Seattle Transportation Resources
Welcome to our page of Seattle and Northwest transportation resources, including airlines, shuttles, buses, trains, ferries, maps, and more, to help tourists, prospective newcomers, and local residents find their way around Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.
Air Travel - Airport Shuttles - Transit Systems - Ferries & Boats - Trains - Ride Sharing - Bicycling - Maps
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- Seattle Downtown Airporter. Operated by Gray Line, running between Sea-Tac and the Crowne Plaza, Fairmont Olympic, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Hilton Hotel, Madison Renaissance, Seattle Sheraton, Warwick Hotel and Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle, with prices starting at $10.50 one-way.
- Airporter Shuttle. Airport shuttle service to Sea-Tac from Bellingham, Mount Vernon, Stanwood, Marysville, Anacortes, Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island, and Yakima.
- Shuttle Express. Provides airport shuttle and van service in the greater Seattle area to and from Sea-Tac.
- The Quick Shuttle Express Bus Service. Offers frequent daily express bus service year-round to Sea-Tac Airport, downtown Seattle, Bellingham Airport and Vancouver International Airport.
- Metro Transit Seattle to Sea-Tac: Route MT 194. If not hauling a lot of luggage, the most economic way to get to the airport. Trip takes a little less than 30 minutes, leaving from the University Station Bay C in the Bus Tunnel. Cost: $1.25 (off-peak) or $2.00 (peak) one-way. Some other Metro Transit and ST Express routes that service Sea-Tac Airport: ST 560 (from Bellevue), ST 560 (from West Seattle), MT 140 (from Burien and Renton), MT 174 (from Renton, but take MT 194 from Seattle), MT 194 (from Federal Way Park & Ride, and ST 574 (from Lakewood).
- Wheatland Express Airport Shuttle Service. Runs to/from Spokane International Airport and Moscow, Pullman, and Colfax.
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NW Transit and Bus Systems
Seattle Transit Resources
- King County Metro. Seattle and King County's bus system. Look here for schedules, maps, a trip planner, etc. You can also buy a bus pass online or sign up to participate in RideShare.
- Metro's Ride Free Area. You can ride free between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m., on Metro buses in the Ride Free Area, roughly bounded by Battery Street on the north, S. Jackson Street on the south, and Sixth Avenue on the east (see following ride free map for the exact boundaries).
- Ride Free Area Map.
- Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. Find tunnel hours, bus routes, bay locations, etc.
- Seattle Bus Tunnel Map.
- ORCA Card. ORCA stands for One Regional Card for All. Riders can add money to the card to pay for rides on King County Metro Transit, Community Transit (Snohomish County), Everett Transit, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit, Sound Transit, Washington State Ferries, and King County Ferry District (King County "Elliott Bay" Water Taxi and Vashon Passenger Ferry. Puget Sound monthy passes, WSF passes, and Ship-to-Shore (ferries and transit) passes can be added to the card. The ORCA cards are free for an introductory period, but will cost $5 after that.
- What and How to Pay on Metro. Information on Metro Transit's fares, passes, and ticketbooks. Passes currently available from Metro Transit currently include:
Regional Day Pass: For weekends and holidays (running a Sunday schedule), purchase a Regional Day Pass instead, which costs $4.00 for unlimited rides on all Metro buses for the day, as well as $1.75 payment toward fare payment on Community Transit, Pierce Transit, Everett Transit, and Sound Transit. It can be purchased on any Metro Bus and on Sound Transit Express Route 550.
Note: Metro discontinued its Visitor's Pass as of January 1, 2009. Visitors and tourists should purchase a Regional Day Pass instead on weekends or holidays. Metro no longer offers all-day passes for weekdays.
Family Plan Fare: On Sunday and holidays (running a Sunday schedule), up to four children, age 17 and under, can ride free when accompanied by a person paying a $2.00 fare. Additional children must pay the youth fare ($0.75).
Regular Family Fare: On Monday through Saturday, up to four children, age 5 and under, can ride free when accompanied by a responsible person paying an adult fare.
