Transit agencies are gearing up to provide extended service on New Year’s Eve. This year, King County Metro, Sound Transit, Seattle Streetcar, and the Seattle Monorail will operate late into the night and extra trips on some routes. Service on Metro buses and Seattle Streetcar lines will be fare-free after 7pm and until 4am the following morning. Revelers this year therefore have every reason to consider transit as their first choice for motorized transportation.

“As we ring in another new year together, we are glad to again offer free rides on Metro to help keep the celebration safe for everyone,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We appreciate all our customers, and hope folks who give transit a try during the holiday season will join the half-million daily Metro riders who depend on our safe, friendly, and reliable service all year ’round.”

In addition to free service on all Metro buses after 7pm, over two dozen evening and late-night routes will see extra trips added to regular service to reduce crowding and help get people home. Routes with extra trips include: Routes 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 14, 24, 32, 36, 40, 41, 62, 65, 70, 101, 106, 120, 124, 150, and 255 as well as the RapidRide A, B, C, D, and E lines.

Sound Transit will run the Central Link light rail service an hour extra into the night. The last trip southbound from University of Washington Station will operate at 1:56am. From Angle Lake Station, the last northbound trip will operate at 1:20am. The transit agency will also add extra evening service to Routes 550 and 554. Fares will still be enforced on Link light rail and ST Express buses.

The South Lake Union Streetcar and First Hill Streetcar lines will operate until 1am. Ordinarily, weekday service would end at 9pm, meaning that revelers will be able to ride the rails an extra four hours on New Year’s Eve.

The Seattle Monorail will also operate until 1am, two hours past its ordinary closure. The last train from Westlake to Seattle Center will depart at 11:15pm. All other trips will bring passengers from Seattle Center to Westlake.

For the second year in a row, extension of transit service and extra trips on New Year’s Eve in addition to fare-free rides is now the norm on Metro and Sound Transit. In 2016, The Urbanist nudged transit agencies to follow national peers by providing better holiday event service and eliminating financial barriers to riders from hopping onto transit. A follow-up investigation revealed that there was little reason–despite some agency handwringing about maintenance schedules–why light rail service could not be extended to handle extra holiday event trips. The following year both transit agencies delivered. (By the way, there’s a solid case that transit should be fare-free year-round, but that’s another story.)

Aside from special service, transit agencies will provide the following service on New Year’s Eve:

  • Metro. All routes and services will otherwise operate a normal weekday service.
  • Sound Transit. All routes and services will otherwise operate a normal weekday service, except that Sounder commuter rail will operate a reduced weekday schedule.
  • Community Transit. Local routes and Routes 402, 413, 421, and 880 will operate a normal weekday service. All other commuter routes will be cancelled.
  • Pierce Transit. All routes will operate a normal weekday service.
  • Intercity Transit. All routes will operate a normal weekday service.
  • Kitsap Transit. All routes will operate a normal weekday service.
  • Everett Transit. All routes will operate a normal weekday service.
  • Seattle Monorail. The monorail will otherwise operate a normal weekday service.
  • Washington State Ferries. All routes will operate a normal weekday service.

On New Year’s Day, most Puget Sound transit agencies will be operating a reduced holiday service:

  • Metro. All routes and services will operate on a Sunday schedule, except service will be cancelled on the South Lake Union Streetcar, Vashon Island Water Taxi, and West Seattle Water Taxi.
  • Sound Transit. All routes and services will operate on a Sunday schedule, except for Sounder commuter rail which will be cancelled.
  • Community Transit. Only local routes will operate on a Sunday schedule.
  • Pierce Transit. All routes will operate on a Sunday schedule.
  • Intercity Transit. All service will be cancelled.
  • Kitsap Transit. All service will be cancelled.
  • Everett Transit. All routes will operate on a Sunday schedule.
  • Seattle Monorail. The monorail will begin service late at 10am but otherwise operate a normal weekday service.
  • Washington State Ferries. The Seattle-Bainbridge Island route will operate on a Saturday schedule. The Edmonds-Kingston route will operate on a weekday holiday schedule. The Point Defiance-Tahlequah, Mukilteo-Clinton, Anacortes-San Juan Islands routes will operate on a Sunday schedule. All other routes will operate a normal weekday schedule.

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