Catching the train in Seattle

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We arrive in Seattle on the Empire Builder Monday afternoon, 7 February 2022, leave again Wednesday morning (9th) on the Coast Starlight departing at 09:45 am.

We tend to prefer to use public transport where possible and getting from King Street Station to our hotel near the junction of Westlake Ave and Denny Way looks easy, a No. 40 bus all the way. We will/may take the same bus back to King Street on the Wednesday morning, here is the question.

A couple of years ago we met someone from Seattle who told us traffic in downtown had become really bad over the last few years, will this affect or badly affect the bus schedules?

We aim to be at King Street around 08:00 am for the 09:45 am departure (we'd like to spend a little time looking around the station), is it a safe bet to arrive about on time if we ride a bus that meets that schedule or should we travel even earlier? One of us isn't an early morning person, it isn't Rosie, so having an extra half hour in bed is always good but of course we don't want to take chances either. If we have to travel earlier then that's what we will do.

Anyone here familiar with today's Seattle that can offer an opinion?

Thanks
 

Chris I

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We arrive in Seattle on the Empire Builder Monday afternoon, 7 February 2022, leave again Wednesday morning (9th) on the Coast Starlight departing at 09:45 am.

We tend to prefer to use public transport where possible and getting from King Street Station to our hotel near the junction of Westlake Ave and Denny Way looks easy, a No. 40 bus all the way. We will/may take the same bus back to King Street on the Wednesday morning, here is the question.

A couple of years ago we met someone from Seattle who told us traffic in downtown had become really bad over the last few years, will this affect or badly affect the bus schedules?

We aim to be at King Street around 08:00 am for the 09:45 am departure (we'd like to spend a little time looking around the station), is it a safe bet to arrive about on time if we ride a bus that meets that schedule or should we travel even earlier? One of us isn't an early morning person, it isn't Rosie, so having an extra half hour in bed is always good but of course we don't want to take chances either. If we have to travel earlier then that's what we will do.

Anyone here familiar with today's Seattle that can offer an opinion?

Thanks
You shouldn't have any problems. Even if your 40 bus doesn't show up, you can always take the streetcar down to Westlake and then grab one of many buses, or even Link light rail to get down to King Street station. The busses can get a bit delayed with traffic, but they tend to keep a pretty good schedule downtown. You have a lot of buffer time in your schedule already, it looks like.
 

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Thanks very much Chris, that is a big help. Trying to avoid transferring at Westlake Station as we'll have bags with us, but using a tram and light rail is an interesting option.

Sorry another question. Can we buy a single ticket whatever transport we use?
 

zephyr17

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If you take the 40 bus all the way, you just pay the fare as you board.

If you do a transfer at Westlake you have to pay two fares. There are no longer any paper transfers. To do it on one fare you need to do it electronically using an ORCA card.
 

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If you take the 40 bus all the way, you just pay the fare as you board.

If you do a transfer at Westlake you have to pay two fares. There are no longer any paper transfers. To do it on one fare you need to do it electronically using an ORCA card.
Thanks, I'll investigate ORCA cards further.

We were in Seattle about 3 years ago staying at the aiport, we went into King Street a couple of times using the Light Railway, but didn't use any other form of transport at the time. We had ORCA cards for that but don't remember much about them, I think they were pretty easy to obtain and use, a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then.

Thanks again for your help.
 

Mark P

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You don't even need to get an ORCA card if you are just a visitor. Download the TransitGo app, you can buy all fares there and show them to the bus driver on your phone. For the light rail, it's honor system as they have not been enforcing fare collections since the start of COVID.
 
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anumberone

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Thanks very much Chris, that is a big help. Trying to avoid transferring at Westlake Station as we'll have bags with us, but using a tram and light rail is an interesting option.

Sorry another question. Can we buy a single ticket whatever transport we use?
What’s your plans for the Seattle area while there. Just nosy.
 

