Metro Transit offers local and express service from several “Park and Ride” areas to downtown Seattle and other hubs of employment. Metro service on the Eastside serves even the far-reaching areas of King County in the Cascade Mountains. There are transit centers in Bellevue, Renton and Kirkland that allow bus riders to reduce the wait time when transferring buses during off-peak periods or when traveling on lower-demand routes. For more information on routes or fares, call 206-533-3000 or visit www.transit.metrokc.gov.
Sharing rides with neighbors and co-workers is another way to reduce the cost of commuting. Carpool and vanpool information, as well as discounts for downtown parking, are available by calling the Metro Rideshare Hotline at (888) 814-1300.
Bicycling to Work
Weather permitting, as many as 8,000 people ride bicycles to work in Seattle and the Eastside. Metro buses downtown provide bike racks for
cyclists who bring their bikes aboard. There are more than 28 miles of designated bike paths in Seattle and the Eastside, about 20 miles of on-street bike lanes and more than 90 miles of bike routes throughout the region.
Sounder commuter trains run 74 miles every weekday between Everett and Tacoma. Sounder North connects Everett and Edmonds with Seattle. ST Express regional buses connect Seattle, Bellevue, Everett and Tacoma with the largest urban centers in the Puget Sound region. Transit centers, park-and-ride lots and HOV access projects throughout the region were built to improve transit service for all bus riders and provide some help to the daily commute. Construction of a 15.6-mile Central Link light rail line is well underway, and service between Downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac International Airport is scheduled to begin in 2009. For more information on Sound Transit service, visit www.soundtransit.org or call (206) 398-5000.
Washington State Ferry System (WSF)
Washington boasts the largest ferry system in the United States, serving eight counties within Washington and the Canadian Province of British Columbia. Twenty-nine vessels comprise the ferry system, which has 10 routes and 20 terminals, making it an essential part of the western Washington’s highway network.
The ferry system offers service between the communities of Puget Sound and the western cities on the Kitsap Peninsula. It also services more rural destinations on the Olympic Peninsula. For communities on Vashon Island and four of the San Juan Islands, WSF provides the only link for automobile travel with the mainland. For a listing of routes and schedules, call (888) 808-7977 or visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries.
The Eastside is served primarily by Sea-Tac (Seattle Tacoma) International Airport, which is located just minutes from Renton and less than 20 minutes from the heart of Bellevue. A $3 billion renovation project, the first of its kind in 40 years, is currently in progress. It will add a third runway to Sea-Tac, expend the main concourse, update the subway system that links the main terminal with the north and south satellites, and increase parking. Renovations will also update passenger amenities in the terminals and main concourse.
All new Washington residents and drivers are required to pass a driving and written examination. New residents can waive the driving test by showing a valid driver’s license from another state. New licenses are required within 30 days after moving into Washington and whenever your address changes. Fines for either violation may reach $200. A regular driver’s license costs $45 and is valid for five years.
New residents also have 30 days to register vehicles when moving from another state. Washington requires an emission inspection on all vehicles. For more information on vehicle registration and fees, visit www.dol.wa.gov or call (360) 902-3770.