Puget Pass: Annual Puget Passes are no longer available through Metro Transit. Monthly Puget Passes can be added to an ORCA card, but cannot be purchased separately. Pass prices are based on an assumption of 36 trips a month - if you make more than 36 trips a month, you will save by adding a monthly Puget Pass to your ORCA card (if you don't, you won't). Passes can be purchased for reducing fares by $0.50 to $4.75 per trip, costing from $18 to $171. A monthly pass for $1.75 a trip, for instance, costs $63.
- George Benson Waterfront Streetcar Line.
- Seattle Center Monorail. The nation's first full-scale commercial monorail system, originally built for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. Travels about one mile between the Westlake Mall and the Seattle Center.
- Sound Transit. Sound Transit operates ST Express bus service, serving Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue, Lynnwood, Woodinville, Redmond, Issaquah, Federal Way, Sea-Tac, Auburn, Lakewood, Bonney Lake, Gig Harbor, and other locations. Sound Transit is charged with delivering a mix of light rail, commuter trains, and regional bus routes for King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties. Light rail lines are currently under construction in Seattle and Tacoma. Sounder commuter rail provides commuter rail service between Tacoma and Seattle, with stops in Puyallup, Sumner, Auburn, Kent, and Tukwila, and between Everett and Seattle, with a stop in Edmonds.
Other Transit Systems and Bus Companies That Serve Seattle
- Community Transit. Snohomish County's bus system, which also provides commuter service to and from downtown Seattle, Bellevue, and the University District.
- Peirce Transit. Peirce County's bus system, which also provides express service to and from Seattle and Olympia.
- Greyhound Lines: Bus terminals, agencies, and stops in the state of Washington.
- Trailways: Bus terminals in the state of Washington.
- Green Tortoise Adventure Travel. They no longer run their "sleeper" coaches between Seattle and San Francisco, but do offer sleeper coach trips in Alaska and other locales in the Western U.S.
Other Western Washington Transit Systems
- Everett Transit. Everett's bus system, which also services the Everett Mall, Boeing, Silver Lake, the Mukilteo ferry, the Navy Base, and other locations.
- Kitsap Transit. Kitsap County's bus system, which services Bremerton, Bainbridge, connecting with the Washington State Ferries at Kingston, Winslow, Bremerton, and Southworth.
- Intercity Transit. Thurston County's bus system, which services Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, and Yelm, and provides express service to and from Tacoma (with connections to Seattle).
- Island Transit. Services Whidbey and Camano Islands. Fare-free.
- Skagit Transit. Skagit County's transit system, servicing Mount Vernon, Burlington, Anacortes, LaConner, Sedro Wooley, Concrete, and other locations, with connections at Anacortes to the ferries to the San Juan Islands.
- Whatcom Transit Authority. Whatcom County's transit system, servicing Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Blaine, and other locations.
- San Juan Transit. Provides transit service for Friday Harbor, Roche Harbor, English Camp, Whale Watch Park, San Juan County Park, and other locations. Also provides guided tours, kayak treks, and whale watching excursions.
- Jefferson Transit. Jefferson County's transit system, servicing Port Towsend, Sequim, Port Ludlow, Poulsbo, and other locations in eastern Jefferson County, and Forks, Kalaloch, Queets, and Amanda Park, with connecting services provided by Clallam Transit and Grays Harbor Transit.
- Clallam Transit. Clallam County's transit system, servicing Port Angeles, Sequim, Joyce, Clallam Bay, Neah Bay, Forks, La Push, and other locations.
- Mason Transit. Mason County's transit system, servicing Shelton, Belfair, Hoodsport, Brinnon, Hood Canal, and other locations, with service also to Bremerton and Olympia.
- Grays Harbor Transit Authority. Grays Harbor County's transit system, servicing Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Ocean Shores, Westport, Quinault, Montesano, Elma, Satsop, Olympia, and other locations.
