Approaching the City
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) is a modern facility with an underground monorail. The airport is located 18 miles north of the city. The airport is currently being upgraded with a new runway that will enable aircraft to land in any weather condition.
The primary north-south motor route to Tacoma is Interstate 5, which runs between Canada and Mexico. East-west access is provided by S.R. 16.
Amtrak furnishes rail service into Tacoma with several trains each day. An extensive ferry system serves Puget Sound.
Traveling in the City
Tacoma occupies an irregular peninsula with its street pattern conforming roughly to a grid within those constraints. The principle north-south arteries are Pacific Avenue, North Pearl, and Ruston Way, which runs along the eastern coast of the peninsula. The major east-west thoroughfares are Sixth Avenue and S.R. 16, which enters Tacoma across the Narrows Bridge. Interstate 5 bisects the city on a southwest to northeast axis.
Sound Transit offers its 37,000 daily riders several ways of getting around. ST Express buses run from Tacoma, Gig Harbor, and Lakewood to downtown Seattle and back. ST Express buses also run from Lakewood and Tacoma to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Sounder commuter trains run some 80 miles on weekdays, connecting from Everett and Tacoma into Seattle and back. The Tacoma Link light rail trains began operating in August 2003 and have become a primary factor in the renaissance of downtown Tacoma. Construction is currently underway on a 14-mile Central Link light rail line, to begin carrying passengers in 2009. Future Sound Transit plans include adding more bus transit facilities and increasing the hours of operation for all services.
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