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You don't even need to get an ORCA card if you are just a visitor. Download the TransitGo app, you can buy all fares there and show them to the bus driver on your phone. For the light rail, it's honor system as they have not been enforcing fare collections since the start of COVID.
Don't use a smart phone, maybe it's time to get one?

Thanks for the info, once again what a fabulous forum this is.
 

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What’s your plans for the Seattle area while there. Just nosy.
Well, nothing too exciting, we are only there for a day and a half.

Most important is the Bremerton ferry, second is the Space Needle to catch sight of the mountains and islands in mid winter. For the rest we'll just wander around the city and try to stay out of trouble.
 

Chris I

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Well, nothing too exciting, we are only there for a day and a half.

Most important is the Bremerton ferry, second is the Space Needle to catch sight of the mountains and islands in mid winter. For the rest we'll just wander around the city and try to stay out of trouble.
Without a smart phone, I would recommend picking up ORCA cards when you arrive at King Street. You will be able to just tap on and off on all busses, light rail, and ferries. Load them up with $20 and hit the city.


We only go to Seattle once or twice a year, but we have ORCA cards that we bring with us. It just makes things easier and faster.
 

Dakota 400

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Don't use a smart phone, maybe it's time to get one?
In the last 24 hours, I have been taken to the "woodshed" on another travel forum because I don't have a smartphone. Some much enjoy spending lots of money that rewards the manufacturers of these devices as well as the communication companies that sell their services so that one can use those marvels of technology.
 

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Well, nothing too exciting, we are only there for a day and a half.

Most important is the Bremerton ferry, second is the Space Needle to catch sight of the mountains and islands in mid winter. For the rest we'll just wander around the city and try to stay out of trouble.
 

anumberone

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Happy to hear you are taking the Bremerton ferry. A couple of suggestions, to the right of the Bremerton ferry Bldg is the Vietnam era Destroyer USS TURNER JOY you can take an interesting self guided tour. Or the Bremerton Navy yard Museum is just on the left side of the ferry bldg.
 
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v v

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In the last 24 hours, I have been taken to the "woodshed" on another travel forum because I don't have a smartphone. Some much enjoy spending lots of money that rewards the manufacturers of these devices as well as the communication companies that sell their services so that one can use those marvels of technology.
That's why this forum is the only social media we belong to... what a pity that tolerance is sometimes in short supply


Happy to hear you are taking the Bremerton ferry. A couple of suggestions, to the right of the Bremerton ferry Bldg is the Vietnam era Destroyer USS TURNER JOY you can take an interesting self guided tour. Or the Bremerton Navy Museum is just on the left side of the ferry bldg.
Thanks for that, which of the two would you choose?

If we were taking the air on Santa Monica beach in February, would we bump into you?
 

BCL

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In the last 24 hours, I have been taken to the "woodshed" on another travel forum because I don't have a smartphone. Some much enjoy spending lots of money that rewards the manufacturers of these devices as well as the communication companies that sell their services so that one can use those marvels of technology.
Some sort of mobile technology is pretty ubiquitous these days. But it doesn't necessarily need to be a smart phone, although I'd say that one has bailed me out when traveling when just mobile phone would not have.

I do remember a time when just having access to Wi-Fi was the best that most people could hope for. But then the issue would be whether or not that access is available when you need it.

Whether or not anyone chooses this sort technology is personal. I get it. However, the default these days is that people have some sort of smart phone, so it's difficult for many to give advice that doesn't involve using one when appropriate. I have had someone ask to use my device in an emergency, but that's not always going to be available.
 

anumberone

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That's why this forum is the only social media we belong to... what a pity that tolerance is sometimes in short supply




Thanks for that, which of the two would you choose?

If we were taking the air on Santa Monica beach in February, would we bump into you?
I would really like to hook up in Santa Monica, just put it out when you will be here. I don’t know what to suggest as far as the ship or museum, they are both close and interesting if you have Time for one. Not too much going on in Bremerton during the day in winter time, besides rain.
 
