Over two million people travel on the Seattle Center Monorail each year, sometimes as many as 20,000 passengers a day for popular local festivals like Bite of Seattle and Northwest Folklife.
Seattle Monorail Services operates the 57-year old historic system and met its operating goals with 99.87% reliability in 2018!
Seattle Center Monorail is one of the few transportation systems in the country that covers its operating costs through ticket sales. Seattle taxpayers pay none of its operating costs.
What is the Seattle Monorail?
The Seattle Monorail is one of the best modern-day examples of a true public-private partnership — owned by the City of Seattle, and operated by Seattle Monorail Services (SMS), a private company, since 1994.
Over the last two decades, SMS has become experts at operating, maintaining, marketing and stewarding a system unique to the world; we envision a 100-year old Monorail that serves many future generations.
SMS accomplishes something no other transportation system in the state and few in the country have done: taxpayers pay none of the Monorail’s operating costs. SMS covers the Monorail’s operating cost through ticket sales, and in fact, returns revenue to the City of Seattle every year through this partnership. Seattle Monorail fares also help cover equipment upgrades and construction costs.
SMS has the privilege of keeping the Monorail rolling and providing a fun, iconic connection for over two million passengers each year.
Whether you are commuting to work, connecting with downtown’s many activities, riding alongside thousands of visiting tourists to Seattle Center, or stepping aboard to avoid traffic congestion, the Monorail and the SMS team are here for you.
About our Passengers
Seattle Center Monorail carries over two million passengers each year. Our passengers are a combination of locals who use the system to travel to work, school, and events taking place at Seattle Center or downtown, as well as domestic and international tourists visiting Seattle.
Flying over the hustle and bustle of Seattle is the best part of my morning Monorail commute. When you emerge from the MoPop tunnel and all of the city is spread before you, I’m reminded of why I love living here.
-Liz, Monorail Passenger
We have the best team!
Seattle Monorail Services employs 30 people whose backgrounds and diversities are as global as the population we serve. Our employees come from countries all over world like South Sudan, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Many of our employees were born and raised here in Seattle. More than one-third of our team have been working at the Monorail for over five years.
SMS is led by people who love and respect its “Little Train that Could,” shown by encouraging kids to sit upfront near the driver, bringing pets aboard, and providing tours of the Monorail system to school groups. In addition, SMS has developed long-term, philanthropic relationships with local nonprofits like Treehouse, which serves foster children in our region.