Seattle’s public transportation network includes a fairly extensive fleet of buses, a monorail, the South Lake Union Streetcar and Link Light Rail. While light rail doesn’t crisscross the city, Link is fabulously useful and easy to use. Parking lots are located at some stations so you can park and ride, making this a great way to avoid traffic driving into Seattle from the south. Trains run between every 7 and 15 minutes, so you never have to wait long either.
Link is one of several modes of public transportation between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Westlake in downtown Seattle. If you don’t have a ride to the airport, Link is far, far cheaper than taking a taxi or parking at the airport, and the ride is short and pleasant. The trains make several stops, including in SoDo, so Link is a great way to get to the stadiums on game days, too.
Link also has a line in Tacoma that runs between the Tacoma Dome and Theatre District, but this line is called the Tacoma Link…and it’s free!
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Where to Park
Not all stations have a place for you to park and others do, but the nearby lots are paid lots. By far, the best place to park is the Tukwila station, which is the only station that has a large, free parking lot. This station is also before most of the Seattle traffic starts during rush hour or game days.
All other stations have paid parking lots nearby, but none directly associated or at the Link stations.
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- SeaTac Airport - International Blvd & S 176th Street
- Tukwila International Boulevard (near International Boulevard and 154th)
- Rainier Beach - 9132 Martin Luther King Jr Way S.
- Othello - 7100 Martin Luther King Jr Way S.
- Columbia City - 4818 Martin Luther King Jr Way S.
- Mount Baker – Rainier Avenue S. near S. Forest Street
- Beacon Hill - Beacon Avenue S. & S. McClellan Street
- SODO - 500 S. Lander Street
- Stadium - 501 S. Royal Brougham Way
- International District/Chinatown – 5th and S. Jackson
- Pioneer Square – 3rd and James, Seattle
- University Square – 3rd and Seneca, Seattle
- Westlake – 4th and Pine, Seattle
- Capitol Hill - near Broadway and E John
- University of Washington - near Husky Stadium
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How to Buy Tickets
If you have an Orca card, all you’ll need to do is find one of the yellow Orca card readers located near platform entrances and exits. You must tap your Orca card on the card reader before you get on the train as well as after you get off.
If you don’t have an Orca card, you can also pay with cash or credit cards using machines located at each station. Machines are easy to use:
- Select your method of payment – cash, card or Orca/ePurse
- Select if you’re buying a one-way fare or day pass
- Select which station you’re going to. If you’re buying a day pass, select the farthest you plan to go on your trip.
- Insert your payment method of choice and out pop your tickets or passes.
Once you have a ticket, you don’t have to scan them or put them through any validation machines, but make sure to keep them on you (especially if you have a day pass—don’t lose it!) as there’s a large fine if you don’t have a ticket or Orca card.