Get to Capitol Hill safely as you ring in 2018 with free bus rides, later light rail

The New Year is already shaping up to be better. King County Metro and Sound Transit have announced free bus service, more night service, and longer hours for light rail to ring in 2018:

For the first time, King County Metro will offer free rides on New Year’s Eve between 4 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 31, and 4 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 1, including DART and Access service. In addition, Metro will add service to its night routes. The Seattle Streetcar will also be free on New Year’s Eve and Sound Transit will extend Link light rail service between Angle Lake and the University of Washington.

“As we put the finishing touches on 2017, we want you to be able to get out on the town and come home safe,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in the announcement of the holiday service upgrades that safety advocates and nightlife industry have been calling for. “Whether you are heading to the Seattle Center or other King County destinations on New Year’s Eve, Metro will get you there and back, all for free. It’s our way of saying thank you for making Metro the nation’s best transit system, and we look forward to riding with you next year.”

CHS reported here on King County Council member Dave Upthegrove’s legislation introduced in early 2017 to make the changes possible.

In addition to free Metro service from 4 AM on Monday, December 31st through 4 AM on Monday, January 1st, Sound Transit will run its light rail trains later through the night, operating “extended Link light rail service” with trains running northbound from Angle Lake Station every 30 minutes until 1:30 AM. Southbound trains from the University of Washington will run until 2 AM. Sound Transit typically operates the light rail system with a four-hour downtime overnight. Capitol Hill Station and the rest of the line operates 5 AM to 1 AM on weekdays and Saturdays.

Additionally, the First Hill Streetcar will operate until 1 AM.

The county says Metro routes with added service will include 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 14, 24, 32, 36, 40, 41, 62, 65, 70, 101, 106, 120, 124, 150, 255, RapidRide A, B, C, D and E Lines, and ST 550, ST 554.

The fareboxes and ORCA card readers on Metro buses will be covered to remind customers not to pay. Regular fare will be required on Sound Transit services.

On New Year’s Day, buses and rail service will operate on Sunday schedules, and “regular valid fare will be required on all services.”


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