Seattle Public Transportation – Options, Fares, and More
Does Seattle Have Public Transportation?
It sure does! Whether you’ve been living in downtown Seattle all your life and are just changing neighborhoods or you’re relocating from some of the best suburbs of Seattle for some of the best school districts in Seattle – you’ll have plenty of options. Public transit in Seattle counts buses, rails, and ferries, so if you are wondering if you need a car in Seattle – you don’t, at least not for the downtown area.
Is Public Transportation Good in Seattle?
How is public transportation in Seattle? According to some polls and analysis, our city has the best transit system in the country, though some Seattleites wouldn’t agree. Some complain about the bus routes’ limits, issues with apps, and bicycles and cars both running on main routes. But all things considered, we could say that Seattle’s transportation is a fairly good and well-connected one with lots of options and decent fares.
King County Metro Transit
King County Metro operates through the downtown area as well as some of the affordable Seattle suburbs that serve as employment or population centers. It has 237 bus routes, and the routes are numbered from 1 to 78, without any particular discernible patterns. Metro buses can take you as far north as Mountlake Terrace and as far south as Federal Way. It offers service seven days a week with some routes operating round the clock. For more information on route lists and maps, visit Metro’s website.
Metro Transit Buses – Fares and Payment Options
How much is public transport in Seattle? The Seattle bus system base fare is $2.75, with discounts for senior citizens, while kids under five can use the buses for free. You pay when you get on the bus, either in cash (if you don’t have the exact amount, you won’t get change, so be sure to have it or be ready to forfeit your change), or you can pay with an ORCA card, Transit Go ticket, or bus tickets. For more information on Seattle public schools’ transportation, visit this website.
The Emerald City’s Link Light Rail
Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail is a great way to get around heavy traffic if you need to travel somewhere near its stops, and it’s a good way to reach the airport. Light Link Rail’s routes go from Angle Lake Station through all the cool neighborhoods in Seattle’s downtown area to Washington University. Trains run each 6 to 15 minutes, and it takes a train about 40 minutes to complete its entire route.
Light Link Rail Main Schedule and Fares
Light Link Rail runs from Monday to Saturday, from 5 AM – 1 AM, and from 6 AM till midnight on Sundays. The main adult fare is $2.25 – $3.25, and you need to use your ORCA card to pay. There are senior discounts, and children under the age of 5 get to ride for free with an accompanying fare-paying passenger. Here’s a glimpse into the Light Link Rail experience.
The City’s Monorail System
While the Monorail may seem more like a touristy thing to do, on their way to some of Seattle breweries or the best rooftop bars in Seattle, it’s actually a great means of transport. You can travel between the Westlake Center downtown and Seattle Center at the foothills of Queen Anne. Trains depart each 10, and it takes them around 10 minutes to complete the route. One-way fare for adults is $2.50, and Monorail is privately owned, so you won’t be able to use other cards for payment. If you use the Monorail, you will be able to enjoy some beautiful scenery.
The Iconic Seattle Streetcar
The iconic Streetcars travel both on the rail and the road, kind of like a mix between light rail and buses. There are two main streetcar routes – one in South Lake Union and the other in First Hill (from Pioneer Square to Capitol Hill). You can take a trip on the South Lake Union streetcar from Monday through Friday from 6 AM to 9 PM, on Saturdays from 7 AM to 9 PM, and on Sundays from 10 AM to 7 PM. First Hill streetcar operates from 5 AM to 10:30 PM on weekdays, from 6 AM to 10:30 PM on Saturdays, and from 10 AM to 8 PM on Sundays. Streetcars are a landmark of the city in a way, and they are back.
A Trip by Boat Is the Main Means of Transport to Some
Taking a trip by ferry is not only a practical way to travel around the city, but it’s also fun, and it offers great views. Many take a ferry trip to work – you can drive or walk onto most of them. Fare costs depend on the route and whether you’re driving or walking, so for more information on them, check out the WSDOT website. The route starts on Colma Dock and ends on Bainbridge Island or Winslow. Water taxis, on the other hand, allow walk-in passengers only and operate the route between Pier 50 and Seacrest Park and the route between Pier 50 and Vashon Island.
What Is the Best Way to Get Around Seattle by Using Seattle Public Transportation?
It depends on where you live and what route you need to take for your trip. If you are renting a place downtown, you should read your Seattle renters’ rights and know that owning a car is not such a good idea. Parking is expensive, and parking spots are hard to come by. Instead, opt for some of these main methods of transport – it’s cheaper and more convenient. Alternatively, you can opt for Uber or Lyft – their service is more expensive but faster, more comfortable, and they can take you anywhere you need to go.
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