On New Years Eve, Seattle transit service stood out as exceptional among major North American metros, but for the wrong reasons. Unlike our peers in San Francisco, Portland, and Vancouver, transit service was not extended beyond 1am to serve the crowds of inebriated partiers.
Sound Transit received widespread condemnation for the decision. Fearing a lack of options, many worried that partiers would drive home drunk, endangering lives.
Defending its decision, Sound Transit pointed to the need to keep trains off the tracks for its nightly four-hour maintenance window.
“We do need four hours a night to maintain the tunnels and the tracks and the trains. That takes a great amount of work, and we only have limited tracks to operate on, so we only have a limited window in which to conduct that maintenance,” explained Kimberly Reason, a spokesperson for Sound Transit.
The Urbanist followed up with Sound Transit and Ms. Reason after New Years regarding the maintenance work completed that night in place of extended service. A detailed work log, available below, was provided.