Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Transit in Seattle got a huge boost when the Link light rail opened up to the SEA-TAC airport. No longer are wheelchairs at the mercy of taxi companies or have to find an accessible bus, this is a huge leap forward for visitors to the Emerald City.

The Link runs from Tukwila…just a bit north of the airport…to Westlake. That’s the downtown mall where the monorail runs from the Seattle Center (Space Needle).

When we went to Seattle in 2009, one of the things we noticed is that the transportation from the airport was OK, but could be a lot better…we saw the Link under construction and thought of how convenient that would be. Going back to the airport, this will be a godsend. I remember being left high and dry when the taxi I reserved to go back never showed up…I’ll be glad never to have to use them again.

We also went to a Mariners game and noticed the atrocious lack of public transportation from the stadium (there was limited train service during weekend games but none during the week). After the game, thousands of fans would be elbowing for a spot on the one bus that came by every 20 minutes or so to go back downtown (a transfer was also required). The Link service would be much nicer.

The Link joins the Sounder Commuter Rail service, which really only helps the rush-hour 
passengers, and the mostly excellent King Country Metro Transit bus service.

One thing we really liked about Seattle is that the Metro bus service went nearly everywhere, with multiple lines, frequent accessible service during the day, and some of the friendliest transit workers we’ve ever encountered. We took the power chair to Seattle and had virtually no problems getting around.

Another great feature of the Metro service is that trips beginning and ending in the downtown zone are free during the day.

Another unique transit option here are the Washington State Ferries that shuttle commuters along the Puget Sound to destinations like Bainbridge Island and even Victoria in British Columbia.

Seattle is famous for its monorail service, built in 1962 for the World’s Fair. It is still in service and is accessible but seems unreliable. After about 3 tries, we finally got to ride it but most of the time we were there it was broke down. One time, we saw the fire department evacuating the trains with ladder trucks due to another breakdown. I don’t recommend it at this time.

All services listed above are wheelchair accessible.

Pictures courtesy of Wikimedia
Atomic Taco under CC-SA license
Joe Mabel under CC-SA license
Klaus with K under CC-SA license


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