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Light Rail from Airport to Downtown

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    SageheartSageheart Tampa, FLRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    This seems like a great alternative to taking a cab. Just to be sure I have this right, you take the light rail from the airport to the Westlake station (which looks to be the last stop)?

    And I am assuming there's lots of signage in the airport directing people to the light rail? I only ask because it's ridiculous how easily I get lost.

    Sageheart on
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    KjeldorKjeldor Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    Yup, the Westlake Station is the last stop of the train. It's just a few blocks from the convention center, at Pine and 4th.

    as for the airport, depending on when you get in, i'm sure you could ask at the information desk if it wasn't obvious as to which way to go.

    Kjeldor on
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    faitsfaits a panda eating cake seattleRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Sageheart wrote: »
    And I am assuming there's lots of signage in the airport directing people to the light rail? I only ask because it's ridiculous how easily I get lost.

    I'm pretty sure there are signs. Even if there aren't though, it's pretty straightforward. Just cross one of the skybridges to the parking garage, turn left and walk until you're at the train:

    78Htx.jpg

    faits on
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    RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Sageheart wrote: »
    This seems like a great alternative to taking a cab. Just to be sure I have this right, you take the light rail from the airport to the Westlake station (which looks to be the last stop)?

    And I am assuming there's lots of signage in the airport directing people to the light rail? I only ask because it's ridiculous how easily I get lost.

    Follow the green arrows floating in the air.

    But in all seriousness, if access to the airport light rail is through the parking garage, then you should take the escalators that lead to the garage (the garage access is between the arrivals and departure floors) and walk straight across the garage to the bridge that leads the the large station and track on the other side. They are snug against the freeway and should be shiny in the early morning sun.

    Westlake is the last stop so get off when security starts their sweeps. (I don't think they have dug to Capitol hill yet) for those staying at the airport, the university street station stops under Benaroya hall so if you've checked in, you can use that to enter from the tunnels.

    RoyceSraphim on
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    jonxpjonxp [E] PC Security Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    faits wrote: »
    Sageheart wrote: »
    And I am assuming there's lots of signage in the airport directing people to the light rail? I only ask because it's ridiculous how easily I get lost.

    I'm pretty sure there are signs. Even if there aren't though, it's pretty straightforward. Just cross one of the skybridges to the parking garage, turn left and walk until you're at the train:

    78Htx.jpg

    These instructions and this map should be in the OP.

    jonxp on
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    Sleepy KittySleepy Kitty Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    2 years ago we took the 190 from the airport to downtown and walked back up to our hotel, last year we took the shuttle to the light rail and the light rail to westlake. Last year was a much better experience, the 190 gets crowded right from the airport with everyone and their luggage and only ran about every 30 minutes , while the light rail runs much more frequently, has way more space and took about the same amount of time, not to mention getting off at westlake puts us that much closer to our hotel.

    I would recommend going with the light rail from the airport even if you have luggage, the streets are more then wide enough to walk with it and really whats a couple of blocks with luggage?

    Sleepy Kitty on
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    nervenerve Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    shit, 40 minute drive? gunna be burnin through the dramamine these next couple months of travel.

    nerve on
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    agentmobiusagentmobius Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    As a local, I recommend the light rail for many reasons that have already been stated: runs more frequently most importantly. Space might be a wee bit tight, but it'd be about the same or even more difficult on a bus.

    I use the public transport system daily to get to and from work. While the buses are alright and all, I honestly wish there were a light rail station on the east side of town.

    agentmobius on
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    lemongrenadeslemongrenades Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I come from a city with pretty much zero public transportation, so I'm not too experienced using it. My problem is that even if the Light Rail will runs normal hours on Labor Day (which I don't think it would, but I don't know) the first one would run at just after 5 AM and my flight leaves at 6:15 AM. It doesn't sound like that would definitely give me enough time to catch my flight. Is there gonna be a bus that can get me from Pike Market (I'm staying at the Green Tortoise) to the airport that earlier or will I have to take a taxi?

    lemongrenades on
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    karmacappakarmacappa Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I come from a city with pretty much zero public transportation, so I'm not too experienced using it. My problem is that even if the Light Rail will runs normal hours on Labor Day (which I don't think it would, but I don't know) the first one would run at just after 5 AM and my flight leaves at 6:15 AM. It doesn't sound like that would definitely give me enough time to catch my flight. Is there gonna be a bus that can get me from Pike Market (I'm staying at the Green Tortoise) to the airport that earlier or will I have to take a taxi?

