Multi-modal (bike, bus, ferry, plane, train)
travel in Seattle, King County & the Northwest

 

As a visitor to Seattle, King County, or other parts of the Northwest, there are plenty of opportunities to reduce your carbon foot-print by combining a variety of modes of transportation.  Here is a collection of tips and links to make any transitions go more smoothly.

[We have provided some price information for comparison purposes, but season, inflation, fuel-surcharges and greed change these faster than we can keep track of them. Consider this information only advisory. Feel free to email changes at ibike @ibike.org (remove the space).]

Boats & Bikes /Buses & Bikes / Planes & Bikes / Trains & Bikes / Rental Bike Locations

[Note: Bicyclists are required to wear a helmet in Seattle and King County.]

Planes & Bikes

For many visitors their first stop in the area is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SeaTac Airport).  It is not the most pleasant place to bicycle out of but it is possible and the local governments give you some aid in route finding (information on leaving SeaTac by bus is in under Buses & Bikes):

The conventional bike route from the airport to downtown Seattle is (Google Maps shows a slightly different route near the airport which we haven't tested.):

  • Follow the pedestrian route to International Blvd,
  • Cross International Blvd
  • Turn left and follow International Blvd to S. 170th St.
  • Turn left on S 170th St, and continue to Air Cargo Road.
  • Turn right on Air Cargo Road and continue to 24th Ave S.
  • Turn right on 24th Ave S and continue to S. 128th St.
  • Turn left on S. 128th St and continue to Des Moines Way S.
  • Turn right on Des Moines Way S and continue to 14th Ave S.
  • Continue on 14th Ave S to Dallas Ave S
  • Turn left on Dallas Ave S and continue to 10th Ave S
  • Turn right on 10th Ave S and continue to S Kenyon St
  • Turn left on S Kenyon St and continue to 5th Ave S
  • Turn right on 5th Ave S and continue to S Holden St
  • Turn left on S Holden St and continue to 2nd Ave S
  • Turn right on 2nd Ave S and continue to the Duwamish Trail/Bikeway
  • Turn right onto the Duwamish Trail and to the pedestrian ramp to the 1st Ave S Bridge
  • Hairpin right turn on to the 1st Ave S Bridge pedestrian route and continue to S Front St
  • Turn left on S Front St and continue to E. Marginal Way S
  • Turn left on E Marginal Way S and continue to 1st Ave S
  • Turn right on 1st Ave S and continue to S. Lander St  (to go to Pioneer Square continue on 1st Ave S  for 3 miles)
  • To go to the International District, turn right on S. Lander St and continue to the SODO Busway
  • Cross the SODO Busway and immediately turn left on to the bikeway, which parallels the busway, and continue to Royal Brougham Way
  • Turn right on Royal Broughham Way and continue to 6th Ave S (300 ft)
  • Turn left on 6th Ave S and continue to Airport Way S
  • Turn left on Airport Way S and continue to 6th Ave S (160 ft)
  • Turn right on 6th Ave S and continue into the International District

The airport is also served by low emission vehicle (LEV) Prius taxis, but we aren't aware of any that are equipped with bike racks.  If you are only one person and one bike, there rear seats fold down and will accommodate most bike boxes and cases.  If  you are traveling with a folding bike, like a Bike Friday, several travelers should be able to share a taxi.

Buses / Light Rail & Bikes

All transit agencies (there is at least one for each county -- see below) in the region have a front rack that carry two bikes and bikes are allowed on "Light Rail" and "Sounder" (commuter trains). There is no additional charge for a bicycle. For the buses, if the bike rack is full, you will have to wait for the next bus.  In most areas these racks are rather lightly used.

Metro Transit (Seattle and King Co. buses and street cars) and Sound Transit Regional Express (rail, light rail and buses in the Everett-Seattle-Tacoma region) are the primary service providers for Seattle and King County.  Complete bus schedules and other information is available on their websites.

SeaTac Airport is served by Central Link Light Rail. Sound Transit and to a lesser extent Metro Transit

Central Link Light Rail runs from a station at the airport, to Tukwila, four stations in the Rainier Valley, Beacon Hill, two stations in the south Seattle industrial area (SODO), and four stations under downtown Seattle (International District, Pioneer Square, University Street and Westlake Center).  At the airport, to get to the light rail station use one of the sky bridges to cross from the terminal to the parking garage, stay on the sky-bridge-level, turn left and walk. Keep walking and follow the ark around.  Depend upon where you are starting from, the walk can be any where from 300 meters to nearly a kilometer.  The cost to get to downtown is about $2.75.  Fare can be purchased at the station.  The train leave every 10-20 minutes, depending upon the time of day.

Sound Transit #560 runs between West Seattle, SeaTac Terminal, and Bellevue on the eastside of Lake Washington. Sound Transit #574 operates from SeaTac Terminal south to Pierce Co. via Federal Way, Tacoma, and Lakewood.  Sound Transit buses arrive at and leave from the bays on the baggage claim area near door number 6 (beyond international arrivals - carousal #1). Departure times are shown on information signs at the bus stop. 

