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In releasing his plan for night life & the music scene, Seattle mayoral candidate Mike McGinn has one interesting item related to transit: “To help cut down on drinking and driving, transportation choices such as light rail, taxi service, and buses need to be accessible until at least 3 a.m.”

More details on his plan on Line-Out.

112 Replies to “McGinn Proposes More Late Night Transit Service”

    1. Aaand his proposal to pay for this…?

      Seriously, he’s now stacking up promises like cord wood, with no visible means to accomplish them.

      It’s clear he’s doing this to motivate young voters, who are apparently unable to question how he’s going to do ANY of this, much less ALL of it.

      1. Bridging the Gap-type funds, city funds saved from not footing the bill on other projects we shouldn’t be paying for (like a certain bridge, for example). Partnerships with businesses that have a stake in this.

        Even laymen can figure this out, so take some time to contemplate.

      2. Because we’re just reporting, not speculating? We have other speculative posts.

        There are lots of ways he can push for this as a Sound Transit boardmember. Nickels used Transit Now matching funds to get more Seattle service, there’s no reason McGinn couldn’t do more.

        Would you guys stop treating all this stuff like it’s impossible? The fact that it’s COMING UP AT ALL is fantastic.

      3. I don’t want my tax dollars paying for a bunch of drunks at 3 am. If it means cutting other service, or allowing other day-time commuter service to get cut and instead spending money on buses for drunks, it’s not fantastic.

        It’s ridiculous.

      4. I’m inclined to agree with you that it’s a poor tradeoff, although I’d drop the “bunch of drunks” rhetoric.

      5. If we have some buses for drunks and it saves you money by reducing expenditures for our emergency services, I’m not sure why it would be an issue.

      6. “I don’t want my tax dollars paying for a bunch of drunks at 3 am. If it means cutting other service, or allowing other day-time commuter service to get cut and instead spending money on buses for drunks, it’s not fantastic.”

        Wow. Puritan much?

        People who are out late at clubs are not necessarily drunks. Sometimes they are just music fans. Sometimes they are the folks who are working at clubs.

      7. I want my transit dollars paying for moving drunks around. I do not want them driving and hitting my kids/friends/co-workers/dogs/cats/houses/light poles etc.

        In the long run it’s way cheaper to move drunks about safely than to pick up the pieces after they have done their damage.

        Note: the NYTimes ran an article about Phoenix’s light rail ridership exceeding the estimates because people were bar hopping along the route. Sounds good to me.

      8. Seriously, he’s now stacking up promises like cord wood, with no visible means to accomplish them.

        All while complaining about the cost of a tunnel to replace the viaduct.

      9. Jeff, there’s a difference between a policy goal and a promise. The light rail vote is a promise – and he identified a funding source. This is a policy goal. Quit with the rhetoric.

      10. Ben. Your “quit with the rhetoric” comment is unwelcome – and unnecessary.

        The reality is that whether you consider it “rhetoric” or not – McGinn’s main beef with the bored tunnel replacement for the viaduct has been cost – while on the other hand he continually makes “policy goals” or “promises” – however you want to phrase it – that are high in cost.

        Don’t like me picking on McGinn with “rhetoric” or not – TOUGH. You’re not required to.

      11. McGinn’s main beef with the bored tunnel replacement for the viaduct has been cost

        I have to disagree. I believe his main beef with the tunnel is that he’s anti car. This is the Sierra Club speaking.

        he continually makes “policy goals” or “promises” – however you want to phrase it – that are high in cost.

        Yep, it’s not at all about balancing the budget or even providing better transit with the money available. Of course Mallahan isn’t helping his cause for fiscal responsibility by advocating dropping the parking tax. Maybe it’s a bone tossed to business owners? But who is he going to tax to recoup that money or what services is he going to cut?

        One thing fun about watching this race from the outside is that you have two wet behind the ears “politicians” running for major political office. McGinn’s caught onto the empty promise tactic right off and Mallahan has the lead in shifty policy statements (I voted for the war before I voted against it). So, we have the Birkenstock candidate running neck and neck with the flip-flop candidate but the emperor has no cloths!