    Sound Transit Trip Planner says:

    (Service on Monday, 9/06/2010)

    Depart 3rd Ave & Union St At 03:31 AM On Route MT 7 Rainier Beach
    Arrive Rainier Ave S & MARTIN L KING WY S At 03:44 AM
    Walk 0.1 mile NW to
    Depart ST Light Rail & Mount Baker Station At 04:47 AM On Route ST 599 NA
    Arrive ST Light Rail & SeaTac/Airport Stati At 05:10 AM
    Walk 0.3 mile S to SEATAC AIRPORT

    karmacappa on
    "In Europe, it's not America."
    Scott Kurtz, The Morning After, Aug 31 - 2010
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    lemongrenadeslemongrenades Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    karmacappa wrote: »
    Sound Transit Trip Planner says:

    (Service on Monday, 9/06/2010)

    Depart 3rd Ave & Union St At 03:31 AM On Route MT 7 Rainier Beach
    Arrive Rainier Ave S & MARTIN L KING WY S At 03:44 AM
    Walk 0.1 mile NW to
    Depart ST Light Rail & Mount Baker Station At 04:47 AM On Route ST 599 NA
    Arrive ST Light Rail & SeaTac/Airport Stati At 05:10 AM
    Walk 0.3 mile S to SEATAC AIRPORT

    Thanks! Leaving at 3:30 sounds like fun. May not even bother sleeping.

    lemongrenades on
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    karmacappakarmacappa Registered User regular
    edited August 2010

    Thanks! Leaving at 3:30 sounds like fun. May not even bother sleeping.

    Mind you, that's what a computer says. There may be a more efficient route, but probably not many considering that you have to arrive at SEA/TAC around 5:40-5:50

    karmacappa on
    "In Europe, it's not America."
    Scott Kurtz, The Morning After, Aug 31 - 2010
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    causaboncausabon Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    My problem is that even if the Light Rail will runs normal hours on Labor Day (which I don't think it would, but I don't know)

    On Labor Day, all Seattle transit runs on a Sunday schedule.

    Thing is, on Sundays and holidays, the first trains don't even leave the yard until after 6 AM. I think that trip calculator doesn't realize this (the trains are run by a different agency than the one that provides that calculator, there could easily be a schedule screwup), especially since it doesn't display the trip that karmacappa got if you change the date to an actual Sunday!

    The only other option is a ridiculous two-bus run that leaves at 1:22 AM and gets to the airport at a quarter past four, with an hour's gap between the buses waiting in Auburn, which is the middle of nowhere. I'd definitely suggest either a cab or seeing if the shared vans can offer a good price.
    Walk 0.1 mile NE from PIKE PLACE MARKET to 3rd Ave & Pike St
    Depart at 01:22 AM on Route MT 150 Kent Station
    Continues as MT 180
    Arrive Auburn Sounder Station & Bay 2 At 02:37 AM

    Transfer to Route MT 180 Seatac
    Depart Auburn Sounder Station & Bay 1 At 03:33 AM
    Arrive International Blvd & S 180th St At 04:13 AM

    Walk 0.3 mile SW to SEA-TAC AIRPORT

    causabon on
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    karmacappakarmacappa Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Sounds a lot like a cab then. Your best hope is probably to get people who can share the fare with you.

    Another option is to find someone local and beg them to drive you. Offer them gas money, breakfast, whatever.

