U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington > Seattle area
 [Register]
Seattle area Seattle and King County Suburbs
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
 
Old 10-22-2008, 08:55 PM
 
2 posts, read 9,280 times
Reputation: 11
Default buses from mercer island into downtown seattle?

i moved to mercer island about a month ago from out of state. i just got a job in downtown seattle near the seattle arts measuem and parking seems really expensive. i noticed a big park and ride on the island and checked out the bus websites, but im kind of confused on what bus to take? it looks like both the seattle metro and the sound transit buses pick up at the park and ride and drop off in that area. anyone have any suggestions or pointers on what the better option would be? and are the schedules fairly acurate because from unless im reading the schedule wrong it looks like it takes only about 10 mins for the bus to get downtown from mercer island. that seems really quick? how much traffic time should i factor into riding a bus?

sorry for all the questions but back where i used to live i didn't work downtown so i've never really had to deal with commuting into a busy city and am not familiar with riding big city buses.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-22-2008, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX!!!!
3,737 posts, read 5,291,566 times
Reputation: 1665
Trip Planning (http://tripplanner.metrokc.gov/cgi-bin/itin_page.pl?resptype=U - broken link)
Check out Metro's trip planner feature on its website (see above link)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-22-2008, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,874 posts, read 11,312,051 times
Reputation: 2445
XX, I think you're making a really smart decision, as commuting by bus to and from the Mercer Island P&R is pretty simple, and inexpensive by comparison with parking in downtown Seattle, which is very expensive.

To answer your questions, you could take either a Metro bus or a Sound Transit bus, whichever suits your fancy or your schedule. They both go to the same downtown. Metro costs less than Sound Transit. Sound Transit has cushier seats that adjust slightly. Six of one, half-dozen of the other from the Mercer Island P&R, I think.

The schedules you saw on the websites are accurate, as they include whatever traffic normally exists at the time of day, and in the direction, that you're reading about. So add 5 minutes if you really really want to.

Our bus systems are neat. So convenient and dependable. Have fun!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-22-2008, 09:29 PM
 
8,200 posts, read 14,293,378 times
Reputation: 3646
Both the Sound Transit buses and Metro's are good options, and I'd recommend trying both. The 216 is a good choice for Metro's, and Sound Transit's 550 route is a good one. Both take about 10 minutes to get to the International District station at the south end of downtown, but another ten to get to the Convention Place station, further north and east in downtown.
The buses usually run on time, but always get to the stop a little early, and don't try to catch a 7:50 bus and expect to be at work by 8:00...Give yourself extra time so you can have a relaxed ride.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-22-2008, 10:16 PM
 
5,601 posts, read 12,389,214 times
Reputation: 4492
The Sound Transit cash fare will be slightly higher from Mercer Island but if you're using a properly zoned Puget Pass, it won't matter. The only other difference will be that all Sound Transit buses will have cloth-cushy seats and air conditioning where Metro buses will have vinyl seats and some of the older buses will not have air conditioning. Metro drivers will be operating both ST and Metro buses so you'll have the same friendly, competent drivers on both.

Also, expect to stand at times because all buses stopping at the MI P&R will be coming from another high-usage P&R somewhere else ...either the S. Bellevue P&R, Eastgate P&R, Issaquah P&R, the Issaquah Highlands P&R, or the S. Mercer Island Shopping center. I've heard that there could be buses exclusively serving (starting at) the new P&R if the demand exists.

Very seldom will traffic come to a standstill on the HOV lanes on the bridge unless an accident is blocking so your 10 minutes will be relatively consistent as the buses will be making no stops after leaving Mercer Island until the International District stop in the CBD.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-22-2008, 10:34 PM
 
2 posts, read 9,280 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by scirocco22 View Post
the buses will be making no stops after leaving Mercer Island until the International District stop in the CBD.
actually that is the other thing i was kind of confused about. i noticed that on the sound transit website with the schedule that they list 4th & jackson and 5th & union (i think its union) along the top with the other stops, but they do not list a stop time and after reading your response i'm assuming that's because they go past those stops but don't stop there and instead just go to the intern. district station stop? does this mean i would have to transfer to another bus that goes back past 4th & jackson (which is actually right near the place i work which is why i was hoping they would stop there)?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-22-2008, 10:47 PM
 
8,200 posts, read 14,293,378 times
Reputation: 3646
When the Sound Transit website/schedule lists stops like 5th and Jackson and 4th and Union, it means the bus is going through the bus tunnel and not on the surface. In the evening the tunnel is closed so the bus is not in the tunnel and makes those surface street stops.
What's good about it is that International District Station and 4th and Jackson are the same thing, just one is beneath the surface and you'll have to walk up a few stairs.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-22-2008, 10:48 PM
 
480 posts, read 1,566,874 times
Reputation: 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by xxincognito View Post
actually that is the other thing i was kind of confused about. i noticed that on the sound transit website with the schedule that they list 4th & jackson and 5th & union (i think its union) along the top with the other stops, but they do not list a stop time and after reading your response i'm assuming that's because they go past those stops but don't stop there and instead just go to the intern. district station stop? does this mean i would have to transfer to another bus that goes back past 4th & jackson (which is actually right near the place i work which is why i was hoping they would stop there)?
The sequence of stops by the buses (because the ones from Mercer Island all go on 4th ave) is this:

International District --> 4th and Jackson --> 5th and Union

So, no. You would stay on the bus past the International District. The bus takes 2nd Ave to 4th Ave, and continues to 5th and Union. You would not have to transfer; all of the buses that take 4th Ave stop make several stops along 4th Ave.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-22-2008, 10:59 PM
 
8,200 posts, read 14,293,378 times
Reputation: 3646
xxincognito,
Now I'm confused where work is. If your work is at 4th and Jackson, get off at the International District stop. If it's near 5th and Union, stay on the bus.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2008, 08:24 AM
 
5,601 posts, read 12,389,214 times
Reputation: 4492
Yes, for the art museum, get off at the Union St. stop whether it be on 4th avenue or in the tunnel (actually called the University Street station). So no, you wouldn't have to make any transfers to walk the one or two blocks to the museum.

I made a slight mistake earlier in saying that there's be no stops between MI and the International district ...there is one stop at Rainier Avenue that all buses make.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington > Seattle area

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top