      12. Jeff, if you don’t want me to come down on you, don’t use attacks like pretending policy goals are promises.

      13. It’s clear he’s doing this to motivate young voters,

        Which is very strange. He’s all but got a lock on that demographic and the one’s that don’t support him are being pushed ever more firmly to the Mallahan camp. It seems the usual political course of action is to energize a hard corp group of support in a primary and then run to the center in the general election. McGinn seems to be moving farther and farther out into left field.

    2. Agreed, but for the 511. I was hoping when they were adding trips recently that at least one of them would add service after midnight. No such luck.

    1. I live in Stockholm right now and the subway system runs 24 hour on Friday and Saturday night. Yes it isn’t amazing service, roughly every half hour but late at night you can plan to get to the station at the right time. In Seattle I routinely take the last 49 home. It comes at a perfect time right after the bars close so I never have to worry about how I’m going to get home.

  1. I love how Metro is facing huge cuts and McGinn (who’s not even a little bit in charge of metro(!!!)) wants to put service hours to the middle of the night.

    Uh, where’s the money?!

    1. The city pays for a lot of its own bus service, and would certainly be able to purchase service at night.

      Would the city be able to buy Link service? I don’t think there’s any protocol for that, but as a likely member of the ST board he’ll have some say.

      I get what you’re saying, but it is really more substantive not to try to address these issues and just pass the buck to another level of government? That is how we get stagnation, not change.

      1. You just posted a link to a McGinn press releases without even thinking about whether the it’s possible or just an empty campaign promise:

        Uh, in case you haven’t been paying attention,
        1) Metro is facing HUGE BUDGET SHORTFALLS, and thus there is no money or ability to put service to 3 am.
        2) Metro is a county agency and McGinn as mayor would have no control over Metro and thus would not be able to make 3 am service happen

        Seattle can purchase metro hours? How about write that into the post explaining the likelihood of it happening…

      2. is one recent measure that has added 45,000 hours. SDOT also has contingency for that purpose that was inserted prior to the Streetcar opening up.

        You also have the option to create a special tax for participating businesses, like they did with the Group Health complex in expanding service on the 8.

        So I think you should start paying attention yourself.

      3. No, no vote required. Where did I say that? Are you trying hard to have your fears confirmed.

        And where did I say the contingency plan was for the Streetcar? It’s more for the possibility of transferring money when asked from their BtG funds or other SDOT funding. They typically had it cordoned off specifically for roads and SDOT-specific projects. Of course, in this case, SDOT wasn’t tapped since there was some extra elsewhere.

      4. My point is that the SDOT budget is in the red, just like every other government round these parts.

        The fact is, this means either cutting other service or raising taxes. Neither would be popular.

      5. Max. Cutting down on drunk driving is a public safety issue. We can usually find money for public safety. Also most frequent routes that McGinn is probably talking about mostly stop at 1 or so anyways. Just add one more bus at 2 or so and that is all you need.

      6. Are most of the pioneer square and belltown drunks commuter drunks from the suburbs? Who’s protecting them or us from them?

      7. Max, I’m seriously sick of this. I’m a Pioneer Square drunk and sometimes a Belltown drunk, and I live in the city and would love an extra bus to get home at night.

        Phoenix is seeing budget cuts, and yet their light rail now runs later at night – like the Denny housing project, it might actually save us money!

        If we listened to you, we’d never find out.

      8. Cutting down on drunk driving is a public safety issue. We can usually find money for public safety. Also most frequent routes that McGinn is probably talking about mostly stop at 1 or so anyways.

        Public safety monies come from the general fund and there have been hard cuts there as well. If bars being open an hour after bus service ends how about moving last call up to 1AM. That would do a lot more than running a few nigh owl buses aimed at promoting drinking.

