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During the SR 99 closure be prepared for traffic delays and full buses during peak travel times Check out the travel options below that can help everyone get around until the new SR 99 tunnel opens.

Work from home—the only way to commute in your slippers

If possible, working from home (or teleworking) is the best (and comfiest) option during the SR 99 closure. You'll save time and stress while helping reduce the number of people sitting in traffic. Work with your employer to see if working from home during the closure is an option.

If you need to come into work, consider arranging a partial-day schedule that avoids peak travel times—usually 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Reducing the numbers of days you’re in the office helps reduce traffic.

Are you an employer interested in learning more about ways to incorporate teleworking into your existing commuter program or even doing a test of a program during the closure? Contact us about our WorkSmart program—a free consultation service from King County Metro.

Can’t work from home but still want to work closer to home? Try a coworking location in your neighborhood.

Bus, light rail, Sounder train—getting there together

Riding Transit

Twelve bus routes have changed paths following the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. They go to the same places and serve the same or similar stops, but travel times could be longer. Check out a set of videos to help you understand the routing for the south end Metro bus routes impacted by SR 99 closure coming into downtown Seattle: 21x, 37, 55-56-57, 113, 120, 121-122-123, 125 and C Line.

See the route maps here (including translated content).

Expect buses, trains and light rail to be more crowded than usual, especially during peak times from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. If you need to travel in or near Seattle, consider shifting your travel times. Anticipate longer travel times and unpredictable traffic delays.

Avoiding peak times will make for a more comfortable (and quicker) riding experience while freeing up space for others who can't shift their schedule. It's also a great excuse to grab a bite after work at that spot you've been meaning to try.

To help keep yourself informed about transit services sign up for alerts.

Coming in from the North End?

Accessing downtown Seattle from the north during the closure will be difficult, especially on SR 99. If you're looking for a sure way to dodge traffic, it might be time to try taking Link light rail or the Sounder train.

If you are traveling from farther north, try the Sounder train. It runs from Everett to Seattle with stops in Mukilteo and Edmonds. There are four trips into town in the morning and four back north in the evening.

Link light rail runs from the University of Washington through Capitol Hill and to downtown.

Bus service is available, but traffic will affect travel times and passenger capacity. If possible, plan a few backup routes and travel options in advance so you can adapt to day-to-day changes.

To see how SR 99 buses are accessing downtown at the north end during the closure take a look at the northend pathways map.

Heading in from the South End?

With especially heavy traffic into downtown during this time, it might be time to try taking Link light rail or the Sounder train.

Link light rail starts at Angle Lake and travels through SeaTac, Tukwila, the Rainier Valley and SODO into downtown and on to the University of Washington, with stops along the way.

The Sounder train starts in Lakewood and makes stops in Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, Auburn, Kent, Tukwila and Seattle.

Bus service is still an option, but will be facing heavy traffic and extra crowding during peak travel times.

No matter what commute option you choose, keep a backup or two in mind so you can adapt to day-to-day changes.

Interim and permanent southend pathways (PDF)

Getting to transit centers, rail stations and park & ride lots

Parking at many park & ride lots, light rail and Sounder train stations fills up early, so you might want to:

  • Check out bus routes to get to the station.
  • Have someone drop you off and avoid parking altogether.
  • Ride your bike—all transit centers and stations have bike racks and many have lockers. Find a location near you.
  • Use a carshare service, such as Zipcar, Car2go, or ReachNow, by downloading the respective apps on your phone and activating your account.
  • King County Metro has partnered with SDOT, Sound Transit, and the ridehailing companies Lyft, ReachNow, and Uber to encourage transit usage and reduce vehicle trips to Downtown Seattle during the closure. Those ridehailing companies are offering a $2.75 discount until February 15th for trips to and from select light rail stations and transit centers. To learn more, visit Seattle Traffic.

Metro park & ride lots

Metro provides service to more than 130 park & ride lots throughout King County where you can leave your car and hop on a bus. Some lots allow you to reserve a parking spot in advance. See Park & Ride information.

In addition to park & ride locations, the following park & rides and transit centers have parking capacity and are served by the downtown Seattle-bound routes listed below.

Many park & ride lots fill up early, but some parking spaces are reserved for carpoolers until 8:30 a.m. Some private lots allow you to reserve a parking spot in advance.

Go with an ORCA card!

The easiest and fastest way to pay your transit fares is with an ORCA card. If you transfer between systems within two hours, you receive a transfer credit for what you already paid. Get an ORCA card today at www.orcacard.com.

King County Metro's Just One Trip program also offers free ORCA cards for people using transit.

Sign up and give it a try!

Plan your trip

To plan a trip by bus, light rail or train, use one of our trip planning tools or call us at (206) 553-3000 for help with your transit options.