- Pacific Transit System. Pacific County's transit system, servicing Raymond, Long Beach, Ocean Park, Ilwaco, South Bend, Aberdeen, Astoria, Oregon, and other locations.
- Twin Transit. Provides transit service for Centralia and Chehalis, as well as trolley service between the Amtrak station and local factory outlet and antique stores.
- C-TRAN. Clark County's transit system, servicing Vancouver, Fort Vancouver, Battle Ground, Hazel Dell, Camas, Washougal, Portland, and other locations, with express service to Portland.
- CUBS. Community Urban Bus Service, servicing the Longview-Kelso area.
Eastern Washington Transit Systems
- Spokane Transit Authority. Spokane County's transit system, servicing Spokane, Cheney, Medical Lake, Millwood, Spokane International Airport, Fairchild Air Force Base, and other locations.
- Valley Transit. Providing transit services for Walla Walla and surrounding areas.
- Yakima Transit. Providing transit services for Yakima and surrounding areas.
- Ben Franklin Transit. Providing transit services for Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco (the Tri-Cities).
- Pullman Transit. Providing transit services for Pullman, home of Washington State University, and surrounding areas.
- Link Transit. Providing transit services for Chelan and Douglas Counties, including Wenatchee, Chelan, Entiat, Leavenworth, and other locations.
- Grant Transit Authority. Grant County's transit system, servicing Moses Lake, Ephrata, Soap Lake, Royal City, Grand Coulee Dam, and other locations.
- Wheatland Express. Runs commuter bus service between Moscow, Idaho, and Pullman, Washington.
Out-of-State Transit Systems
- TriMet. Portland and Multnomah County's transit system, in Oregon, servicing Portland, Gresham, Forest Grove, Oregon City, and other locations in Oregon, as well as Vancouver, Washington. Also operates MAX Light Rail and the Portland Streetcar.
- BC Transit. British Columbia's transit system, servicing Vancouver, Victoria, Kamloops, Kelowna, Prince George, Whistler, and other locations.
- TransLink: South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority. Provides local and suburban bus service and operates the SkyTrain rapid transit system in the Greater Vancouver area.
- Victoria Regional Transit System. Services Greater Victoria, Sydney, Brentwood Bay, Sooke, and other locations.
Tour Bus Companies
- Gray Line of Seattle. Provides a variety of guided bus tours in Seattle, plus tours to Leavenworth, Mt. Rainier, Tillicum Village, Vancouver, and Victoria.
- Ride the Ducks of Seattle. Ride amphibious World War II vehicles to see Seattle from land and water.
- Pacific Express Tour & Charter Company. Has guided and other bus tours of Seattle, Tacoma, Washington State History Museum, Emerald Queen Casino, Pacific Norhwest Gardens, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Mount Rainier National Park, Mount St. Helens Volcano, Dinner Train and Columbia Winery, and Tillicum Village.
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Ferries & Boats
Car and Commuter Ferries
- Washington State Ferries. Schedules, routes, and fares.
- BC Ferries. Schedules, routes, and fares.
- The Coho Ferry: Port Angeles/Victoria car ferry. Schedule and fare info. Plus lots of link to attractions and things to do in Victoria.
- Guemes Island Ferry. Ferry from Anacortas to Guemes Island.
- Kitsap Transit Foot Ferry. Runs between Bremerton and Port Orchard (about a 10-minute trip), and between Bremerton and Annapolis (about a 5-minute trip). The Bremerton/Annapolis service will not operate when the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard is closed.
- Lummi Island Ferry. Runs the Whatcom Chief car ferry between Gooseberry Point on the mainland and Lummi Island (about a 5-minute trip), northeast of Bellingham.
- Pierce County Ferry. Runs the M.V. Christine Anderson car ferry between Steilacoom and Anderson and Ketron Islands.
