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CHS Pics | The First Hill Streetcar rolls through a pandemic

Before you scold anybody, these photographs were taken before general recommendations about wearing protective face coverings were issued. Thanks for reading!

The oddities of daily life around Capitol Hill during the COVID-19 crisis include the surprise of so many familiar things that are shut down, closed, or limited. And then there are the peculiar survivors — parts of the neighborhood that you wouldn’t have expected to be so robust but somehow keep on rolling despite it all.

The First Hill Streetcar, connecting Pioneer Square and the International District to First Hill’s hospitals and Broadway’s transportation hub at Capitol Hill Station continues to serve.

You would expect that kind of energy from the big, formerly bustling light rail station. The streetcar, though, ends up a bigger surprise.

While some of the city’s transit routes have been shut down altogether — including the South Lake Union streetcar line — the First Hill Streetcar continues to operate seven days a week with 15-minute headways. Like most services, it has reduced hours: Mondays through Saturday 5:30 AM to 8:30 PM — but Sundays are the same as they ever were: 10 AM to 8 PM. Like the rest of public transit in Seattle right now, it is free to ride.

What comes next for the city’s public transit is tough to say. For now, let Broadway’s streetcar take your mind on a ride through the strange twists and turns that shape the world in crisis. Or forget it all and just jump on for a ride on your next essential errand.


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2 years ago

There is a typo that made me check out the city’s streetcar page. The reduced hours are 5:30 AM to 8:30 PM, the streetcar isn’t operated for only three hours in the evening. Additionally, these hours are for Monday to Saturday service, not just weekdays. Sunday and holiday service remains 10 AM to 8 PM.