    The shared van will be about $32. A cab would be about $36.50. Depending on how many ways you split it... If you're going alone though, a cab may be more comfortable. Remember to tip on those too.

    karmacappa on
    "In Europe, it's not America."
    Scott Kurtz, The Morning After, Aug 31 - 2010
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    SaraidSaraid Registered User new member
    edited August 2010
    Before the advent of the Light Rail, I used these guys for my airport trips: http://www.shuttleexpress.com/

    If you put down a reservation, they swing by and pick you up, along with a bunch of other people.

    Saraid on
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    RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Just flew into Seatac after visiting my brother, simple instructions

    From baggage claim,
    look for the nearest escalator leading to the parking area
    THere is a sign numbering the bridges to parking area
    Look for skybridge 6
    go up escalator and across skybridge
    turn left
    there is a color shaded area on your floor that leads through the parking garage to the light rail
    Follow the path
    Buy your ticket by pushing where you want to end up.
    Follow signs to the trains.
    ???
    Profit

    RoyceSraphim on
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    trickycooljtrickycoolj Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Just flew into Seatac after visiting my brother, simple instructions

    From baggage claim,
    look for the nearest escalator leading to the parking area
    THere is a sign numbering the bridges to parking area
    Look for skybridge 6
    go up escalator and across skybridge
    turn left
    there is a color shaded area on your floor that leads through the parking garage to the light rail
    Follow the path
    Buy your ticket by pushing where you want to end up.
    Follow signs to the trains.
    ???
    Profit

    Here's a map with description:
    http://www.portseattle.org/seatac/ground/rail.shtml

    Here's a big map:
    http://www.portseattle.org/about/maps/lightrail.shtml

    Note that skybridge 6 is located near the United Airlines ticket counter on the north end of the airport. It's also the blue section of the parking garage. If you find yourself in the orange/purple/green sections, head to your left until you see blue.

    trickycoolj on
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    RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Oh, didn't know that was up, needs to be in the OP or first page.

    Oh, one more thing! For those of you who are going to go directly to the convention center from the tunnels.

    to get on the convention center side of 3rd avenue, go up the escalators from the tunnel near where you train came from then head northeast from that exit.

    If you want to enter benaroya hall, take the escalators near where your train is going, the elevator will take you directly to benaroya hall.

    :roll:

    You are better off exiting at westlake and walking south to the convention center or Benaroya, less headache.

    RoyceSraphim on
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    trickycooljtrickycoolj Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    You are better off exiting at westlake and walking south to the convention center or Benaroya, less headache.

    You should exit at University Street Station to go to Beneroya. The Beneroya exit is on the north side platform, it has "art" of rainbow colored LEDs in vertical stripes on the wall (if you're at the red LED poetry with random animated symbols, it's the opposite mezzanine that exits in the Wamu Tower on 3rd and Seneca a block away). The tunnel exit for 2nd/University St is labeled Beneroya Hall, there's even an elevator directly to the lobby, or just follow the curved hallway out to the 2nd Ave courtyard of Beneroya Hall and follow the stairs up University St to 3rd.

    trickycoolj on
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    RandorammaRandoramma Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Will be taking the LR all three days to PAX (well maybe not Sunday). I enjoy not paying parking, and it’s convenient for me. I find the ride gives me time to eat a hearty meal and relax before a great day of gaming! I can contemplate on all the other peeps I see not going to PAX, and feel pity for them. Looking forward to seeing some of you on the train!

    6 DAYS!!!

    Who cares how you get there, just get there!! :mrgreen:

    Randoramma on
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    JHawkJHawk Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Stupid light rail won't be coming to north Seattle for several years...

    Metro bus FTW!!!

    JHawk on
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    KrathoonKrathoon Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    The light rail seems like a great way to get over to Pioneer Square and the International District (Chinatown) as well.

