The SR 99 tunnel is open!
It is still important to explore your travel options
Thanks to commuters changing their habits during the SR 99 closure, traffic delays were reduced and buses kept moving. Perhaps you’ve found a commuting option to keep using even after the closure.
With more travel impacts coming up, check out the choices available to get around with ease. Take advantage of all the great public transportation options provided by King County Metro and its partners.
Work from home—the only way to commute in your slippers
If possible, working from home (or teleworking) is the comfiest option to avoid gridlock. 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 is an option.. Also 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 Period of Maximum Constraint? 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
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.
Buses and trains can get crowded at peak commute times. If it works for you, avoid traveling 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?
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.
To see how SR 99 buses are accessing downtown at the north end after the closure take a look at the northend pathways map.
Heading in from the South End?
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.
West Seattle buses are using different routes downtown to adapt to the new SR 99 tunnel, which uses Dearborn Street as its Downtown exit.
Getting to transit centers, rail stations and park & ride lots
Parking at many park & ride lots, light rail and Sounder train stations fill 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.
- Burien Transit Center - Routes 120, 121, 122, 123 & 131
- Redondo Heights - Route 190
- Star Lake Park & Ride - Routes 190 & 192
- Burien Church of God – Route 131 (at Burien Transit Center)
- Normandy Park Congregational Church – Route 131 (at the Burien Transit Center)
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.
- Reserve your parking space
- Apply for a Metro Carpool Parking Permit
- Apply for a Sound Transit Carpool Parking Permit
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.
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 out our Trip Planner tool, available on desktop and mobile devices. Or download the app for iPhone and Android here.
- Download transit tickets whenever you need them with Mobile app available for iPhones and Android: Metro's Transit GO Ticket app. Download the app today and have it ready when you need it!
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 added a second vessel on the West Seattle route during the SR 99 closure to significantly increase capacity and it was so successful that we decided to extend the service until March 27, 2019. Enjoy frequent headways during peak times and commute it style across Elliott Bay. Read about all of the ways you can connect to the Water Taxi in our brochure (PDF).
- 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? Try bikeshare and check for current promotions. 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.
Find a Metro Vanpool
Look for a Vanpool along your route
Enter complete home and work addresses below for the most accurate list results. Visit RideshareOnline.com to create and view custom trip lists with additional search filters, personal trip calendar, and available rewards.
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:
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.
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. Bikeshare providers are offering winter discounts. Until Feb. 15, JUMP will be waiving the $1 unlock fee. Lime is offering $1 off rides starting in West Seattle with the code PMCLIME.
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!
Options for driving downtown
The new SR 99 tunnel offers a new way to get through Downtown Seattle. Check out WSDOT's webpage to see how the new tunnel will work. Traffic downtown is still going to be an issue. 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 earlier or later to avoid the rush.
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.