      9. It’s not just about getting the social crowd home either. Plenty of people have to work those god-awful swing and graveyard shifts and need a way to get home. When I worked in the newspaper business back in the 90’s I routinely had to walk home through Belltown at 3 or 4 in the morning because the buses had quit running, and let me tell ya, walking through Belltown at 3 in the morning is something no one should have to do.

      10. If bars being open an hour after bus service ends how about moving last call up to 1AM. That would do a lot more than running a few nigh owl buses aimed at promoting drinking.

        Oh my goodness. This is Seattle. We have a night life. We have a bar scene. We have a music scene. Tens of thousands live here because of these things, not in spite of them.

        “Promoting drinking” and “drunks” has to be among the most distasteful rejoinders I’ve read here. Sorry, but it is a very normal thing to enjoy a band or a beer. Of course we have to look at the facts as they develop and make sure that spending resources here makes sense, but we can’t have an adult approach if the default reasoning is that having fun on a Friday night is a complete sin.

      11. The point that McGinn is apparently making is that he wants to increase late hour bus service not for those who “enjoy a band and a beer” – but to provide public transportation for people who are too drunk to drive.

        Someone needs to remind McGinn that anyone who is visibly intoxicated isn’t allowed on public transportation.

      12. Point or no point, if you think that any and all passengers taking late night service are “visibly intoxicated”, then you need the be reminded that there are plenty of others during graveyard hours that need to get a way home, and not all of them present puking hazards to other passengers.

        Is this a difficult request to make? Late night bus service doesn’t sound very unreasonable to me at all. Or is it just because it’s McGinn making the pledge?

      13. Home where? It might be possible to find enough people willing to get on a bus if it were going to their destination but there’s no way to do that without blanketing most of King County with early morning bus service. Transit is predicated on density; it’s just not there when virtually everyone is asleep. If you really want to look at this objectively instead of a way home from the bar reverse the time shift and think about how much sense it would make to start service early at say 4AM instead of 5AM. Then you would be getting way more workers than drunks. But that’s not who this campaign promise (fingers crossed) was aimed at.

      14. Jeff, you are aware the legal limit in this state is 0.08 BAC? I hope you are also aware that for most people it only takes one or two drinks to get to this point. Metro does not say one can’t drink and ride the bus, only that you can’t be intoxicated.

      15. Jeff, The point that McGinn is apparently making is that he wants to increase late hour bus service not for those who “enjoy a band and a beer” – but to provide public transportation for people who are too drunk to drive.

        Perhaps that policy position is poorly worded. He’s finding the positive in preventing drunken driving, you’re finding the negative in promoting drunken transit use.

        Two things:

        1) As Chris pointed out, you can drink very responsibly and still be considered over-the-limit. I would rather have no drinks in my system than risk it. Or, I’d rather ride the bus there and back when I have the option — even when I’m not worried about the DUI. I just think that transit makes things easier than paying for parking and making sure there’s a designated driver.

        2) McGinn’s policy would extend to all consumers of night life, not just those at risk of drinking and driving. It might have been wrong for him to draw that connection so closely, but that couldn’t be construed as the sole reason to have late night service.

      16. Bernie, this is the Mayor of Seattle. I don’t think he’s talking about funding bus service to Carnation. Many night life patrons are local, and many local driving drips at that time are presumably drunk. The problem you speak about presents itself at any other moment in time so I’m not certain why you’re so locked into it.

        You know, it might be the case that those who enjoy nightlife the most live in dense communities and happen to be in another dense community that has nightlife. Would a late bus between Belltown and Capitol Hill via Downtown get ridership? Maybe it would.

      17. Max,

        When the headline is “McGinn proposes” something, I think a link to the press release is all that’s required to validate the reporting.

        Are we not allowed to post news without offering an opinion?

      18. The infinite permutations of how to pay for it aren’t opinion, but assessing the likelihood, which is what you asked for, is.

      19. I asked for an explanation of how it could work in a world when 1) Metro has shortfalls and 2) the mayor’s not in charge of Metro.