    Krathoon on
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    neurosliceneuroslice Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I come from a city with pretty much zero public transportation, so I'm not too experienced using it. My problem is that even if the Light Rail will runs normal hours on Labor Day (which I don't think it would, but I don't know) the first one would run at just after 5 AM and my flight leaves at 6:15 AM. It doesn't sound like that would definitely give me enough time to catch my flight. Is there gonna be a bus that can get me from Pike Market (I'm staying at the Green Tortoise) to the airport that earlier or will I have to take a taxi?

    I have a flight at 6:30 am.
    We should share a cab.

    PM me for info.

    neuroslice on
    Hotel bound on PAX Saturday,
    I exclaimed "Khoo is my Sensei!"
    So if memes make great shirts,
    And Pod Six is Jerks,
    Then Moe, Khoo and I had our day.
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    AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Krathoon wrote: »
    The light rail seems like a great way to get over to Pioneer Square and the International District (Chinatown) as well.

    Naw. The light rail is never ride free. If you're just going from one tunnel stop to another catch any bus in the tunnel. Those are all ride free 6.am - 7.pm

    Aioua on
    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
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    KrathoonKrathoon Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Aioua wrote: »
    Krathoon wrote: »
    The light rail seems like a great way to get over to Pioneer Square and the International District (Chinatown) as well.

    Naw. The light rail is never ride free. If you're just going from one tunnel stop to another catch any bus in the tunnel. Those are all ride free 6.am - 7.pm

    Since you don't have to deal with traffic, I would think that the rail would be faster. I would be fine with paying the cost in that case. Since it is farther away, I may use it just for the International District.

    Krathoon on
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    AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Krathoon wrote: »
    Aioua wrote: »
    Krathoon wrote: »
    The light rail seems like a great way to get over to Pioneer Square and the International District (Chinatown) as well.

    Naw. The light rail is never ride free. If you're just going from one tunnel stop to another catch any bus in the tunnel. Those are all ride free 6.am - 7.pm

    Since you don't have to deal with traffic, I would think that the rail would be faster. I would be fine with paying the cost in that case. Since it is farther away, I may use it just for the International District.

    No, there's busses and the light rail in the tunnel. They get though it in the same amount of time.

    Aioua on
    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
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    iguyiguy Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    The garage entrance to the light rail is on the opposite end (north) of the "arrivals" entrance in seatac and i beleive it is on the lowest level which should also be the baggage claim level of the airport.

    Once your in the garage hang a left and follow the pedestrian path that will take you straight to the light rail station. You can buy a ticket with either card or cash but it would be a good idea to have a card because sometimes the kiosk has problems taking cash.

    Westlake is a bit of a walk, to the convention center but the university st. stop(which is just before westlake) should drop you right underneath benaroya.

    hope that helps any one who was confused.

    iguy on
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    trickycooljtrickycoolj Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    iguy wrote: »
    i beleive it is on the lowest level which should also be the baggage claim level of the airport.

    Light rail is on parking level 4, same level the sky bridges come out on, same level with express parking and the parking payment machines. The light rail runs on elevated tracks for the first several stations.

    parking 3 is the taxi stand/shuttle express/hotel shuttles/parking lot shuttles (ground level across the street from arrivals/baggage claim, after the skybridge take the elevator/escalator down in the garage)

    parking 1 and 2 are rentals

    trickycoolj on
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    edgeofbladeedgeofblade Warlock Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    So, lucky me is going to get to take the $2.50 LR into town, but I'm leaving way too early on Monday, so it's a cab. Thankfully, that rate is fixed, if I understand correctly.

    edgeofblade on
    6YJGH2V.png
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    niq24601niq24601 Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    So, lucky me is going to get to take the $2.50 LR into town, but I'm leaving way too early on Monday, so it's a cab. Thankfully, that rate is fixed, if I understand correctly.