Near the airport: Metro #140 serves Burien and Renton via the Tukwila Light Rail Station; Metro #174 runs from Tukwila Light Rail Station, past the airport on International Blvd to Federal Way, and Metro #180 runs from Burien to Kent, past the airport on International Blvd.

Other transit agencies in the region are:

Green Tortoise, Offers seasonal, leisurely, bus service along the west coast and to national parks across the nation..

Greyhound, www.greyhound.com, serves Seattle from the north, east and south.  The Greyhound bus station is located at the south end of downtown at 6th and Royal Brougham.  Bike boxes are sold for $10. A charge of $20 - $30 (depending on the distance traveled) will be charged for any baggage larger than the 62 inch limit.  See Greyhound's "Baggage Information," www.greyhound.com/en/help-and-info/travel-info/baggage.

Grey Line of Seattle, www.graylineofseattle.com, provides connecting bus shuttle service between SeaTac International Airport and several major Seattle hotels (passenger $8.50).  Bike should be able to fit in the luggage compartment, but we have no information on bicycle policies.

Shuttle Express, www.shuttleexpress.com, provides door-to-door shared-ride-van service between SeaTac International Airport and locations in King Co (Seattle), Pierce Co. and Snohomish Co., from $24 one way.  Luggage capacity is limited so bikes might be problematic.  We have no information on bicycle policies.

Private door-to-door options are: town cars / limousines (STILA) from ~$35 one way (stationed at the Airport, picks up passengers on the third floor of the Parking Garage.), and taxi cabs (STITA) from ~$30 one way (available on the third floor of the Parking Garage; sedans, station wagons and large vans are available.)  No information on bicycle policies.

Bellair Airporter Shuttle, www.airporter.com/shuttle/, has service from SeaTac to Cle Elum, Ellensburg and Yakima, and Marysville, Stanwood, Mount Vernon, Bellingham, Blaine, Anacortes, and Oak Harbor.  Sample fare: Seattle to Anacortes $33 one way / bicycles $10.

Capital Aeroporter, www.capair.com, from SeaTac Airport provide shuttle services to the major cities and towns in Pierce, Thurston, Grays Harbor, Lewis and Mason Counties. Sample fare: SeaTac to Olympia $41 one way / bicycles are $5.

Grey Line Express offers shuttle service between SeaTac and Tacoma, Olympia, Centralia, Longview, Everett, Mt. Vernon, Bellingham, and Vancouver BC, Canada.  No information on bicycle policies.

Olympic Bus Service, www.olympicbuslines.com, provides service between Port Townsend/Sequim and Seattle/SeaTac via Kingston-Edmonds (passengers $39-$49 one way / bicycle $10 - maximum two per van.).

Quick Shuttle, www.quickcoach.com/schedule.htm, offers service between SeaTac, Seattle, Bellingham, Vancouver Airport and Vancouver BC (Canada).  Sample fare: Seattle to Vancouver $42 one way.  No information on bicycle policies.

Boats & Bikes

All of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Washington State Ferries (WSF) crossing Puget Sound and serving the San Juan Islands accommodate bicycles -- there is virtually no limit.  There is an extra charge.  The charge varies depending upon the run.  The Fauntleroy-Vashon/Southworth, Seattle-Bremerton and Seattle-Bainbridge Island serve Seattle.  For more information see www.wsdot.wa.gov/bike/travel.htm.

The Victoria Clipper, www.clippervacations.com, sails daily between Seattle and Victoria. It Seattle dock is at the north end of the main waterfront.  Each boat will take a couple of bikes.  There is a $10 surcharge.  Other ferries that serve Vancouver Island are M.V. Coho, www.cohoferry.com  (passenger $13.50 / bicycles $5.25)  and Victoria Express, www.victoriaexpress.com (passenger $12.50 / bicycle $5), from Port Angeles, Washington and B.C. Ferries, www.bcferries.com, from the British Columbia mainland.

The State of Alaska's Marine Highway System, www.akferry.org, offers ferry service between Bellingham WA and Alaska.

Trains & Bikes

The main passenger train service, Amtrak, in the area is mostly north-south, serving British Columbia and Oregon. There is some service east from Seattle to Spokane and beyond.  If your travels include the train, Amtrak uses the King Street Station on the south edge of downtown, between the International District and Pioneer Square, and just north of the highly visible football stadium.  Not all trains take bikes. To sort out the particulars of using the train go to Amtrak: Bringing Your Bike Onboard. In you are arriving by train, leaving the station, your first impressions of Seattle might not be so positive, but don't despair, Seattle have much better to offer starting just a few blocks away.

There is also commuter train service between Tacoma, Seattle and Everett, operated by Sound Transit.  The service is limited and tailored to the travel patterns of commuters.  These trains use the King Street Station, the same station as Amtrak.

Other Links

Bicycle Trails in the Pacific Northwest

Free bicycle maps for Washington State

Regional Background Information and Links

Washington State / British Columbia Bike Tour

Seattle Heritage Bike (and Walking) Tours Home page

Seattle Custom Bike (and Walking) Tours Routes and Rates (year around)

 

   

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