— Aaron J (@flyguy84) January 20, 2017
Ongoing maintenance issues have Sound Transit considering doing away with escalators altogether — in future stations. At Capitol Hill Station, however, the one-year warranty has expired and the frequently out of service moving stairways will continue to be an ongoing nuisance on the 65-foot journey to and from the light rail platform.
The Seattle Times reported this week that Sound Transit is rethinking its lack of stairs and mounting an engineering study to “diagnose recent breakdowns, and to collect previous data to find trends” as outages mount across the system and at UW Station and Capitol Hill Station.
— Gary (@SousDesNuages) January 20, 2017
— maren (@mar_tartweets) January 20, 2017
CHS reported on escalator service disruptions this December that lasted weeks over the holiday period. Sound Transit blamed the long delay on the state, telling CHS that signoff from Washington Labor & Industries was required to “approve the repairs.” The yellow barriers closing off access to the busted machinery have become a ubiquitous part of the facility as Sound Transit pieces together routes into and out of the station with the multiple escalator chutes that run through the $110 million station. There are also elevators but no stairs — the
elevator steps are too tall to meet international building codes, Sound Transit says.
Seattle is not alone in its poorly performing transit escalators and elevators. In the Bay Area, riders on the BART system are going through a spike in breakdowns with some passengers reportedly breaking the rules and climbing the shut-down, blocked-off escalators anyhow. Reasons for the mechanical shutdowns vary — at Capitol Hill Station, Sound Transit says braking components have reportedly been part of the problem.