    If you're traveling with another person, it's worth checking out Shuttle express, which may be a little cheaper (I think they have 2-for-$27 round trip)

    If it's just you going solo ... see if you can find someone to split a cab with :).

    niq24601 on
    niq24601.jpg
    "gay" and "rape". You keep on using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.
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    Deletham_TomalakDeletham_Tomalak Registered User new member
    edited August 2010
    If you have a car and are staying at the airport (I live in Portland, Ore) would you say its better to drive and park a couple blocks away at a day lot to stay at the night events or bite the bullet and save cash for the light rail?

    Deletham_Tomalak on
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    niq24601niq24601 Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    If you have a car and are staying at the airport (I live in Portland, Ore) would you say its better to drive and park a couple blocks away at a day lot to stay at the night events or bite the bullet and save cash for the light rail?

    I think the term "rail" is getting overloaded. Are you thinking of driving from Portland versus taking Amtrak? Or are you definitely going to drive to your hotel and just debating whether you should take Link Light Rail from the hotel downtown versus driving and parking.

    For amtrak vs driving, Amtrak is $42 round trip, which is cheaper than driving if your car gets less than 30 mpg.

    As for drive+park versus light rail, A lot depends on how much you want to go to the concert or other late night events (movies, Rock Band freeplay, etc.) If you are okay with missing them, then you will save yourself a money and parking hassle by taking light rail. All-day parking in the pay lots would run you about $25 near the convention center; to get to free parking you'd have to go up to about 12th and union, at which point you're a long walk or short bus ride back to the convention center. So think about how important is to you to see the concerts or even hang out late into the night.

    niq24601 on
    niq24601.jpg
    "gay" and "rape". You keep on using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.
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    trickycooljtrickycoolj Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    If you have a car and are staying at the airport (I live in Portland, Ore) would you say its better to drive and park a couple blocks away at a day lot to stay at the night events or bite the bullet and save cash for the light rail?

    I usually carpool with friends from the north end of the city. It's helpful to have the car as a place to stash swag and other items acquired throughout the day as well as store spare snacks and drinks. We usually park in the convention center garage which is fairly expensive (not by downtown standards though) so we feel ok doing equipment drops among other attendees. If it was an open lot, I'd be more skeptical getting in and out of the car all day (don't want anyone thinking that bag of free t-shirts was some expensive item worth stealing).

    If you have people to split the daily parking rate with at the convention center, go for it. If you're on your own, be thoughtful in the swag you collect and have a good sized comfortable bag of holding.

    trickycoolj on
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    neurosliceneuroslice Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    So, lucky me is going to get to take the $2.50 LR into town, but I'm leaving way too early on Monday, so it's a cab. Thankfully, that rate is fixed, if I understand correctly.

    How early? I'm already sharing a cab with one other person. His flight is at 6:15am, mine at 6:30. If we get a third it really won't be that much.

    neuroslice on
    Hotel bound on PAX Saturday,
    I exclaimed "Khoo is my Sensei!"
    So if memes make great shirts,
    And Pod Six is Jerks,
    Then Moe, Khoo and I had our day.
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    edgeofbladeedgeofblade Warlock Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    neuroslice wrote: »
    So, lucky me is going to get to take the $2.50 LR into town, but I'm leaving way too early on Monday, so it's a cab. Thankfully, that rate is fixed, if I understand correctly.

    How early? I'm already sharing a cab with one other person. His flight is at 6:15am, mine at 6:30. If we get a third it really won't be that much.

    PM...

    edgeofblade on
    6YJGH2V.png
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    Deletham_TomalakDeletham_Tomalak Registered User new member
    edited August 2010
    If you have a car and are staying at the airport (I live in Portland, Ore) would you say its better to drive and park a couple blocks away at a day lot to stay at the night events or bite the bullet and save cash for the light rail?

    I usually carpool with friends from the north end of the city. It's helpful to have the car as a place to stash swag and other items acquired throughout the day as well as store spare snacks and drinks. We usually park in the convention center garage which is fairly expensive (not by downtown standards though) so we feel ok doing equipment drops among other attendees. If it was an open lot, I'd be more skeptical getting in and out of the car all day (don't want anyone thinking that bag of free t-shirts was some expensive item worth stealing).

