The holidays are upon us and that means very different service levels over the next two weeks, including none for some transit agencies. Many regional transit agencies, however, plan to offer fare-free service on New Year’s Eve, following a trend in recent years preceding the pandemic, to lure revelers on to transit and away from cars.

“Whether you’re ringing in the New Year from home with friends and family, or planning a night on the town, we are teaming up across the region to offer free transportation and get everyone home safely this New Year’s Eve,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “This is our way of thanking our riders, and offering those who celebrate late into the New Year a safe alternative to getting behind the wheel.”

Agencies going fare-free include King County Metro, Sound Transit, Community Transit, Pierce Transit, and Seattle Streetcar. Free fares expire at the end of the normal nighttime service period, which is generally around 4:00am.

Here’s our roundup by service operator, service, and day:

Agency/ServiceDecember 24thDecember 25thDecember 31stJanuary 1st
King County MetroSunday ScheduleSaturday Schedule, except no Water TaxiSunday Schedule*Saturday Schedule, except no Water Taxi
Seattle StreetcarSunday ScheduleSaturday ScheduleRegular ServiceSaturday Schedule
Seattle MonorailRegular ServiceNo ServiceSpecial ServiceSpecial Service
Sound Transit – 1 LineSunday ScheduleSunday ScheduleExtended Sunday Schedule*Saturday Schedule
Sound Transit – T LineSunday ScheduleSunday ScheduleSunday ServiceSunday Service
Sound Transit – SounderNo ServiceNo ServiceNo ServiceNo Service
Sound Transit – ST ExpressSunday ScheduleSaturday ScheduleExtended Sunday Schedule*Saturday Schedule
Community TransitSunday ScheduleSaturday ScheduleSunday ScheduleSaturday Schedule
Pierce TransitSunday ScheduleSunday ScheduleSunday ScheduleSaturday Schedule
Everett TransitRegular ServiceNo ServiceRegular ServiceNo Service
Kitsap TransitReduced Service*No ServiceReduced Service*No Service
Intercity TransitRegular ServiceNo ServiceRegular ServiceNo Service
Whatcom Transit AuthorityRegular ServiceNo ServiceRegular ServiceNo Service
Skagit TransitRegular ServiceNo ServiceRegular ServiceNo Service
Island TransitRegular ServiceNo ServiceRegular ServiceNo Service

As noted, Sound Transit will have extended Sunday schedule service on New Year’s Eve. The additions to service will be as follow:

RouteService Extension
1 LineService will run about every 15 minutes with last trips departing from Angle Lake at 1:37am and Northgate at 1:46am.
522An extra trip will be provided with the final one departing from Roosevelt Station at 12:25am.
545An extra trip will be provided with the final one departing from 6th Avenue S and S Royal Brougham Way at 12:15am.
550An extra trip will be provided with the final one departing from Union Street and 5th Avenue at 12:25am.
554An extra trip will be provided with the final one departing from 6th Avenue and Blanchard Street at 12:15am.
594Extra trips will be added in both directions. From Lakewood, these will depart at 10:15pm, 10:45pm, and 11:15pm. From Seattle, these will depart at 12:12am, 12:42am, and 1:12am.

Other special service notes worth mentioning include the follow:

  • Metro is generally running a Sunday service on New Year’s Eve, but Via to Transit will be extended until 2:00am.
  • The Seattle Monorail will be operating special service on December 31st and January 1st. For New Year’s Eve, the last train from Westlake Station to Seattle Center will depart at 10:30pm. Service will then resume from Seattle Center to Westlake Station at 12:20 to shuttle riders back downtown until 1:00am. On New Year’s Day, service will run from 10:00am to 11:00am to provide game day service.
  • Kistap Transit will end service at 5:00pm on December 24th and otherwise operate a partially reduced service on December 31st. Kitsap Fast Ferries will run on a normal weekday schedule while the Port Orchard ferry will run on a Sunday schedule and buses and ACCESS service see reduced service levels (refer to schedules).

Happy holidays, mask up, and vax up!

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Stephen is a professional urban planner in Puget Sound with a passion for sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He is especially interested in how policies, regulations, and programs can promote positive outcomes for communities. With stints in great cities like Bellingham and Cork, Stephen currently lives in Seattle. He primarily covers land use and transportation issues and has been with The Urbanist since 2014.