Bus/Shuttle Service, Seattle
If your are arriving in Seattle at Sea-Tac airport, an inexpensive way to travel to downtown is the Airport Express bus. This great service is operated by Gray Line of Seattle stops at no fewer than 8 downtown hotels. One-way fare is $8.50 and roundtrip is $14.00 pp. (2004 prices) which is quite abit less expensive than 1 person would pay for a taxi. Tickets can be bought from the Sheraton Hotel & Towers, or Warwick Hotel and the Airport Booths located near the north & south baggage claim areas at Sea-Tac Airport.
I am not a big fan of using public busing but Seattle has a fairly good system. In the downtown core you can hope on and off the buses for free and outside of that specific zone it just jumps to $1.25 and then $2 something if you leave city limits. I thought it was very cheap.
I used it one morning and hoped on it at Second Avenue and Forth. This bus brings you to the airport and I can tell you it stops directly in front of the Museum of Flight; this was the reason for my journey.
My particular driver wasn't full of personality but I am sure most of them are. I can also tell you on the bus system you will experience some more interesting characters from all walks of life!
Here is the web site address so you can get more detail on the specific routes.
You might want to check out there web site before you go to Seattle for some getting around ideas.
They have a service from the airport, there is a hop on hop off double decker pass you could get and then there were several package tours you could do of the city or places like Mount St. Helen's and Rainer.
I really enjoyed the Mount St. Helen's tour but I have used Gray Line a few times now in different cities and I have to say I like it now.
If your in a city for a few days its a great way to either get oriented or to get outside the city and see what else is out there near by.
Seattle is not known for it's wonderful modes of transportation. We don't have a great train/subway system like San Francisco, New York or even Portland, OR. We do, however, have the bus! You can ride the bus throughout downtown for Free. Make sure to pay attention to the Free Zones. Or if you plane to travel outside of the downtown area you can buy a visitor pass for $5.00 which will allow you to ride all day for one day any place in the Seattle Metro area.
Downtown Seattle has a "Free Ride Area" where fare is waived. In theory, this makes going around Downtown Seattle easy. In practice, be prepared to wait for the bus you want.
All stations in the Metro Bus Tunnel are within the Free Ride Area. Since many bus routes use the tunnel, your waiting time there tends to be less. Note that while the Waterfront Streetcar operates within the Free Ride Area, it always requires a fare.
I was told by the travel agency who made the bookings for us to take the Greyline Express Van from the airport for $7.00 to the hotel. The price has gone up since 1994
Gray Line - Limited downtown hotels only - $10.25 one way / $17 round trip 206-626-6088
I did not take this service because I wasn't going to a downtown hotel, but to the training headquarters. But this looks like a lower cost option than a cab and more convenient than a regular bus especially with baggage.
In 2011, we had a Town Car pick us up at the airport because the alternative was to get the Shuttle Express (Cross skybridge 3 or 4 to the airport parking garage, then go down to the 3rd floor. Shuttle Express curb check-in is located near the purple elevator banks) or else take the light rail (more walking with luggage and a wheelchair). This cost us $45 plus tip for us and all our luggage
I also had a shuttle from the hotel to the cruise ship docks.
Instead of taking the cheaper van service from the airport to the hotel, I took the Shuttle Express to the site of my training. I paid $18.00 and gave a $2.00 tip. On the return trip I paid $19.00 for the ride to the airport.
The Executive Inn itself recommends the Shuttle Express as economical and easy.
"Take the sky bridge from the main terminal to the parking garage. Take the escalator down one floor and their office is right there. The cost is $21.00 first person, $3.00 for the second and $4.00 per additional adult."
"Shuttle Express (206-622-1424) leaves SeaTac Airport every 30-45 minutes."
Another site says: "Shuttle Express has hourly scheduled service to major hotels in Seattle and the Eastside. It also offers 24 hour, door-to-door, share-ride service for the entire area. Shuttles cost approximately $18 one-way."
Reservations: 425.981.7000 * WA Toll Free: 800.487.7433
Headquarters: 425.981.7070 * Fax 425.981.7071
Office Hours: 8:00A - 5:00P, Monday - Friday
800 SW 16th St., Renton, WA 98055
Apparently Seattle Metro encourages bike riding. I would have thought the city to be too hilly for that, but I guess not.
This is what the metro site says about it:
"Every Metro bus has a bicycle rack that can accommodate two bikes, and many of our vanpools are also equipped for transporting bikes. No special permit or extra fare is required.
"Metro does not permit bicycles inside buses for safety reasons.
"Bicycles may be loaded or unload at any bus zone at any time except in the Ride Free Area between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. During these hours, loading and unloading bikes is restricted to a route's first and last ride free stop and the tunnel stops at Convention Place and International District. This is a safety policy to reduce the potential of too many cyclists being between buses in heavy downtown traffic."
When we were in Seattle in 2011, Bob was looking at the street and he commented that there was some device on the front of the buses (it was a bike rack but Bob at first thought it was for skis and then said you'd need an engineering degree to work it) (photo 2)
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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
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 Metro Buses proved to be a convenient and effective method of transportation. The downtown and outlying areas appear to be well served by this system. An online trip planner is available. This will aid in determining the routes to take as well as proving a schedule.