The Puget Sound Regions boasts many transportation options for getting around. From regional bus transportation systems to light rail connections, residents enjoy reliable, safe transportation. Below we have outlined each regional system and the many options each offers.
King County Metro Transit
King County Metro Transit Mission Statement: Provide the best possible public transit services that get people on the bus and improve regional mobility and quality of life in King County.
Metro Transit is the name more than 1.7 million area residents use to refer to the public transit agency serving King County, and has twice been honored as the best run large public transportation system in North America. Metro operates a fleet of about 1,300 vehicles - including standard and articulated coaches, electric trolleys, dual-powered buses, hybrid diesel-electric buses and streetcars - that serves an annual ridership of 100 million within a 2,134 square mile area. Metro serves riders who are disabled with accessible fixed route service (all Metro buses have wheelchair lifts or ramps and all routes and trips are accessible), as well as paratransit van service and a taxi scrip program.
Metro offers a full array of transportation services and assistance to employers of all sizes. The Employer Commute Services programs can help companies reduce employee commute-related costs and educate employees about commute options. Metro also operates the largest publicly owned vanpool program in the country - with more than 600 vans making more than 2.9 million trips per year. More than 5,000 people use those vans every day, eliminating a least 4,500 vehicles from area roads. The regional ridematch system helps commuters form and sustain new carpools and vanpools in seven counties by matching names in a computer data base.
Metro transit also operates the Elliott Bay Water Taxi from the end of April through the end of October each year. This water Taxi service across Seattle’s Elliott Bay operates seven days a week, between Pier 55 at the foot of Spring Street on the downtown Seattle waterfront and Seacrest dock in West Seattle. This provides access to popular Alki Beach in West Seattle. The crossing time between Pier 55 and Seacrest is approximately 12 minutes. For more information, go to www.transit.metrokc.gov.
Pierce Transit’s mission is to provide safe, courteous, reliable transportation services over a 414 square mile area with an estimated population of 721,000. Pierce Transit’s service area includes the cities and towns of Bonney Lake, Buckley, DuPont, Fife, Edgewood, Fircrest, Gig Har- bor, Lakewood, Milton, Orting, Puyallup, Ruston, Steilacoom, Sumner, Tacoma and University Place, along with extensive unincorporated areas of Pierce County.
Pierce Transit provides 50 local bus routes, SHUTTLE (specialized transportation for people with disabilities), vanpool, ridematching and intercounty express service to Seattle, Sea-Tac Airport and Olympia provided in cooperation with Sound Transit and Intercity Transit. Pierce Transit’s fixed-route system includes routes that operate on more than 900 miles of city streets, county roads and state highways from Seattle through Tacoma and on to Olympia.
Serving these areas is a fleet of over 250 buses, all wheelchair accessible and all running on compressed natural gas. Eleven Transit Centers and Stations, over 3,300 bus stops, more than 200 covered bus shelters and 20 park-and-ride lots are provided for patrons. Pierce Transit’s fixed-route service carried more than 14 million passengers in 2005.
The demand-response service, SHUTTLE, provides transportation for people certified eligible for the service because they are functionally unable to ride a fixed-route bus. To best serve disabled riders and maximize SHUTTLE efficiency, rides are organized on a subscription, group or call-in basis. More than 435,000 trips were provided in 2005. For more information go to www.ptbus.pierce.wa.us.
Community Transit - Snohomish
During the past 28 years, Community Transit has grown from a small, local bus service into a major player in local and regional transportation. Community Transit began service Oct. 4, 1976, after voters in Lynnwood, Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Woodway, Marysville and Snohomish agreed to form their own local transit agency. With 18 leased GMC buses, Community Transit began serving seven routes in those communities.
That first year, Community Transit buses provided 951,200 rides. As one long-time driver recalled, the agency didn’t have specific stops on routes back then. Drivers had to keep a sharp eye out for riders, who would flag down a passing bus.
Nearly three decades later, Community Transit has 259 coaches that provide service to most of Snohomish County, the University of Washington, Seattle and the Eastside. After beginning with non-existent bus stops, the agency now serves approximately 1,600 stops, including 19 park and ride lots with more than 5,500 parking stalls.
Community Transit operates 32 local and 31 commuter bus routes and carries 57 percent of all Snohomish County-Seattle commuters to work and back. Last year Community Transit provided more than 7.7 million passenger rides. Buses are only part of Community Transit’s success over the past quarter-century. The agency’s flourishing vanpool program - with the third largest fleet in the nation - provided more than 729,000 trips last year. Also, the DART paratransit program helped provided more than 162,000 trips for the disabled last year, taking them to everything from medical appointments to entertainment events.