        Even then, how is it that “likelihood” can only mean “opinion”? If the law prohibits it, is that opinion? You assume too much.

        I guess I’m asking that you guys put the same effort into your reporting about pro-transit candidates’ press releases as you do into anti-transit ones, but I guess I’m asking for too much.

      20. As has already been explained, through Transit Now the city can contribute funds into a service partnership with Metro. So it’s perfectly legal, and the money can come from the general fund.

        We’re not going to break out the City of Seattle budget and identify what programs to cut, or what existing service partnership routes should be cut to fund this.

        Third, this came out a couple of hours ago during the workday. It takes a while to get more in-depth investigation done because we do this in our off hours. That’s not to say that we’ll necessarily do so.

      21. And another thing. The other news outlets — with actual, professional, paid reporters — haven’t elaborated any more than we have, so why would you expect more from us?

      22. Sorry, I behaved badly. You guys are generally a lot better than the “professional” reporters.

      23. Max, McGinn did not identify how or if he would fund expanded Metro service so the blog post did not elaborate.

        I answer your incredulousness with the fact that Seattle pays for bus service now. I was responding to your argument that the Mayor does not run Metro. He does not need to run Metro to fulfill these goals as current policies clearly illustrate.

        Before you have clear details to fulfill your policy goals, you need to have policy positions. McGinn has been staking out those positions transparently.

      24. No problem. Sorry to post again after you apologized, I just wanted to elaborate on what others had said for me. I understand your views and I’m happy you had shared them.

  2. Oh man if there was hourly night owl service after 1AM I’d be so happy..maybe even just a slight extension of routes like the 2/3/4/49/44 since they are cross town and n/s routes to 115 AM or so that would solve a lotta problems. Riding your bike home at 130 is the morning even with my new full-on Ree-Lights is still risky..

  3. Wait a minute! That was my idea! :) I never understood why most service (including Link) has to stop almost completely before all the bars and whatnot close. I don’t understand the part about cabs, since that’s how I do get home at these hours. Though getting a cab can be difficult if you just try to wave one down. Why aren’t there taxi stands?

    I understand that maintenance needs to happen with Link, but you can’t go an extra hour? Maybe only on the weekends? As a pilot?

    I’m a little meh on both mayoral candidates, but at least McGinn seems to be much better when it comes to transit. As pissed as I was about the snowpocalypse response of Greg Nickels and team, I’d have preferred seeing him on the ballot in November. I like the Chicago way. ;)

  4. Seattle isn’t the ONLY place that needs later transit service!!!

    McGinn is dreamin if he thinks this will EVER happen, or at least ever happen in the near future that is!!!!

    I have “SEATTLE” address but am in unincorporated king county. My ONLY option within a SAFE and comfortable distance to and from my home is the 101, which stops running from Seattle around 11, and stops running into Seattle at 9:30!
    Oh and don’t even get me started on our Sunday service, which, on a Seahawks game day (I work at Qwest Field) doesn’t start service at the stop near my house until 8:37AM, IF it’s on time, which doesn’t work for a 9AM call time. This forces me to have my husband get up early and drive me about a mile to Tukwila to catch a 150. This is my life in a nutshell with public transportaion. Oh and all the NEW bus service went to help people connect to light rail, which is of no use to me here in my little bus hole in Skyway.

    I doubt it!

    Ahhhhh I feel SO much better now!

    1. If Skyway agreed to become part of Seattle you might get some of the bus hours the city pays for.

      Get used to getting crapped on by King County, they’ve made it very clear they aren’t interested in doing anything for unincorporated areas inside the urban growth boundary. The only solution for neighborhoods like yours is annexation.

    2. Yeah, MissBeth, the problem with living in unincorporated is that you expect the same services, but pay less.

  5. maintenance can be scheduled based on service hours. extending the service 1 more hour makes sense, and shouldn’t add too detrimentally to the cost of service. They could always spread the existing schedule out a bit more to cover that extra hour.

