Unless you care to pay no less than 5 bucks for parking around the popular spots in seattle you mind as well walk, wave a cab or catch the bus. Buses are usually about 1.50 to 1.25 per trip and usually allows for a transfer period of about 3 or 4 hours so you wont need to pay again for the ride home. The bus drivers are fairly friendly and roomie and the more popular routes come every 10 minutes.
Bus service tips no one else has told you:
1. Express Busses: Some busses have a green and white "Express" sign in the corner of the windshield. Also the route sign above the windshield says "(blah blah) VIA EXPRESS". Their purpose it to take commuters to and from various suburban neighborhoods quickly with no stops in between. They almost never take tourists where they want to go and usually get them lost. Avoid them!
2. Fares: Downtown Seattle has a ride-free zone from Pioneer Square to Belltown, from the waterfront to the freeway. Perfect for tourists- no fare required.
Outside of the ride-free zone there are peak and non-peak, one and two zone rates.
The two-zone rate doesn't kick in unless you leave the Seattle city limits so don't worry about it.
Peak hours are (I think) between 7 and 9 AM and 3 and 6 PM, weekdays only, not including holidays. Have your exact fare ready- drivers don't carry change. The fareboxes do accept dollar bills, but they don't make change either.
On weekends you can get an excursion ticket that's good for the whole day. Saves a lot of money in bus fares.
3. Bus companies: The main bus service in Seattle is provided by Metro. Additionally you'll see busses from Sound Transit, Pierce Transit and Community Transit. These are bus lines from other areas of Puget Sound that offer service to and from Seattle. They all honor the ride-free zone, so don't be afraid of them if you just want a lift up the street.
4. Transfers: When you pay you can get a transfer (no extra cost), good for usually 2 or 3 hours (or more), that lets you ride any bus for free within that timeframe.
5. When to pay: the general rule of thumb is that (except for the ride-free area) if your bus is heading away from downtown you pay as you leave. If it's heading towards downtown you pay as you enter. Beware of cross-town routes, though.
Your best bet: there will be a small sign on the farebox at the front of the bus next to the driver that will tell you when to pay and how much the fare is.
Quick Shuttle is a private bus company that travels between the SeaTac Airport, downtown Seattle, the Vancouver International Airport, and downtown Vancouver, BC, Canada.
They make various departures and arrivals throughout the day, giving a nice alternative to Greyhound, Amtrak or travelling by car.
The drive between the Seattle area and Greater Vancouver oftens takes 4 hours, with a stop at the border crossing to check through customs. This is approximately an hour longer than it would take if you were to drive by car.
Unlike taking the train or other buses, Quick Shuttle drops you off in the downtown cores of Seattle and Vancouver, so you're not left to travel out of the bus depots (which are often outside of the city's center). It's therefor a very convenient way of getting from point A to point B.
When I travelled to the SeaTac airport from Vancouver using Quick Shuttle, I found that the buses were new, comfortable, and even had bathrooms on board. They were like those nice, big tour buses... more of a coach than a city bus.
I also found that most of the passengers seemed to be tourists and backpackers, and many people were friendly and chatty with one another. I had a really pleasant time using Quick Shuttle and would definitely recommend using it.
To visit sites that are located outside of downtown Seattle (in my case, I wanted to see the Fremont District), taking the bus is probably your best and cheapest option. You can ask your hotel for advice on the best routes, or the King County Metro Website offers a trip planner that's very easy to use. Tickets cost $2 unless your traveling during peak hours (6:00 to 9:00 am, 3:00 to 6:00 pm on weekdays), in which case tickets cost $2.25 for one zone and $2.75 for two zones. You sometimes need to pay as you get on the bus, but sometimes you pay as you leave - the bus driver will tell you when to buy your ticket. Tickets are valid for 3h, which is nice since it gave us enough time to walk around Fremont, enjoy a good lunch and get back to our hotel using the same ticket. It's also interesting to know that there is a free ride zone that covers the entire downtown area, from Pioneer Square to Belltown (Battery St.).