- Puget Island Ferry. The last ferry on the Lower Columbia. Operated by the Wahkiakum County Public Works, this is a small open-deck car ferry that runs between Puget Island on the Washington side and Westport on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. Puget Island is located across a bridge from Cathlamet, Washington. Runs 7 days a week, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Runs from the Washington side every hour on the hour, from the Oregon side every hour a quarter after the hour.
- Ocean Shores Passenger Ferry. Runs between Ocean Shores and Westport daily June 16 - Labor Day, and on weekends only May 3 - June 15 and Sept. 6 - Sept. 28.
- Victoria Express: Port Angeles/Victoria passenger ferry. Schedule, package tours, etc.
- Victoria Clipper. Day and overnight cruises to Victoria or the San Juan Islands. They've got very affordable overnight packages to Victoria, with rates varying with the day of the week and the season ($85 pp/do for weekdays in April 2004). Extra days and hotel upgrades are available. They also have one-day and two-day cruises to Friday Harbor, in the San Juan Islands.
- Victoria-San Juan Cruises. Offers narrated cruises from Bellingham, through the San Juan Islands, to Victoria, B.C. Along the way, enjoy opportunities to view Orcas, bald eagles, seals, porpoises, and other marine wildlife. An all-you-can-eat salmon and prime-rib dinner is served on the return trip.
- Puget Sound Express. Runs a passenger ferry between Port Townsend and Friday Harbor, as well as a whale watching excursion.
- San Juan Island Commuter. Provides daily passenger service between Bellingham and Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, with "flag stops" at Eliza, Sinclair, Blakely, and Lopez Islands. Carries 48 passengers, with lots of room for kayaks, bicycles, luggage, and camping equipment.
- Alaskan Marine Highway System. Operates ferries along the Inside Passage, beginning at either Bellingham, Washington, or Prince Rupert, B.C., and terminating at Skagway, Alaska. Stops include Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Sitka, Juneau, Haines, and other ports. Cabins are available. For travelers on a budget, recliner chairs are available. Links to the Alaskan Highway through Haines and Skagway. AMHS also operates ferries in southcentral and southwest Alaska, linking Valdez, Kodiak, and Dutch Harbor, as well as other locations.
- BC Ferries. Operates ferry routes between the mainland and Vancouver Island, through the Southern and Northern Gulf Islands, and through the Inside Passage to Prince Rupert and the Queen Charlotte Islands.
Ferry Traveller. A one-stop reference for all Northwest ferry information.
Tour and Sightseeing Boats
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- Amtrak Cascades. Amtrak train that runs between Eugene and Vancouver, B.C., with stops in Portland, Seattle, and other places.
- Coast Starlight. Amtrak train that runs between Seattle and Los Angeles, with stops in Portland, Eugene, Sacramento, Oakland, San Jose, Santa Barbara, and other places.
- Empire Builder. Amtrak train that runs between Seattle or Portland and Chicago, with stops in Spokane, Fargo, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and other places.
- Sounder. Commuter rail service run by Sound Transit, between Tacoma and Seattle, with stops in Puyallup, Sumner, Auburn, Kent, and Tukwila, and between Everett and Seattle, with a stop in Edmonds. Also provides Home Run train service to Mariners' games on Sundays, from Tacoma and Everett.
- Via Rail Canada: Rockies and Pacific Region. Runs two trains, one between Toronto and Vancouver, and the other between Jasper and Prince Rupert. (One option is to take one train from Vancouver to Jasper, then another train from Jasper to Prince Rupert.
- West Coast Express. Operates commuter rail service to Vancouver from Mission City, Port Haney, Maple Meadows, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam Central, and Port Moody in British Columbia.
Steam and Vintage Train Excursions
- Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad. A 1.5-hour trip, pulled by a vintage steam locomotive, through the foothills of Mt. Rainier, from Elbe to Mineral Lake. Excursions run from Memorial Day through the end of September. Snowball Express runs weekends in December. Elbe is located on Highway 7, south from Tacoma.
