Public Transit in Seattle – Enjoy the Wait

Public transit is a vital part of Seattle’s infrastructure, enabling residents and visitors to navigate the city efficiently.

With so many options at disposal, from light rail to ferries, Seattle’s transit system is designed to connect key areas and provide convenient travel solutions.

Since there are so many options to choose from, I would like to share some basic information about each.

I’m certain it will make your commuting much easier.

Link Light Rail

Link Light Rail Seattle

The Link Light Rail is a fast and reliable option, connecting Angle Lake to Northgate through downtown Seattle. Key Stops:

  • SEA Airport
  • University of Washington
  • Capitol Hill


  • Mon-Sat: 5:00 am – 1:00 am
  • Sun & holidays: 6:00 am – midnight
  • Fare: $2.25 – $3.50


  • Fast: The light rail offers a quick mode of transportation, reducing travel time significantly compared to driving or taking the bus.
  • Reliable: With frequent service and a robust schedule, the light rail ensures that passengers can count on it for timely travel.
  • Connects Key Areas: By linking major hubs like the airport, university, and popular neighborhoods, the light rail provides essential connections across Seattle.

Seattle Streetcars

Seattle Streetcars

Seattle’s streetcars offer convenient routes through key areas of the city.


  • South Lake Union Line: Connects South Lake Union to downtown, covering 1.3 miles with 9 stops
  • First Hill Line: Connects Capitol Hill to the International District, spanning 2.5 miles with 10 stops


South Lake Union Line:

  • Mon-Fri: 6:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • Sat: 7:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • Sun: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

First Hill Line:

  • Mon-Fri: 5:00 am – 10:30 pm
  • Sat: 6:00 am -10:30 pm
  • Sun: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm


  • $2.25 (coins, credit, ORCA cards)
  • $4.50 (all-day pass)

The streetcars are an excellent option for shorter, intra-city travel, connecting popular neighborhoods and providing easy access to local businesses and attractions.

Seattle Center Monorail

Seattle Center Monorail

The Seattle Center Monorail offers a quick and scenic route from Westlake Center to Seattle Center.

  • Route: Westlake Center to Seattle Center
  • Frequency: Every 10 minutes
  • Travel Time: 3 minutes each way
  • Fare: $3.50 one way


  • Mon-Thur: 7:30 am – 9:00 pm
  • Fri: 7:30 am – 11:00 pm
  • Sat: 8:30 am – 11:00 pm
  • Sun: 8:30 am – 9:00 pm


Seattle Busses

Seattle’s bus network is extensive, providing widespread coverage throughout the city and its suburbs.

King County Metro:

  • Extensive city network
  • Fare: $2.75
  • ORCA cards accepted

Sound Transit:

  • Connects Seattle to suburbs
  • Fare: $3.25
  • ORCA cards accepted

Community Transit:

  • Commuter routes to northern suburbs
  • Fare: $4.25


  • 5:00 am to midnight
  • Night owl options from 12:00 am – 5:00 am

The bus system is a versatile and cost-effective way to travel, offering frequent service and connections to various transit hubs.


Seattle Ferries

Ferries provide a scenic and relaxing way to travel across the water. Routes:

  • Seattle to Bainbridge Island: Hourly service, 30-minute journey, $9.85 fare
  • Seattle to Bremerton: Service every couple of hours, 60-minute journey, $9.85 fare
  • New Service: Fast ferry to Kingston, $10 outbound, $2 return

Ferry rides offer a unique travel experience with stunning views of the Puget Sound, making the journey as enjoyable as the destination.

Water Taxis

Water Taxies Seattle

Water taxis are a convenient option for quick trips across the water.

  • Route: Pier 50 to West Seattle (Seacrest Park)
  • Fare: $5 one-way with ORCA card, $5.75 with cash


  • Not operational on major holidays
  • Sunday schedule on other holidays

Water taxis provide a fast and scenic route, ideal for those looking to avoid traffic and enjoy a pleasant ride across the bay.


Trains In Seattle

Seattle’s train services connect the city to regional destinations. Sounder Commuter Rail:

  • Connects Seattle to northern and southern suburbs
  • Fare: $3.25-$5.75


  • Cascades: Seattle to Vancouver, BC and Portland
  • Fares vary by route and booking time

Children’s fare policy

Train travel offers a comfortable and efficient way to reach nearby cities, perfect for both daily commuters and weekend travelers.



The ORCA card is a versatile tool for Seattle’s public transit users.

  • Usage: Valid on all public transport modes
  • Purchase Points: Kiosks at the airport, various vendors in the city


  • Automatic Transfers Within 2 Hours
    • One of the most significant advantages of the ORCA card is the automatic transfer feature.
    • When you transfer from one mode of transportation to another within a two-hour window, the card automatically applies any applicable transfer discounts, saving you money and simplifying your travel experience.
  • Easy Reload via App
    • The ORCA card can be easily reloaded online via the ORCA website or through the ORCA app.
    • This feature allows users to add funds to their cards from the convenience of their homes or on the go, ensuring they never run out of fare.

The ORCA card simplifies travel, allowing seamless transfers between different modes of transportation and providing a convenient payment method.

Additional Options

Seattle offers various additional transportation options for last-mile connectivity and personal convenience.

  • Bike & Scooter Sharing: App-based services like Bird, Lime, Veo
  • Car Rentals & Ride Sharing: Available at SEA Airport and downtown locations
  • Shuttles: Airport shuttle services to downtown and cruise ships

These options provide flexibility for travelers, ensuring they can easily reach their final destinations regardless of their starting point.