As a regional transportation player, Community Transit is contracted to provide Sound Transit service for Snohomish County, operating 32 buses on six routes. Community Transit helped develop the Puget Pass, which allows riders to use one pass on transit systems in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties and is working on a regional smart card system. Community Transit also works with nearly 100 of the area’s largest companies on Commute Trip Reduction programs, which lower the number of single occupancy vehicles on our busy roads. For more information, go to www.commtrans.org.
Everett ransit connects Everett neighbors to local businesses, retail centers, medical centers, city services, schools and colleges. Everett Transit’s 46 buses and 18 ParaTransit vehicles operate throughout Everett providing efficient, low-cost mobility to all. Each vehicle is wheelchair-capable, and our skilled team of employees are dedicated to our customers’ needs and committed to excellence.
The City of Everett is proud to be one of the only cities in Washington to offer a comprehensive system of transportation services. From extensive local bus cov- erage throughout Everett to direct connections in and out of town via regional transportation services at Everett Station, travel within, to and from Everett, is fast, easy and convenient. A big plus is that ET is also one of the most cost-efficient transportation systems in the state. For more information, go to www.everettwa.org.
Intercity Transit - Olympia
Intercity Transit is a municipal corpo- ration that provides public transportation for people who live and work in Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, and Yelm, an area of approximately 94 square miles. We operate 23 bus routes, a door-to-door service for people with disabilities, a vanpool program, specialized van programs, and are active in community partnerships. Intercity Transit has been serving the community for 25 years. They are funded by local sales tax, transit fares, contracts for services, and federal and state grants and employ 226 people.
Fixed-route bus service is available weekdays on 23 routes, 16 routes on Sat- urdays, and 13 routes on weekday evenings and 11 routes on Sundays. Bus service includes:
• 20 routes serving the greater Olympia/ Lacey/Tumwater/Yelm area
• 3 routes providing express service to Ta- coma/Lakewood (Pierce County), including connection to the Sound Transit Se- attle Express service and Sounder rail
• Connections to neighboring transit systems including Pierce, Grays Harbor, and Mason counties
• A fleet of 88 buses and 148 vanpool ve- hicles
• Five transit centers, including two main facilities in Olympia and Lacey and primary transfer stations at Westfield Shopping-town, Tumwater Square, and Little Prairie Center
• 890 bus stops, 175 bus shelters, and 3 park & ride lots
• Bike racks on all buses, and all vehicles are ADA accessible
• All buses fueled by a cleaner, energy efficient blend of biodiesel and ultra low sulfer diesel
Mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act, Dial-A-Lift service provides door-to-door transportation for customers with disabilities that prevent them from using Intercity Transit’s regular fixed-route service. Demand for this service is high. Ride scheduling number is 360-754-9393. For more information, go to www.intercitytransit.com.
Skait Transit provides transit service throughout most of Skagit County with 11 fixed-route buses and 11 Dial-A-Ride routes. They also provide commuters with a Vanpool program. Skagit Transit’s Mission Statement is to enhance the quality of life in our service area by excelling in the efficient and effective provision of safe, accessible, reliable, and attractive public transportation services by courteous and professional employees.
Skagit Transit buses are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons who are in wheelchairs or cannot climb the stairs will receive lift assistance for boarding the vehicle. Seating and space for up to two wheelchairs is reserved in the front of the buses behind the operator’s seat.
Skagit Transit Dial-A-Ride is a public service, which provides specialized transportation compatible with Skagit Transit’s fixed-route bus service. It is a pre-scheduled service designed for people whose conditions and/or disabilities prevent them from using Skagit Transit’s regular fixed-route buses. This is based on the review of an application for Dial-A-Ride service in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. For information or to request a Dial-A-Ride users guide or application, please call Customer Service (360-757-4433). All Skagit Transit Fixed Route buses have bike racks that can accommodate two or three bicycles. For more information, go to www.skagittransit.org.
Sound Transit Express
Sound Transit Express (ST Express) is the bus network of Puget Sound transit agency Sound Transit. The agency, provides inter-county bus service throughout 53 cities in three counties (King, Pierce, and Snohomish). While Sound Transit oversees, plans, and funds the service, operation and maintenance of the buses is contracted out to King County Metro, Pierce Transit, and Community Transit. Sound Transit buses are painted white with aqua, turquoise, and blue waves along the sides, representing the Puget Sound region ST Express serves, and feature a freely-adapted representation of the Sound Transit bus and train system map on the seating fabric.