    1. The irony is the only time recently when Mallahan has been on a bus was when he was too drunk to drive home.

      1. Millions of people are intoxicated at any given moment without vomiting and stumbling in every direction. Despite what one might see on Dateline NBC, many people drink responsibly in our bars, clubs, and restaurants across the city.

        This is not about turning route 49 into a party bus, and if that’s what the vision of nightlife is then there may be too much of a disconnect to discuss this rationally.

  6. This conversation has gotten completely out of hand. McGinn wants to cut down on drunk driving and is considering extending bus hours as part of that. What is the big deal?

    Don’t want drunk people to ride the bus? Call McGinn, don’t attack the bloggers! They’re just trying to keep you informed.


    1. Don’t like double posting, but as Adam points out, it’s a couple of hours two days a week. Seriously, calm down.

  7. Man, you know you’re getting old when you start to think the mayor should have bigger stuff on his/her mind than keeping the bars open later.

    I wonder what King County riders are going to think when they’re hanging from a strap on an SRO bus and trying to figure out what the service cuts will mean to them, and they read about McGinn’s campaign for more transit for Seattle’s bars. I’m sure this image of infantile self-gratification will improve Seattle’s reputation in the region, because, after all, who hasn’t wished they could stay up late and listen to the Tractorheads or Blind Mary and Crippled Jesus?

    Yes, it’s easy to see why McGinn was so eager to stop the First Avenue Streetcar so he could provide more money for buses- it’s all part of his master (but still secret) plan to tear down the Viaduct without providing any replacement at all for the through traffic.

    Damn, I’m so old I remember another guy who had a ‘secret plan’- it was so secret that we haven’t learned to this day just exactly what Nixon’s secret plan to end the Vietnam War was. It may have been what he eventually did- declared victory, and got the hell out.

    1. Incremental cuts won’t be happening for the next year or so, similarly any changes to service McGinn is proposing would be happening 2+ years from now. Moreover, monies will become more available as the recession eases, and on top of that, McGinn wants service across the board.

      And trying to Godwin-via-Nixon would almost be insulting if it wasn’t so laughably wrong-headed.

      1. Having survived Nixon, I got to admit I’m totally lovin’ this. McGinn makes a suggestion, and if you have any questions about it, the answer is “Don’t worry, it’s not really going to happen”.

        “Say, that’s a mighty funny looking plan.” “Nonsense, there is no plan.”

        “Aren’t we talking service cuts instead of service increases?” “Don’t worry, you won’t be seeing any service increases any time soon.”

        Well, it’s good to know there really isn’t any problem with looming service cuts. Kitsap has already instituted heavy service cuts, so I had the impression KCMetro might be under the same kind of pressures. Glad to hear I’m wrong.

      2. I’m not making sense? I’m quoting almost verbatim comments from McGinn threads, and I’m the one who isn’t making any sense?

        Look at your own comment I’m responding to- “Incremental cuts won’t be happening for the next year or so, similarly any changes to service McGinn is proposing would be happening 2+ years from now. Moreover, monies will become more available as the recession eases, and on top of that, McGinn wants service across the board.”

        You may think “Prosperity is just around the corner”, but I’m sure not going to plan on all the good stuff that will happen when the recession eases. Could be a while.

        Like I said, laff riot.

      3. The Seattle Streetcar plan is a big study with no funding attached. Were you busy ripping Mayor Nickels and the Council at the time for that statement of principle?

      4. If any of those people had run for office claiming they would build 5 new streetcar lines based on that plan, I would have. But AFAIK there never was a “plan”. Nickels asked SDOT to identify possible future streetcar routes and they sketched 5 possible future streetcar routes.

        That is all I’ve ever made of that ‘plan” and I’ve been perfectly amazed at the amount of wishful thinking that has grown upon it.

        In fairness to McGinn, I cannot see where he has ever said he has a plan for light rail or that he would build it. I expect if he is elected he will try to support the formation of a plan and and a vote on it.

      5. Catowner!

        Nobody’s claiming they’ll build anything based on any plan. McGinn has said he’ll PUT RAIL TO A VOTE, which probably means he’ll fund the corridor study first, and put together a plan based on it.

