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Carlos Trujillo stands on the platform in Pioneer Square Station
Media Caption
Carlos Trujillo has more than 20 years of experience in the elevator and escalator industry.

Inside Sound Transit: Keeping passengers moving

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When passengers think about their experience with transit, it’s not just about if their bus was on time or if their train was clean.

There’s so much more that goes into being a safe and reliable system – including elevators and escalators, or as we often call them, vertical conveyances.

A small but experienced team is tasked with keeping all 198 conveyances up and running, and planning for the future needs in Sound Transit’s growing system.

“I enjoy my job here at Sound Transit because I’ve always wanted to be in public service,” said Vertical Conveyances Manager Carlos Trujillo. “Finding an opportunity where I was able to use the experience I’ve gained in the elevator and escalator industry and still be in public service was pretty unique.”

Though we’re putting them in the spotlight here, this is a team that does not want to be noticed. They’re doing their job when passengers don’t encounter difficulties getting to their destination and the elevators and escalators are operable, safe and clean.

And they have worked hard – using enhanced maintenance contracts, new technology, better communication strategies and lots and lots of data analysis – to improve elevator and escalator performance throughout our transit system.

The improvement is especially apparent in the downtown Seattle Link stations.

Right now, our escalators are running at approximately 92 percent overall availability. That compares to just 30 percent when we took responsibility for those stations two years ago.

“Being a small part of someone’s day, and hopefully a part they don’t have to think about, is very satisfying,” Trujillo said. “To know that I’m a part of that success is a really good feeling.”

Check here for elevator/escalator status across our system that is updated daily

“We’ve really become a passenger advocates,” said Trujillo’s manager, John Carini. “Everything that we do goes through the filter of: are the decisions that we’re making going to enhance our availability, are they going to enhance the passenger experience?”

Our goal is 95 percent operability for vertical conveyances, and we’re getting close – thanks to Carini, Trujillo and their team of passenger advocates. 

John Carini and Carlos Trujillo in Union Station
Carini and Trujillo.

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