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Barb Stout

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In the last 24 hours, I have been taken to the "woodshed" on another travel forum because I don't have a smartphone. Some much enjoy spending lots of money that rewards the manufacturers of these devices as well as the communication companies that sell their services so that one can use those marvels of technology.
Yes, Verizon and Comcast (or is it Xfinity?) get quite a bit of our money.
 

Sidney

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Well, nothing too exciting, we are only there for a day and a half.

Most important is the Bremerton ferry, second is the Space Needle to catch sight of the mountains and islands in mid winter. For the rest we'll just wander around the city and try to stay out of trouble.
I rode the Bremerton ferry last month. Great value for seniors $6 round trip.
 

alpha3

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In the last 24 hours, I have been taken to the "woodshed" on another travel forum because I don't have a smartphone. Some much enjoy spending lots of money that rewards the manufacturers of these devices as well as the communication companies that sell their services so that one can use those marvels of technology.
Well, no spankings in the 'woodshed' here; just to give you a different angle, there are others besides the Verizons, Sprints, TMobiles, etc, of this world. There's TingMobile, USA Cellular, Consumer Cellular, just to name a few. I use my smartphone quite a bit, my monthly bill varies from $30 to around $48. It's never been more than $52. (I forget what I did that caused that). Phones themselves don't have to be expensive; you can get quite good ones for a couple hundred, (or you can spend over a grand for an iPhone). I'm older, and especially since COVID, I find I use my phone a lot. I especially love the Maps/GPS features. But many restaurants have gone to QR codes instead of menus, and for my doctor visits I'm required to sit in my car until I'm called by phone to enter the office.
That's why this forum is the only social media we belong to... what a pity that tolerance is sometimes in short supply
Yea, I think it's silly of people to get prickly with someone that doesn't want to use a phone. Nowadays though, so much is done via smartphones I think it's almost a handicap not to have one; but YMMV.
 

flitcraft

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Yea, I think it's silly of people to get prickly with someone that doesn't want to use a phone. Nowadays though, so much is done via smartphones I think it's almost a handicap not to have one; but YMMV.
I quite agree that it's becoming harder and harder to get around without one, unfortunately. For example, my season tickets are now phone-only--no ability to print a paper ticket, ostensibly to reduce contact time during COVID, but I suspect it'll be that way permanently. And don't get me started on the pointlessness of digital-only coupons at the same grocery stores that issue me 'loyalty cards' good for most but not all sale items. I used to only carry my phone when traveling out of town, but it's become harder and harder not to have it all the time. Good for those who are tracking me and selling my data I suppose, but I don't see how it's been a plus for me personally. (Of course, I'm not on any social media, so if I were I would guess that having the phone to hand would be more important...)
 

jebr

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Don't use a smart phone, maybe it's time to get one?

Thanks for the info, once again what a fabulous forum this is.
Since you're going to be there for a couple days, an ORCA card is probably best. The ORCA cards are still more universally accepted, and if you're transferring between systems the ORCA card is the only way to get the transfer benefit. When we visited earlier this year, we just loaded our cards up with a couple of day passes ($8/day/person) and put some stored value on it (around $10) to cover anything that the day pass didn't cover. While it sounds like Sound Transit isn't enforcing using passes at this point, that might change by February, and you'd be looking at buying two fares if transferring between the tram and the light rail if you don't have an ORCA card (separate phone tickets would be required.)

A lot of transit agencies in the US still have non-smartphone options that are (generally) at parity or better than what smartphones can offer, in part because many transit riders either don't have a smartphone or don't have an easy way to load money into an app. I don't see that changing anytime soon.
 

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Yes, Verizon and Comcast (or is it Xfinity?) get quite a bit of our money.
Was on Verizon for about 15 years and very pleased with the service (not necessarily the price) And I've been with Comcast/Xfinity (TV, Internet, WiFi) for 40+ years. When Xfinity Mobile started I found out they utilize the Verizon network. So as soon as my contract was up I changed over to Xfinity Mobile and save bookoo money with the same coverage. I needed new phone anyway. Oh they still go by both names Comcast and Xfinity.
 
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