        You KNOW that. Stop turning it into an issue.

    2. Catowner… do you want Mallahan to be Mayor? Why don’t you think about that before bashing McGinn?

      1. [b]If the comments I’m making constitute “bashing”, that should tell you something right there about problems with McGinn.[/b]

        And in increasing numbers, McGinn supporters, I’m afraid.

      2. Jeff, I don’t understand what you want. Mallahan won’t fund bus hours, McGinn will. Isn’t that plenty right there?

      3. I don’t understand what you want

        For starters, I want McGinn supporters to stop acting like I insulted their mother’s chastity anytime a comment remotely critical of the man is made.

        Mallahan won’t fund bus hours, McGinn will.

        And I thought one of the major points of this thread is that McGinn’s proposal to expand late-night bus hours hasn’t been accompanied with a plan to fund them? Sheesh.

    3. Mayor Nickels had well-known problems with the nightlife community, and they him. I think this is mostly a reaction to that.

      But nightlife is important to the city. Of course the Mayor should have positions on it. And you need to realize that keeping bars open later isn’t so folks can have more fun, but so that we can have staggered closing times so you don’t dump hundreds of people on the street at the same time. The current strategy leads to violence in neighborhoods such as Belltown and Pioneer Square, and we could use some better thinking on the issue.

      infantile self-gratification

      You must be getting pretty old. :)

      Look, McGinn has proposed spending a lot of money on buses. $500mn, according to his Viaduct plans.

      But we’re talking about a few hours a week on Friday and Saturday. Give the rhetoric a rest for a bit.

      Is every service hour right now more important than late night service? No, I don’t think so.

      1. Y’know, two years ago a woman drowned in her basement in that little hollow just south of Madison and 25th, because the city had never gotten around to dealing with a drainage problem they created there.

        Now, I’m real sorry people drink too much and hurt each other. For three years I worked the graveyard at Harborview and saw a steady stream of these folks. And I noticed that almost everyone I asked had a story that started out “well, I was drinking, and…” But if you’re asking me to put promoting nightclubs on the same level as maintaining the basic infrastructure of the city, ain’t gonna happen.

        As for how important service hours are, it seems like for months I’ve been reading here about the anguish of the bus system. And now all the McGinn people are telling me there is no problem. Well, sure, if you say so….

        But the last I heard, one place McGinn wanted to get the money for buses was by not building the First Avenue Streetcar, which, ironically, would apparently serve the Pioneer Square district. Well, who knows, maybe he’ll get religion about the First Avenue line too, with a little help from his friends…

      2. Link serves Pioneer Square, too.

        Until 12:40am.

        Apparently we can’t fix this without people drowning. I wonder why we pay for bus service at all when other tragedies happen.

      3. And everyday dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of people die from drunk-driving accidents. It is important to provide service that lowers the possibility of that happening in Seattle. Also, I can assure you that money for extra late-night bus service on Friday and Saturday nights will not come out of the storm drain budget.

  8. To be perfectly clear- yes, the buses should run 24/7. And they should go, first of all, to the industries that run 24/7. And it’s quite possible that nightclubbin’ would qualify as such an industry.

    And if McGinn had said something like that, I’d have no problem.

    But that’s not exactly what he said.

    1. Interestingly, from a transportation perspective, drunk walkers are a huge statistic in the pedestrian fatality tables. Drunks stumbling from bar to bar to get one for the road at 1:30, 1:45 or whatever seems like a particularly lethal idea. Also enable over-drinking because now you’ve got someone new counting your drinks who has no idea that you just had 4 at the other place and 2 before that all in the last 2 hours. In over 10 years of dealing with and listening to Windy McGinn – does he ever stop talking about himself? – I am sure of a few things: He has no vision. He has no sense of priorities. He cannot and will not follow through. He cannot get to meetings on time. He never listens. He will work whatever job gives him a paycheck where he has no mandate to actually “do” anything.

