Does Seattle Have Good Public Transportation? A Must-Read

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Does Seattle Have Good Public Transportation

If you’re considering moving to Seattle then questions like “Does Seattle have good public transportation” should get your attention. This is true for Seattleleites who may not want to get around using their cars. 

So, if you’re considering moving to Seattle and public transportation is a significant concern, read this article from start to finish. 

Does Seattle Have Good Public Transportation System?

Yes, Seattle has a good public transportation system. Redfin’s study shows that Seattle is among the top 10 best transit cities in the United States. 

The study shows that Seattle ranks seventh in the list of U.S. cities with the best public transit. It ranked 10th in 2016 but has now climbed to 7th.   

With the improvement Seattle has made in its public transit system over the years, it’s safe to say that it may soon overtake a lot of cities. Redfin’s Transit Score ranking indicates that San Francisco is the only city on the West Coast that is ranked above Seattle for the best public transit system. 

A Handy Tip: A recent study by WalletHub indicates that Seattle boasts the best public transportation network in the United States. 

The study ranked 100 U.S. cities using 17 metrics. These include the number of commuters that use public transport, connectivity, miles of bus lanes, average commute time for transit vs. bus, etc. 

Here is what Seattle scored in WalletHub’s study:

Accessibility and Convenience Rank = 7

Safety and Reliability Rank = 6

Public Transit Resources Rank = 3

How To Use Seattle Public Transportation

Seattle has a commendable transport system controlled by King County Metro, which maintains a vast collection of buses in the city. 

Sound Transit also operates with King County Metro, making getting around the city a breeze for commuters. Though Metro only operates within King County, they link cities and various communities.

You may be wondering how far you can go with the King County Metro and Sound Transit. Here is a quick breakdown. 

The King County Metro operates in downtown Seattle. To the north, they can take you as far as Mountlake Terrace. While to the south, they can take you as far as Federal Way. 

Most people fancy Sound Transit because it links cities and communities. To the north, they can take you as far as Everett. To the south, you can travel as far as DuPont and Tacoma via Sound Transit. To the east, you can travel as far as Sammamish and Issaquah. 

Understanding how the King County Metro and Sound Transit operate is crucial for getting around Seattle. While Metro involves bus systems, Sound Transit involves Link Light Rail, express buses, and commuter trains. 

The Link Light Rail and Sounder commuter trains are many commuters’ favorites. Why? They offer commuters a chance to beat the traffic and arrive at their destinations on time. 

Reasons To Use Seattle Public Transportation

If you’re thinking of moving to Seattle or any part of the country, transportation will always be a significant concern. Most people may consider using their car to get around Seattle. 

However, there are numerous reasons to consider public transport in Seattle. Below are some of the reasons. 

1: Using public transport offers you the opportunity to get around Seattle conveniently and fast too. You’ll get around traffic and arrive at your destinations without wasting precious time.

A Handy Tip: Seattle’s peak traffic hours are between 3 – 6 a.m. and 3 – 6 p.m., according to the SDOT (Seattle Department of Transport), and every Seattle resident knows this. The congestion is even worse on Fridays at 4:00 p.m. 

Thursday afternoons are also among the worst periods to travel around Seattle. The congestion is highest around 3 – 6 p.m. 

So if you have an appointment and don’t want to arrive late, public transport may be the best option to beat the traffic. 

2: You’ll enjoy reduced or free transport fares. Seattle makes commuting a breeze for seniors, children, and people with special needs. 

Children up to 18 years can use Seattle public transport free of charge. Seniors with the Regional Reduced Fare Permit will have to pay reduced fees. $2.75 is the current base fare, but they’ll pay a reduced price.

3: Seattle’s public transport system is well-organized, and you’ll have access to a wide range of transport systems to choose from. For instance, you can travel via Metro buses or use Sound Transit which offers Sounder commuter trains, express buses, and Link Light Rail. 

With these options, you will always enjoy using Seattle public transportation. However, consider the destination you’re heading to when deciding the public transport to use. 

How To Pay For Seattle Public Transportation System

Paying for Seattle’s public transportation is a breeze. You can pay with cash or via ticket transfer. And don’t forget to ask the driver for a paper transfer when you enter the bus, as it would serve as your receipt. 

Note also that Metro fare is for the Metro transportation system. In other words, you cannot use your Metro fare for another transportation system. It doesn’t work like that. 

Another thing you need to know before paying cash in the public transportation system in Seattle is that you won’t be given change. So, ensure you have the actual amount for the fare before you board the bus or train.  

You have to forfeit your change. So ensure you carry the needed amount if you don’t want to lose your change. 

Is Seattle Public Transportation Available On Weekends?

The beauty of public transport in Seattle is that many Metro transport systems operate seven days a week. They work on weekends, and some even operate round the clock. 

But don’t assume all Metro buses or the public transport system in Seattle operates around the clock. Check the bus schedule to be sure before heading out. This way, you won’t get disappointed if it so happens that the bus for your proposed route isn’t working. 

How Accessible Is Seattle Public Transportation To People With Special Needs?

Seattle’s WalletHub’s accessibility and convenience ranking is 7. The city’s transportation system is ranked one of the best in the United States of America. 

The Metro buses are convenient, and equipment with lifts or ramps makes it easier for scooters, wheelchairs, or people with issues climbing steps to get on the bus conveniently. 

You can get around Seattle via a wide range of transportation systems. And note that getting to certain places via buses, cars, light trails, or trains isn’t possible. 

So, here are other transportation systems you can use in Seattle. 

  • Taxis
  • Ferries
  • Bikes
  • Streetcars
  • Seattle monorail

Must-know Tips That Will Make Your Journey Across Seattle Convenient 

If you’re moving to Seattle, these tips will help you travel around the city easily. 

  • Public transport in Seattle is good. But note that you cannot travel everywhere by public transport, including your car. You may have to use ferries, monorails, or other means of transportation. 
  • Despite Seattle’s eye-catching public transit system, cars remain the dominant form of transportation. And this means traffic in the city is ghastly.  
  • A single blocking incident on the road or drawbridge opening on one of the city’s numerous bridges can make commuting frustrating. 
  • Bike commuting is popular in Seattle, as many locals claim the buses don’t run well enough in some areas. 
  • Seattle is a hilly place. Thus, if there’s unusual snow, bus routes might change. Why? It will be dangerous for buses to move to certain areas.
  • If you plan to move around downtown on foot, prepare for some workouts. The city is hilly, and you know what happens when you try to go up a hill. However, you’ll have a wonderful experience walking around this city. 


So, does Seattle have good public transportation? Yes, it does. When you check the Transit Score, you’ll find that Seattle ranks seventh. WalletHub’s recent study comparing 100 cities using 17 metrics shows that Seattle has the best public transportation network. 

This city boasts a range of transportation systems, giving commuters options. You can use buses, monorail, ferries, cars, Link Light Rail, trains, bikes, and taxis. 

In addition, children 18 years and below don’t pay for public transport. It’s entirely free. Seniors may also pay reduced bus fares, thanks to the city’s program for seniors. 

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Susan Tapia is an ambitious, savvy news writer with a vibrant personality and an eye for detail. She is highly experienced in crafting compelling stories and dedicated to seeking out the truth. With her inquisitive nature, she delves deep into every subject she touches, uncovering unexpected facts that help her engage her readers. Susan has an unbridled passion for writing, and she strives to inspire others through her work. She confidently shares her thought-provoking ideas with enthusiasm and candor, making sure the world can see the truth no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Simply put, Susan Tapia is a trailblazer in the journalism industry who never fails to deliver her readers riveting stories they won't soon forget.

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