Monorail to get here today and I am very excited for the increased speed and efficiency of getting passengers on board people across Seattle should be. Able to rely on transit and I’m really excited to see that all the fans will be able to use the monorail just as all employees downtown should also have access. To transit with their Orkut cards one of the my most exciting moments right now is getting to.
Introduce director Robert nelem so he’s somebody that I’ve looked up to for quite some time because Seattle Center is a very unique. Public asset that it has the Space Needle Chihuly it has the Children’s Museum it has the next president the United States was here this.
Last week you know we’ve got the Opera we’ve got the. Arena we have seattle public schools all of these different assets here in one place and director nellams and his team are able to navigate all of these different entities. And bring us a world-class facility so I’m excited for your leadership and I am excited to introduce director Robert Nelms thank you this is another great day for Seattle Center building on the. Acceptance of the Yorker card seattle center’s partnership with NHL Seattle and Seattle monorail services is now going to make much-needed investments in the monorail system now you’re looking at someone who is older than. The monorail someone who rode the monorail during the World’s Fair someone who was born and raised here and someone who bully has always believed in this system and it. Is that connection for the last mile from the transit infrastructure downtown to Seattle.
Center and I just want to say a couple things one I don’t know about you but we’ve always talked. About having multiple options multiple transportation most modes to get somewhere and as Sal sooner will say well yeah you can you can take transit you can take light rail you can take. You can ride your bike you can walk you can do those things now I don’t know about you but when I tell my friends those are. Some options that they could take in lieu of driving their car they looked at me like I am old and crazy and so this these investments actually. Make those things not only realistic but they will make them preferable because once you’re able to get on the monitor are on the light rail from North Cape and come downtown.
In 14 minutes and then take a couple minutes to get up to the monorail and then take a two minute ride to get here and then. Maybe a 3 or 4 minute walk over to the arena or over to the rep or over to McCall Hall that’s going to be.
A much preferable route to take and a much preferable option to take whether you’re. Driving walking biking or what have you than driving your car and. So I’m very excited about that but I’m even more. Excited about the fact that even though today we’re talking about you know the fans of the arena and the the just incredible I know shouldn’t of. Providing Orca access and transportation access with your tickets for those fans we’re talking about creating an infrastructure that will. Allow all patrons of Seattle Center to benefit so people going to the theater are going.
To Makaha are going to festivals are event they’re all going to be able to use this. Infrastructure and that’s what makes me excited and so I would like to start off or end up by saying thank you to the partnership with Tom.
And Todd see our monorail services in NHL Seattle and I want to. Especially highlight NHL Seattle for their vision and continued partnership and their continued investments into making this place work be more efficient and be a mode that we can all. Be proud of and so I want to thank all of all of you for that and I look forward to these projects being completed and all of you joining me on the monorail.
Coming to and from Seattle Center and with that I’d like to introduce Peter Rogoff from sound transit to say a few. Words well thank you Robert you know one thing we know in the transit industry is if you make it easy for people to use it they use it we just saw this. Here at the monorail just by making the monorail usable with.
An orca card they’ve seen ridership grow by 20% yeah now we in the transit industry we have all kinds of modelers and we like to predict what’s coming we for. The first time ran a sounder train to the XFL seattle dragons game and our predictions were off we have 1800 people on that train it’s just an indicator. About what people want and the convenience of using transit to get to major events like this I really want to.
Commend NHL Seattle for making it easy they are modeling a practice that I first saw years ago with the Phoenix Suns down in Phoenix. When they expanded light rail basically your ticket is your transit pass and in the future we’re all going to be getting our tickets on our phone and. You’re just gonna be able to use this phone to enter the arena you’re also gonna be able to use. This phone to enter the light rail system it’s about taking link to the rink and making it easy for everybody.
It else you like that huh we spent a lot of time thinking that huh all right but let me take it a step further because it’s in. 2021 you’re gonna be able to take the link from rink to rink why yes thank you because in 2021 we’ll be opening. Up light rail to north gate just next year so you’ll be able to take link from west.
Lake right up to obviously the University but on to the U district on to Roosevelt and on to North Gate where NHL Seattle’s headquarters are going. To be and their practice rink is gonna be so link from rink to. Rink better yet it’s only gonna take 14 minutes think about that think about the time it would take to figure out getting in your car crawl down five finding a place.
To park if you can find one let’s face it we’re doing this not just because it’s the right thing we’re doing. This because we’re gonna have some congestion down here and lower Queen Anne on top of what we already have when the arena opens we’re gonna need people to. Use transit and my commendations for NHL Seattle for making it easy for people to do so added benefit you don’t need to just drink one beer because you’re driving home you. Could drink one beer every period why not you’re not driving home or you could go and enjoy all the businesses and restaurants and bars here and lower Queen. Anne and the region because you’re not driving home that’s how we do it safely that’s how we do it efficiently that’s how we make it friendly for all of the ticket.
Buyers and users of our new hockey team so thank you for that let me just add one other thing we’re very excited about opening. Up to Northgate next year in 2021 and giving people the opportunity to. Take link from rink to rink but just two years later in 2023 people are gonna be able to ride link for Mercer Island from. Bellevue from Redmond in 2020 24 you’re gonna be able to add to that riding link. To the rank from Lynnwood from Mont Lake Terrace from shoreline also in 2024 you’ll be able to ride link to the rank from Federal Way from Kent and Des Moines we are.
On the cusp of really building out the transit network that is going to really be a. Regional tool for everyone in this region and I want to just thank NHL Seattle again. For having the vision to make it easy for their their customers to use our system with that I’m going to introduce an excellent.
Partner this is how people often connect to link and. This is how I and so many other people get to work using. King County Metro deputy general manager Terry white is here to amplify the message good morning I gotta say it right link to. Rink I’ve got to get it to soak in so we are all saying that when we get out of here I too. Would like to thank NHL hockey for bringing hockey to us we are excited here a couple other folks I want to thank Seattle mayor. Durkin and the City Council for all the work they were doing behind the scenes I would like to thank King County councilmember.
King Kong well Cole wells for her assistance in making this day possible as well and of course I’d like to thank my mobility. Partners Sound Transit and the monorail together that connectivity is how we will serve for hockey and the region as well so on behalf of King County Metro we’re very. Excited to welcome NHL hockey to the Pacific Northwest and when when when when the fastest games in North America comes to Seattle it’s fitting that it is served by the. Number one transit system in North America our commuters our. Writers are business partners no and it’s no secret about 50% of those who commute through the central business district do it by public transportation in our region’s mobility network is bus light rail the.
Monorail the streetcar and the water taxi and this lets fans enjoy the. Ride be safe have a couple of beers and avoid driving in that traffic now our new NHL team will be the first. Sports franchise in the region to adopt this innovative transit model and it’s only the 3rd in the entire country this is an exciting development that all of us hope to expand and eventually. Include more of the world-class the cultural music sports other events across Seattle and King County now at King County we believe the right.
To mobility is freedom whether that’s freedom to get to work to go to school to buy your groceries visit your doctor or. To be the loudest fans in the country so in just over 18 months we will have an improved monorail station tens of thousands of our passengers will ride.
To these events will have new routes to keep people moving and moving to and from the. Arena all across the country at King County we are ready for hockey and with that I’ll pass it back to Megan Thank You. Terry I just want to close up and thank all of you guys for being here today we’re so happy to have you here for this announcement it’s it’s. A big one and it’s been a long time in the making so thank you so much we.
Won’t be taking questions here at the podium but we are all available for one-on-ones with media afterwards if you’re. Interested on a board red train so thank you for being here have a great day everyone.