Try Metro's new text for departures tool—just text your stop ID to 62550 to find out when your service is scheduled or predicted at that stop. No subscriptions or downloads are needed.

Water taxi—sailing past traffic

The Water Taxi just might be your ticket to downtown—offering a 10-minute ride from Seacrest Park to downtown and a traffic-free 22-minute ride from Vashon Island. The Water Taxi has added a second vessel on the West Seattle route during the SR 99 closure to significantly increase capacity during weekday commute times. Read about all of the ways you can connect to the connect to the Water Taxi.

  • Vessels on the West Seattle route depart every twenty minutes during commute periods.
  • Water Taxi shuttles operate expanded service during the SR 99 closure on the #773 West Seattle Junction and #775 Alki Beach routes.
  • Pick-up and drop-off points at Seacrest Park are available, as well as extra parking near Seacrest Park at SW Bronson Way and Pier 2, utilizing connector shuttles to Seacrest for West Seattle riders.
  • Bike to the dock and either lock up at a rack or bring your bike aboard (Water Taxis have racks for 26 bikes). Don't own a bike? Bikeshare discounts are available during the SR 99 closure. See the bikeshare section for more details.
  • Pay with an ORCA card to save money and speed up the boarding process. Other forms of payment include mobile tickets (try Transit Go Tickets app), credit card purchases at our terminal ticket machines and exact cash fare collected onboard.
  • More parking is available near Seacrest Park at SW Bronson Way and Pier 2, utilizing connector shuttles to Seacrest for West Seattle riders.
  • Dedicated Metro vanshare parking is available at Don Armeni Park.
  • Ride2 is a brand new service for people who live or work in West Seattle and it’s available by app or phone. Enjoy on-demand rides to and from Metro buses at the Alaska Junction or the Water Taxi at Seacrest Park. Read the details.

Learn more about riding the Water Taxi

Rideshare—commuting is better together

King County Metro's Rideshare Operations can help you get around:

Vanpool
Many of our 1,600 vans are offering free rides in a Metro van with an empty seat during the closure. Plus, Metro Vans who add a new rider, can get rewarded!
Vanshare
Connect to the Water Taxi for free! Find two others to ride with and start a vanshare—which includes parking, gas and insurance. Your vanshare commute is FREE during the SR 99 closure!
Carpool
Every car off the road makes the commute a little bit smoother.

Find a Metro Vanpool

Look for a Vanpool along your route

Please visit www.RideshareOnline.com where you can create a free custom listing searching for matches on your trip.


We apologize but this seat finder is currently unavailable while undergoing maintenance.

Bike or walk—good for you, good for traffic

When traffic is slow, it's hard to beat biking or walking. Traveling on your own power builds exercise into your day and can clear your head for a fresh start or end to your work time. Here are some tips:

Bike

Try biking for all or part of your commute. If biking the whole trip isn't right for you, try riding to your bus, train or water taxi. Park your bike for the day at a rack or locker. Learn how to load your bike onto transit here. Check out our bike maps and resources to get started or set your favorite mapping app to the bike layer.

Many buildings have secure indoor bike parking, showers and clothes lockers. Ask your Employee Transportation Coordinator or building manager for more information.

On-street bike parking is available throughout downtown Seattle. Check out this commute portal map, click on the 'Public Bicycle Parking' tab then zoom in to your location.

Visit our bikes and transit page.

Bikeshare

Bikeshare is available throughout Seattle with rates starting at $1. Download a local bikeshare app, find an available bike on the map, unlock and off you go. Then lock it up.

Bikeshare is particularly great for connecting to or from a bus, train or water taxi and during the SR 99 closure providers are offering discounts. From Jan. 11 to Feb. 15, JUMP will be waiving the $1 unlock fee. Starting Jan. 9, Lime will be offering $1 off rides starting in West Seattle with the code PMCLIME.

Walk

Sometimes even walking is faster than sitting in traffic. Try getting on or off your bus at the edges of downtown to get around places where traffic is slower than usual. Getting on your feet might be just what you need to get out of a traffic jam!

Driving—it won't be easy, but it will be possible

If you do have to drive, consider carpooling and be sure to account for heavy traffic. Register on RideshareOnline.com and find carpool partners. If that isn't going to work for you, consider leaving much earlier or later to avoid the rush. Peak travel times are usually 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., but are expected to begin earlier and end later than typical rush hours during the closure.

I-5 Express Lanes

WSDOT uses Express Lanes to assist the flow of traffic during busy travel times. Contrary to common belief, the I-5 Express Lanes, and some on- and off- ramps between Northgate and downtown Seattle, can be used by single occupant vehicles.

Resource Links

Metro Twitter
@kcmetrobus
See what's happening on the street in real time with updates from Metro and its customers.
Commute Seattle
Commute Seattle is offering free viaduct closure planning assistance to all Seattle employers from now through January 2019!

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