[UPDATE: In the comments, ST Guy gets the official explanation, which is basically what I said below. As I said then, I don’t think the bus service point holds water, and the “consistency with late night” point is pretty weak sauce.]
When I recently rode a northbound train that was to go out of service, I was surprised to learn that everyone is forced to offload at Mt. Baker Station. As the maintenance facility is between Beacon Hill and Sodo, that seems bizarre for two reasons:
- It’s intensely annoying to anyone whose destination happens to be Beacon Hill.
- Beacon Hill Station, besides being awesome, is entirely protected from the elements.
I’ve heard speculation that it’s a consistency thing: for the last train of the night, they drop people off at Mt. Baker because the late night bus connections are better, and Beacon Hill Station takes longer to shut down. Having one dropoff point for the end of operations and one for shift changes might unnecessarily complicate things. I couldn’t get anyone at Sound Transit to state for the record what the problem is.
The bus thing doesn’t really make sense, given that late night service is just as good on the 36 as it is on the 7. At any rate, the operational convenience argument is pretty thin when it isn’t something that would cost any money to fix.