Some time back, the decision was made to discontinue the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar line and replace it with a bus. The track is still there, and there are apparently quite a number of discussions about weather the service should continue as a bus, or if modifications should be made to the streetcar and service resumed, or what else may be done to this route.
Currently, the service is bus route 99, which runs along Alaskan Way and serves all of the popular waterfront tourist destinations. This bus route is free to ride. At the south end of downtown, the route turns inward and stops at several places that serve as major transit junctions or points of interest. This includes Pioneer Square, King Street Station (long distance Amtrak trains), and the above ground piece of one of the Seattle Transit Tunnel stations on the south side of downtown.
For information about the route, see the King County Metro web site, listed below. You should also find the downtown Seattle transit map, featuring many bus routes, as it is a very helpful resource. This is also available on the web site below, but will require a bit of searching through their online map system. It is sized to print well on 11 inch x 17 inch (280mm x 432mm) paper. Even if you don't plan to use public transit at all, you will find the fact this map has of points of interest downtown to be helpful.
As seen in photo 2, due to the number of tourists that visit the Seattle waterfront, there are fairly large timetable signs that feature this bus route, hours of operation, location of stops, and route maps.
The Quick Shuttle has a service from SeaTac Airport, Downtown Seattle, Tulalip and Bellingham Airport.
Seatac Airport- Bus departs from the South end of Baggage Claim area outside door number 00 in Bays 11=16. Purchase tickets from the Grayline Airport Express Sales Booth or the Quick Shuttle Driver.
Downtown Seattle- Bus departs and tickets are sold at the Best Western Executive Inn, Taylor Ave North
Tulalip & Seattle Premium Outlets- Bus departs in the Tour Bus Loading Bays next to the Administration Office & the Adidas Store at the Seattle Premium Outlets. 24 hour advance reservations mandatory for pickup.
Bellingham Airport - Bus departs outside the Main Entrance, east of the Terminal building at the bus stop. 24 hour advance reservations mandatory for pickup.
Rates per person varies from Adult, Senior & Military, Student and Child. The price also depends whether it is one way or round trip or commuter.
For reservations Call 1-800-665-2122
Seattle's premier airport transportation service since 1987. It offers passenger vans, town cars and limos and provides a door-to-door, charter, scheduled and exclusive service. The service is safe, professional, drug-free drivers everyday, anytime and anywhere.
We used this service because when we travel, we travel as a family. When we don't have anybody to bring us to the airport, we call the this service. They actually come and pick us up in our house and the drivers are very courteous and they practice safety. When you have children, you can also request for car seats.
The drivers use the GPS and know when to drop you off at any airline check in at the airport. This is good to use when you don't have relatives to pick you up at the airport and you wanted to be transported to any location in Seattle or to your hotel of your choice.
Make sure to give yourself a lot of time when you are leaving for the airport. The drivers usually have other passengers to pick up. They usually do not tell you but the drivers pick up the farthest passenger. So, if your hotel is the farthest, you will end up stopping to many hotels or locations depending on how many calls the driver has that day.
Well,by now you may have made your decision...but, there is also Amtrak,which goes to Vancouver once a day. It is a pleasant trip and once in Vancouver, there are city buses, skytrain, and, a taxi of course. Downtown is only 2 stops from Amtrak on Skytrain. (not so good if you have more than one suitcase) We often take a shuttle bus from the Hotel Vancouver to Whistler. There are other shuttles,however. Most hotels will let you know.
Then,again,there is Greyhound. That is an okay trip on the express run,but a bit long on the other run(s). The express bus from Vancouver is fast and easy, for your trip back.
I have taken the shuttle from Bellingham airport, and I must say it takes a long,long time. It is not an option I will opt for again!
Good luck and have fun!
the underground Bus terminal is part of the Seattle Underground. Seattle in the 1800's elevated the city center by at least 36 feet so there were lots of abandoned areas here like tunnels, houses, warehouses, roads, etc. There are tours of the underground area offered and they start near the bus terminal.
