King County Metro Transit Thorough and timely, Metro will take you anywhere you want to go in the city and beyond for about $2. Fares for seniors, students and children are discounted and bus travel in the downtown corridor is free. And if the bus might be your main mode of transportation, consider the automated ORCA card. ORCA costs $5 and is accepted by transit systems throughout the Puget Sound region. ORCA card value can be easily added online or by phone. For more information visit http://metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/bus/bus. html and www.orcacard.com
Zipcar is a handy resource for anyone doing that errand, interview or occasional carpool. The concept is used in cities throughout the country and has been simplified to a few easy steps. Sign up online, pay the $60 annual fee and find a car in your neighborhood. The hourly rate is $8. Members are issued a key card that will open the door of any Zipcar in the country. Just reserve the car you want and you’re good to go. Online at www.zipcar.com.
• Link Light Rail--Among the tiers of services Sound Transit offers throughout the Puget Sound, Link Light Rail is its most modern offering. The all-electric train whisks riders into downtown and curbside service at Sea-Tac airport in minutes. It currently serves the central and south neighborhoods and current construction will link Link to northern neighborhoods and the University of Washington. The maximum fare is $2.75 and ORCA cards are welcome. Visit www.soundtransit.orgfor schedules and station locations.
• ST Express –For that daytrip or Seattle-plus commute, Sound Transit Express regional bus is your ticket into Snohomish, King and Pierce counties. STE accepts ORCA cards and has reduced fares for seniors and veterans and provides access for persons with disabilities.
• Sounder TRAIN –Whether you want door-to-door service to a Sunday Seahawks game or just want to see the Puget Sound coastline, the Sounder is your distinctive choice. Washington State Ferries The big white boats take you and your vehicle across the Puget Sound to neighboring islands and even into Victoria, B. C. Quick, fun and affordable, and now serving local wines and microbrews, Washington State Ferries offers riders panoramic views of the Cascades, Olympics and the Seattle skyline. Visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/for schedules, destinations and rates.
Seattle’s eclectic nightlife comes with accommodating, 24-hour taxi service from several independent companies. Courteous drivers will get you to your destination safely and quickly. Rates are set by King County. There’s a $2.50 flat rate for picking you up, $2.50 for every mile, 50 cents for each extra passenger and 50 cents for every minute the driver waits at red lights. An additional gas surcharge is the only company variant.
Seattle Streetcar & monorail The quirky new addition to downtown Seattle and its thriving South Lake Union district is the Seattle Streetcar. Neighbors and workers can climb aboard for $2.50 and get some midday shopping done or grab lunch. Here the ORCA card works as well as do Metro transfers. Visit www.seattlestreetcar.comfor routes. Seattle Center Monorail –The monorail, created for the World’s Fair of 1962, was the first full-scale monorail system in the country. The elevated train travels from Seattle Center to the downtown shopping district of Westlake Center. This historical landmark is fun and quick. Just $2.25 for adults and discounted fairs for kids and seniors. Trains leave every 10 minutes. Check schedule for winter and summer hours. Visit www.seattlemonorail.comfor more.
All modes of transportation in Seattle move horizontally –
except one. The Space Needle elevator rockets you to the top of the city in under a minute. A ride in one of the copper-colored exterior elevators will set you back $19, but the views are worth millions. www.spaceneedle.com