    If you have people to split the daily parking rate with at the convention center, go for it. If you're on your own, be thoughtful in the swag you collect and have a good sized comfortable bag of holding.

    It would be hard to skip the late night gaming sessions...

    I'm going with two friends of mine, so if its below $35 it shouldn't be an issue. Last year I found a great spot to park for $20 a day, maybe I'll find that lot again.

    Deletham_Tomalak on
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    trickycooljtrickycoolj Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    If you have a car and are staying at the airport (I live in Portland, Ore) would you say its better to drive and park a couple blocks away at a day lot to stay at the night events or bite the bullet and save cash for the light rail?

    I usually carpool with friends from the north end of the city. It's helpful to have the car as a place to stash swag and other items acquired throughout the day as well as store spare snacks and drinks. We usually park in the convention center garage which is fairly expensive (not by downtown standards though) so we feel ok doing equipment drops among other attendees. If it was an open lot, I'd be more skeptical getting in and out of the car all day (don't want anyone thinking that bag of free t-shirts was some expensive item worth stealing).

    If you have people to split the daily parking rate with at the convention center, go for it. If you're on your own, be thoughtful in the swag you collect and have a good sized comfortable bag of holding.

    It would be hard to skip the late night gaming sessions...

    I'm going with two friends of mine, so if its below $35 it shouldn't be an issue. Last year I found a great spot to park for $20 a day, maybe I'll find that lot again.

    Con center is about $25/day. Each person pays a day, if you're worried they'll bail, make them pay up front Friday in cash and stash it in the glove box so they know you're not cheating them for food money.

    trickycoolj on
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    samredsamred Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    My tip: Don't eff around with the light rail fares. If you skip a fare, you will almost certainly get caught and ticketed. I had a buddy get ticketed the first day he was in Seattle, and the transit cop had the nerve to say, "I'm just writing this up as a formality, you won't get charged." He wound up with a $120 notice in the mail 2 weeks later.

    So, before boarding light rail, always buy a $2.50 ticket at the little blue stations with the touchscreen. Or, be like a local and pony up for the $5 ORCA card, which you put an "e-purse" on via cash or credit card. With those, you tap them at little ORCA kiosks RFID-style (they work on Seattle buses, too).

    And don't trust any Google Maps "guide" for what time the train will show up. Especially at night, when service is reduced.

    I've been carless in Seattle for about a year, so if you need nitpicky bus/transit tips, PM me anything you can think of, or ask here.

    samred on
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    samredsamred Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I got a PM from someone asking for tips about late-night travel to the airport, so I sent them the following and figured someone here could use the extra info. Feel free to adapt these tips for travel to any other north/south hotels around Seattle.

    As it turns out, the final light rail train to SeaTac Airport leaves the Westlake Station at 12:38 a.m. on Friday and Saturday night, which is still kinda early, but it's not as tragic. If you wanna save a few bucks and stay later, you'll wanna review bus schedules using the King County Metro's trip planning site:

    http://tripplanner.kingcounty.gov/cgi-bin/itin_page.pl

    Set the time to Fri/Sat night, then enter the street intersections (downtown is basically 5th Ave and Pine St). From what I can tell, the best bet for a few extra minutes at PAX will be to board the 124 bus at 1 a.m. sharp at 3rd and Pine, which drops you off at the Tukwila Intl Blvd station and has an xfer to the 174, which takes you to the airport. Wait any longer than that, and you're looking at some serious xfer delays that are hours long. At that point, a cab will be best.

    (The Westlake Station, if you get lost, can be found by walking to the McDonald's at 3rd and Pine. If you're standing in front of that McD's, walk up Pine toward fourth, and you'll see a station entrance to your right. The University Street Station is a few blocks south, and you can enter it from Benaroya Hall, where you'll be for all the late night concerts, anyway, right?)

    samred on
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