Commuting in the Duwamish
GETTING STARTED: Online
KC Metro Bus Like most new adventures, a commute to the Du nowadays starts best online and our first stop is Google. You get maps, routes and a choice of transportation modes in the same simple, user-friendly format that we’ve all grown used to.
Go to the site. Enter your destination and point of departure. It’ll show you how to get between the two by bus, bicycle, carpool or ferry boat. You don’t even need the proper addresses. It’s enough to have rough descriptions of your starting point and where you want to go. It’ll even estimate travel times and the time it will take you to walk to the nearest bus stop.
The Metro Trip Planner has all the same info, and then some– that’s the difference. Google gives you less information than Metro does and is more focused on what you need to know to get where you want to go.
One Bus Away speaks directly to bus riders. No other trip modes are included. The site was founded by students at the University of Washington. You can access it through the web, phone, text or app. Enter your general street location or bus route number. It’ll tell when the next bus is arriving and where it is going.
Carpools & Vanpools are great alternatives to drive-alone commuting. RideShareOnline offers tips and services for carpooling as well as information about busing, cycling, ferry service and telecommuting from home.
Light Rail service in the Du is great as far as it goes. It just doesn’t go far enough.
Light rail is presently available through the Sound Transit system that extends from the Westlake Mall in north downtown Seattle to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. However, the line only includes two stops in the Duwamish, both in the north half of SODO. One stop is at Lander Street. The other is next to the sports stadiums.
For those who work near the stations, light rail service is convenient, comfortable and timely. The benefits of light rail ridership can also be extended through vanpools, bus service and cycling. Learn how at RideshareOnline or Sound Transit.
Bicycle lockers and parking stalls are available at the Lander Street Station to support “hybrid” commutes that merge rail ridership with cycling. Most of the bike spaces are available. They can be reserved through http://www.Soundtransit.org/bicycles
Sounder trains travel between Tacoma and Seattle (making stops in Puyallup, Sumner, Auburn, Kent and Tukwila) and between Everett and Seattle (making stops in Mukilteo and Edmonds). Sounder regularly runs weekday mornings and afternoons only. Sounder also serves select major weekend events such as Mariners and Seahawks games.
Cycling. Use your favorite search engine for the words “Seattle bicycle commuting.” If your search engine is like ours, you’ll be connected with more than 100,000 hits for sites that range from ones for well-established institutions such as Cascade Bicycle Club to blogs named for your average Joe or Jane who loves to cycle. Tips are available for finding everything from good commuter routes to people who will ride routes with you.