How people stood in that station for an hour without saying "Fuck it!" and walking up the broken escalators is beyond me.


Get rid of all the escalators and replace them with stairs and install a single elevator for people with handicaps or who otherwise aren't physically capable of walking up and down stairs.

Stairs will never break down
They use no electricity
Exercise is good for you

Best part?

No more whiny complaints about broken escalators


@2: You can force me to do 30 seconds of light exercise when you pry the Mega Gulp from my clammy, dead fat-hands.


This problem didn't start with the extension of light rail to Capitol Hill and the UW. The downtown transit tunnel has been operating for 20 years, and broken escalators have been a constant problem throughout that time. Apparently Metro/Link have a flat learning curve.


That sounds like the GOP's official 2020 presidential campaign slogan


@5: I do appreciate honesty.


Just got back from Europe - 40% of the escalators in the various Metros I rode were out of order. Strangely the escalators at Nordstrom* are never out of order. Not meant to be a grumpy old guy comment on public versus private, but I see it does read that way... sorry!

*admittedly my sample size of trips to Nordstrom is really low


These are the people we are trusting with a $50 Billion transportation system. They don't install stairs in the first place after spending after spending hundreds of millions of dollars on UW station... They spend $900,000 on a party to celebrate opening it... and it takes them months to admit how wrong they were after escalator breakdowns resulting in thousands of people waiting in line or cursing Light Rail from now until the end of time.
This is why people don't use mass transit in Seattle. Metro is slow, inefficient and unreliable. People want to use Metro, but not when there bus is regularly 30 minutes late, overcrowded so it just drives right by them or doesn't show up at all. And Metro doesn't even notify you. Don't get me started on the fact Metro doesn't have real-time GPS of bus locations.. OneBusAway is not real-time, are estimates and does not work. Limebike can tell me where 10,000 bikes are around the city but Metro can't show me where my bus is.


@8: Literally almost every one of your conclusions in your second paragraph were total bullshit. Yes, Metro can be slow. Buses are stuck in the same gridlock that cars are, all across our region. The only way to solve this is to implement true rapid bus transit, with dedicated bus lanes replacing a general traffic lane on major arterials, prioritized signals for buses, and other expensive and/or politically unfeasible changes.

BS 1. "This is why people don't use mass transit in Seattle." In fact, "Commuting by public transit has hit an all-time high in the Seattle metro area, and we're also spending more than anywhere else to add more transit options." "Since 2010, [Seattle] experienced the second-biggest increase in the share of transit commuters among the 50 largest U.S. metro areas, behind San Francisco." Source:

BS 2. "Don't get me started on the fact Metro doesn't have real-time GPS of bus locations.. OneBusAway is not real-time, are estimates and does not work." The majority of bus location data is updated every few minutes. In OneBuSAway, buses which lack real-time info are identified with "scheduled arrival*". Buses with real-time GPS based data are identified as "arriving X minutes late", "arriving X minutes early", or "arriving on time". Regarding your claim that "it does not work", I benefit from it every single day and I know many others that use it too (I also love the Transit app, which covers many different public transit agencies all over North America, and incorporates directions / route finding which OneBusAway lacks).


Using the elevators isn't a "life hack", it's a common acceptable thing that people do all day at that station. The elevators aren't reserved for "elderly folks, disabled folks, and people with bikes", they're for all people. Worst case scenario a person will need to wait less than two minutes for another elevator. There is no shame in a "regular" person using an elevator at the UW station (especially if you're trying to make connections).


natalie, this is a fantastic piece, your best yet. keep it up, & thanks.


Do you know what's really nice? Escalators that chew people up like a meat grinder. We need more of those around.


Love this article! It’s refreshing to read a cleverly written article laced with relatable sarcasm. I stumbled upon this and am not from the area, but will return to read more of this kind of writing. Well done!


I'm a big fan of gimmick accounts so I hope you stick around but be warned, SLOG is full of people with no sense of humor so good luck.


@4 is aboslutely right! The Damn elevotors ALSO in Westlake,University and Pioneer stations have been broken for MONTHS and all metro and sound transit do is sit with a thumb up their asses and tweet out excuses while shit is still broken...FIX THE DAMN ELEVATORS SO PEOPLE CAN GET DOWN INTO THE FUCKING TUNNELS FASTER!


"An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You should never see an Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign, just Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience."

mitch hedberg


This is a nieve and juvenile article. It might be funny but it is not really reporting. These problems are complicated and can be explored in a more meaningful way relative to transportation and urbanism. I also get stuck on the broken escalators. Write something with more layers.


@12, that's an xcellent Idea for a Chas. Mudede flic
or at least a Post.

(gosh Death, have things been a little slow, where you gotta Advertise here on The Stranger? Chin up, now, just you wait'll after the Congressionals -- Repubs steal it ALL, and we'll soon be dropping like Flies. Till then!)

Please wait...

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