- Chehalis-Centralia Railroad. Operates over a nine-mile route southwest from Chehalis, winding through scenic hills, farmland, and over several wooden trestles, from Memorial Day through the end of September. A number of dinner trains are also scheduled, featuring salmon, chicken, or prime rib dinners (pre-paid reservations required a week in advance).
- Lake Whatcom Railway. Operates on former NP track using vintage NP equipment. Was running a diesel engine, due to the need to bring their steam engine up to FRA standards.
- The Pend Oreille Valley Lions Club Excursion Train by Funnelfan. Runs from Ione to Metaline Falls in northeast Washington, on a former Milwaukee Road line.
- Skagway's White Pass & Yukon Route Railway. A narrow-gauge railroad built in 1888, during the Klondike Gold Rush. Experience mountains, glaciers, gorges, waterfalls, tunnels, trestles, and historic sites from from the comfort of vintage parlor cars.
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Carpools & Vanpools, Park & Rides, and Ride Sharing
- RideShare. King County Metro, Community Transit (Snohomish County), Peirce Transit, Kitsap Transit, Intercity Transit (Thurston County), and Island Transit all operate vanpools that anyone can participate in -- you just need an origination or destination in the county to use its vanpool services.
- Carpool Parking in Downtown Seattle. Registered carpools qualify for discounted parking in specially designated areas throughout the city. Rates vary. Includes a map of car pool parking locations in Seattle.
- King County Park & Ride Lots. Find out about using King County's Park & Ride program. Includes PDF maps of Park & Ride lot locations for North, South, and East King County.
- Seattle Metro Flexcar. The Seattle regional office of Flexcar operates a fleet of more than 100 vehicles in more than a dozen neighborhoods in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, West Seattle, and Kitsap County.
- Transportation Connections. A private, non-profit agency that lists rides being offered and rides being sought, for Northwest events, ongoing ride sharing, and long distance travel. Also provides a page of Tips for Safe and Successful Ridesharing.
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- City of Seattle Bicycle Program. View bicycle maps and trail routes, and find out other helpful info on bicycling in Seattle, either for commuting or recreation.
- King County Bicycling Guide Map. View by select area or as a large poster-size PDF file.
- Bicycle Saturdays and Sundays. Lake Washington Boulevard is shut down to motorized traffic between Mount Baker Beach and Seward Park from 10 am to 6 pm on May 8 and 16, June 12 and 20, July 10 and 18, August 15 and 28, and September 11 and 19 (first date is a Saturday, second date is a Sunday).
- Bikestation Seattle. Provides secure bicycle parking and bicycle rentals. Near King Street Station, Bikestation Seattle is conveniently located close train, bus, and ferry transportation services. Members have 24-hour automated access to bicyclelockers and discounted bicycle and electric bike/scooter rentals, for signing up for either $30/month or $116/annually. Bicycle repair, gear, and accessories are also available.
Note: Between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m., loading and unloading of bikes from Metro Bus bike racks is not allowed within the Ride Free Area from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., except at a routes first and last stop within the Ride Free Area or at tunnel stops at the Convention Place and International District stations.
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Online Seattle and NW Maps
Interactive Seattle Maps
Seattle Traffic Maps
Other NW Interactive Maps
Seattle and NW Recreation Maps
Other Map Resources
- City and Regional Maps from the City of Seattle. Lots of informative maps.
- Washington State Road Map (PDF file, requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader).
- WSDOT Highway Map. Click a section to zoom in.
- Washington Maps: The Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin. Maps, maps, maps, including state maps, city maps, historical city maps, and national park maps.
- Native American Tribes Map for the state of Washington.
- Metsker Maps of Seattle. A Seattle institution. Started by the Metsker family of Tacoma in the early 1990's, the first retail store in Seattle was opened in 1950 (at 1st & Cherry), moved to Pioneer Square in 1980 or so, and is now conveniently located at the Pike Place Market. Several of the store's employees hold geography degrees.
- Kroll Map Company. Another Seattle cartographic institution, located at 3rd Avenue and Cedar, in Belltown.
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