Transportation in Great Seattle Area

If you go to previous post, you will see the pictures I took during my visit to Seattle downtown with her. I like not only this city very much, but also the surrounding areas. There are many great places to take a look. The Lake Washington divides the whole area into two parts, the Seattle city and the eastside, where the eastside is where I work and live. Although I don’t have a vehicle so far, it is not difficult for me to travel among all these cities, because there are resources and flexible commute combinations to access and use.

Most of the time, I take bus. Before I go to some place, the first thing I do is to visit the Online Trip Planner. It is a great tool and it really helped me a lot for my settlement in last month. In the page, you enter the starting point and the destination, the date of the trip (schedules for most routes are different in weekdays and weekend), how far you want to walk and other preferences. I usually choose Fewest Transfers since I am really lazy :P. Then after a click on [Plan Trip] button, it shows several itineraries according to your need. Another neat feature I like, is the Plan Return Trip in the result page, so I don’t have to re-enter everything again for my return.

Another useful tool for taking a bus on time, is Seattle Bus Tracker. Simple enter the route number at the upper left corner, it then shows the locations of the buses for a specific route in real time. It is a great replacement to the bus schedule lookup table. Need to mention that this nice tool is based on Microsoft Virtual Earth.

In some cases, the place I want to go cannot be reached by a bus, such as trails at Redmond. That’s one of the reasons why I bought a bike. Bike is a convenient tool for traveling, but it doesn’t help much if you are thinking about going to Pike Place Market from Redmond and come back. Fortunately, there is a solution to that if you prefer to ride your bike at both ends. Both of the transit companies, Sound Transit and Metro Bus, have bicycle racks installed on their buses that allows passengers travel with their bikes. I was surprised about it when I first came and it strongly supports my decision to get a bike. More resources for biking in this area are here.

If you drive, there are other commute choices such as carpool, vanpool and Park-n-Ride. All these different methods of traveling can also be combined, for instance having a bicycle rack installed on the vanpool vehicles. So, where do you want to go today?

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