Underground tours start at: 608 1st Ave # 200 Seattle, WA 98104
The city bus was a great choice to get around Seattle. The drivers were very helpful and the prices were affordable. Some people even brought their pets on the bus. Overall, the people in Seattle were friendly.
To get a good overview of the city take a tour with Show Me Seattle. They have 15 seater mini-coaches with excellent driver/guides. You are picked up at your hotel and returned there after the tour. The actual tour is about 2 hours, plus pick-up and drop-off time. The tour route does not take you to places that you can get to on public transport They also run a tour to the Boeing plant in Everett which is also not easy to get to by public transport. Being small these coaches can go to places that the big coaches cannot go.
Gray Line of Seattle runs a frequent airport shuttle service.
Takes about 30 minutes from the airport to downtown.
Price is $10.25 one-way, $17 round-trip (March 2006 prices). Tickets can be purchased from the driver, at the Downtown Airporter ticket counter at the south end of Sea-Tac International Airport baggage claim level, or from most downtown hotel conceirges.
Hotels served: Madisson Renaissance, Crowne Plaza, Fairmont Olympia, Hilton, Seattle Sheraton, Grand Hyatt, Westin Seattle and the Warwick Hotel.
There is also a Connector Service. This service is free for the following hotels:
Hotel Monaco, Hotel Vintage Park, Mayflower Park, Pacific Plaza Hotel, Red Lion Hotel on 5th Avenue, W Hotel and Hotel Max.
There is an additional $2.50 one-way/$5.00 round-trip Connector Service fee for the following hotels/services:
Alexis Hotel, Amtrak Station, Best Western Executive Inn, Best Western Loyal Inn, Best Western Pioneer Square, City Center Travelodge, Comfort Suites, Days Inn Town Center, The Edgewater, Greyhound Bus Station, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Inn at Virginia Mason, La Quinta Inn & Suites, Pier 52 - State Ferry Terminal, Quality Inn & Suites, Seattle Marriott Waterfront Hotel, Silver Cloud Inn - Lake Union, Travelodge by the Space Needle and the Victoria Clipper.
If you are going from Sea-Tac Airport to Downtown Seattle, there is a very cost-effective way to get there> King County Metro Bus 194
Cost: $2.00 peak [6-9am, 3-6pm], $1.25 off-peak [all other hours]
Journey takes 30 mins.
Leaves every 10 mins. between 8am and 5pm less often other times, check schedule link
Airport Bus stop: Outside Arrivals, past the last baggage turnstile]
There are two bus stops, be sure you are at the one with "194" on the sign.
Bus 194 stops in Downtown Seattle
4th & King
4th & Jefferson
4th & Marion
4th & University
4th & Pike
4th & Stewart
9th & Howell
2nd & Union
2nd & Spring
2nd & Marion
2nd & James
2nd & Jackson
Also, two Sound Transit Express Buses that leave the airport for other parts of the Seattle Metro area
560 Bellevue-Sea-Tac/West Seattle [doesn't go downtown]
574 Lakewood-Sea-Tac Airport
Several Sound Transit Express buses go between Downtown Seattle and other parts of the Greater Seattle metro area.
For the routes identifed below, go to this URL:
510 Everett - Seattle
513 Everett - Seattle
522 Woodinville - Seattle
577 Federal Way-Seattle
577 Federal Way-Seattle
592 DuPont/Lakewood - Seattle
594 Lakewood - Seattle
595 Gig Harbor - Seattle
you can get from just about anywhere in the US to seattle by greyhound bus.
taking the greyhound will mean rubbing shoulders with the lower layers of american soceity, but if you don't mind that then it's quite ok in my eyes.
lot's of american (who mostly never went by bus themselves) will say it's dangorous, but the busses are actually very well controlled and i would never be worried about taking the greyhound.