    2. An industry might have a large number of people needing transportation at midnight or 2AM but their destinations are spread all over the County. There’s no ridership corridor at 2AM that would come close to meeting the ridership threshold required to make it viable. Even the airport at 2AM is a ghost town and the people arriving are going to destinations all over western Washington. Possibly DART service with support from the night club industry (the way they sponsor free cabs) might work.

      1. What’s “viable”? Is that the only interest of a operations investment

        I don’t think we should have millions of buses running, but keeping Link active a few more hours at lower frequencies (especially after it reaches the U District) isn’t going to break the bank.

      2. John, the bank is already broken. The discussion is about suspensions or cuts. Which ever way that falls current service will have to be traded to offer late night service where we know that the ridership is already extremely low; even in Seattle.

      3. Hmm, funny thing is as a frequent late-night bus rider I often find the last few runs of many routes to be rather crowded. Even the night-owl 81/82/83/84/85/280 can see a fair number of riders on a normal weeknight.

        To be sure the demand doesn’t equal what it is during the AM and PM peaks but it is certainly more than many suburban routes see during midday.

    3. So instead of going “this is great, let’s serve other industries as well”, you went on a tirade?

  9. I should make the case that you need transit service at many hours to give a quality alternative to the car. If a stated goal is to reduce VMT (and it is more than a stated goal but state law), and we can help accomplish that by reducing car ownership in the city, then giving people the nightlife options as well as the mid-day options is valuable for everyone.

    I think what we have now isn’t too bad. I was just at a bar in Fremont. I left at 11:45 and was able to get to Capitol Hill in 35 minutes — not bad.

  10. Link should provide owl service, too. The airport is a 24 hour desination for both employees and passengers, with some needing to arrive at the airport by 4:00 – 4:30am to report to duty or check-in, and with planes arriving in the wee hours. Even hourly service would be useful, with a shadow bus if they want to close the tunnel.

    1. Link, like basically any rail system, has to shut down at night for maintenance. Remember that the only exceptions to that have more than two tracks, as far as I’m aware.

      A shadow bus is a good idea – remember that the 7 runs in that downtime already. If you want it, put together a reasonable proposal!

      1. I love the shadow bus idea! Too bad they didn’t have a pre-Link Link bus for a few years… it definitely would have been convenient for me, although off-roading down Beacon Hill might have been tough.

    2. You can get to the airport from DT Seattle in the middle of the night on the 124 and 174, with a timed-transfer between the two at Tukwila/International Blvd station.

      1. Wait actually I was wrong, the 124 just continues as the 174 at that time at night. Looks like it gets to the Airport at around 4:15am.

      2. Yeah, although riding that route at that hour you are risking your life. I took the old 174 to the airport exactly once when it was too late for the 194 — never again.

  11. Our brave car-free future requires late-night buses. McGinn is only stating the obvious, and it should be in Seattle’s long-term plan. If more night buses were available, more people would ride the bus to bars/shows. This cuts down on drunk driving as well as reducing general automobile use.

    London, Glasgow, Duesseldorf — these are just the cities I’ve been in that have comprehensive night buses to the entire city and suburbs. In some cities it’s every night; in others it’s just Friday and Saturday. Like Seattle, they consolidate several day routes into one night route.

    So when I lived in the U-district, it was possible to attend an event on Capitol Hill and catch the 2:15 bus home. If the event was in Fremont, I could catch the last 44 just before 2. But when I lived in Bellevue, it was take the 280 to Bellevue Way and walk an hour from there. And those all assume the event is near downtown Seattle. If it’s somewhere else, you have to first go downtown and transfer, which may mean waiting for the 3:30 bus. And if the event is in Tacoma, forget it.

    In San Francisco and Chicago, the night buses don’t go to the suburbs but they do run every half hour.

    One analogy I like is, imagine if I-5 were closed between midnight and 5am. Would drivers howl and complain? If they need to travel 24 hours, is it not surprising that bus riders need to do the same?

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