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Seattle folks...a question about bus service

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Joe, May 20, 2015.

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  1. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    We are heading to Seattle for the third time in July and I was just wondering if they restarted that wonderful free bus service they used to have in a small radius of DT Seattle. It sure beat walking everywhere when staying downtown.

    They had it in 2013, discontinued in 2014 and I was just wondering if they restarted it, or like everything else, budget cuts.
     
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  2. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    It's been several months since I took a bus in Seattle, but it seems like they cancelled the free zone a couple years ago. It was a good thing for getting around the downtown area. I'd just get off at the end of the free zone and walk the last few blocks. :haha: I'm cheap!

    I highly recommend getting an Orca card and using that in the busses. So much easier than making exact change. I'm not sure if they offer a temporary one or if you can buy one and load it with however much you need to get around town.

    Also, they have a great website for route planning that will tell you bus route numbers and times.
     
  3. dhit

    dhit Tourist

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    I am a daily Seattle commute, and the city no longer offers the "Free Zone." I would recommend walking as the weather is usually pretty nice, or the city now has a bike share program which a nice/fun alternative to walking.
    The mass transit options really do depend on where you are staying and where you are going. If you have anymore questions I would be happy to help.
     
  4. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    We're staying at Hotel Five this trip. In the past we have stayed at the Warwick.
     
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  5. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Nice location. Just a couple blocks from Serious Pie. Perfect! :)

    You should be relatively easy walking distance from most things - Pikes Market, Space Needle, Olympic Sculpture Garden, and of course all of Belltown.

    From Westlake Center you can pretty much get anywhere on the bus, bus tunnel and light rail.
     
  6. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Mmmm, Serious Pie.

    From Lark to Le Pichet to Tavolata to so many other stops, it's amazing how Seattle went from such a lousy (past fin and exoskeleton) food town to such an amazing food town.
     
  7. marksind

    marksind Low-Roller

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    And the mayor is finally making an effort to clean up downtown, riff-raff wise that is. Maybe thinking of the tourist season ahead and all the complaints from out-of-towners last year about the bums, beggars, druggies and drug dealers that make downtown Vegas look tame. My wife was downtown a couple of days ago and said Westlake Mall has been cleaned up and there was a horseback policeman stationed there. Wow! For several years it seemed like it had been abandoned to the forces of disorder.
     
  8. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    I think it was 2 or 3 years ago that we rode the free bus service as far as we could and then walked to a Mariner's game the rest of the way. Scary is too strong a word, but a little wary of that walk past some park area along the way where all the homeless were hanging out. Plus, it was a day game. Maybe scary would have applied if it was a night game.
     
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  9. bswim

    bswim High-Roller

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    Glad to hear they're cleaning it up. I'm down in Pierce County and most people I know avoid downtown Seattle at all costs these days due to the riff raff and agressive homeless people, there's to much to around Puget Sound without dealing with all of that. The shop owner in Pioneer Square that setup the outhouse on the sidewalk was quite entertaining to see on the news LOL.
     
  10. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Chambers Bay!!
     
  11. bswim

    bswim High-Roller

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    Good friend already has his US Open tickets. I told him have fun getting in and out of that mess. LOL The streets aren't really designed to move the current residents in and out on a normal day.
     
  12. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Would you recommend using public transportation (bus, train) to get around Seattle? I was thinking of visiting the area and was probably going to hit Pikes market and Seattle Center/space needle if I do. Hotel prices are a little higher but I found some cheap places near SeaTac (under $60 a night) so I thought about using the train to get into town instead of renting a car for those days. How many days do you think I would need to hit Pikes and the Space Needle? 1 full day enough? I may hit the Chinatown area if I have time.

    But I may also consider renting a car and driving to Vancouver and/or Portland to check them out but I wasn't sure if I needed a car while hitting Pikes and the Needle. I wanted to also visit the air and space museum so will probably drive to the place.

    Wow, been awhile since I visited Seattle. I was there in the 80's for job interviews (Boeing naturally). They flew me up and drove me all around to the different plants and housing areas like Federal Way, Renton, Bellevue, etc. Was kind of depressing though, I was there for 6 days (in the beginning of May) but never saw the sun. A couple of days the town was fogged in most of the day.

    Unfortunately they didn't offer me that much, only a few thousand a year more than my job in Honolulu so at the time it wasn't worth moving. But then I realized I love seeing the sun all the time and now I can golf all year round so guess it was a good plan to stay in Hawaii instead.
     
  13. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Speaking as a tourist. Get a downtown hotel and walk everywhere. Easy walk to Pike's and the Needle and all of Belltown. Last time we were there, self park at the Warwick was $35 per night.

    Somebody posted and we tried it last year. Offered a cabbie $20 to take us downtown, no meter. He agreed, so $25 with a tip. Seatac is a long drive from downtown. We have also used a shuttle from Seatac to downtown. IIRC, that was also about $15 pp.

    I miscounted in my previous post. This will be trip #4 to Seattle. All of them have been in July and we have never seen rain. A couple of cloudy days, but mostly sunny every trip.

    And even though it is kind of cheesy, take a Duck Trip. The drivers have a well rehearsed script, but it was still enjoyable. It was cool driving down city streets and then just driving into the lake.
     
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  14. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    The light rail makes it super easy to get from the SeaTac area to downtown. Seattle is pretty walkable as long as you're not trying to get to the hospitals on First Hill or up to Capitol Hill. I take a car or taxi for that, because hill climbing sucks. ;)

    You can spend as much or as little time as you'd like at the place in downtown. I could spend days just wandering around Pike's Market looking at all the stuff. My husband is addicted to the EMP and Sci-Fi museum. He can spend days in there. Our aquarium is nice too and in the area. Doesn't compare to Monterey Bay's aquarium, but it's a good escape. The duck boats are very fun and give you a pretty good tour of the area including around Lake Union, etc. You can take the SLUT (South Lake Union Trolley) out to the South Lake Union area from near Westlake Center. They've opened up some museums and shopping in that area that are quite lovely. We've only been out there once since the improvements.

    I also really like the Olympic Sculpture Garden down by the water, past the Space Needle. Some Chihuilly glass and lots of fun art in a pretty park on the water.

    Ken, my parents are going to the Open. The USGA is putting them up in Gig Harbor, which seems like quite a distance from Chambers Bay, but they have a shuttle bus for the execs that will take them where they need to go. They are so excited! I, on the other hand, am trying to figure out how to keep them from coming to my house so I can avoid cleaning it. :haha:
     
  15. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    It's is going to be such a nightmare getting in/out of there, and I feel for normal spectators trying to get a look-see. Awesome place for a tourney of this caliber but it won't afford a lot of great near-at-hand viewing. Good luck keeping them at bay!

    Here's a link to a Seattle underground article I wrote for the LA Times several years back:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/nov/13/travel/la-tr-seattle-20111113
     
  16. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the info.

    Guess the reason I was looking at Seattle was because flights from Honolulu were so expensive, cost about $650 to $750 for a r/t in sept. but only in the low to mid $500's to SEA. I figure maybe stay a few days in the area and then fly to vegas.
     
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