Transportation in Seattle
 Pre-Arrival Email #4 of 8
FIUTS connects university students with local and global communities through programs that build international awareness, cross-cultural communication, and informed leadership. 
Hello from Seattle!

This e-mail is all about transportation - how to get here from the airport, and how to get around the city once you're here. The university does not provide airport transfers for students (unless you are participating in the FIUTS Homestay Program and your host is available to pick you up). Luckily, there are lots of options using public transportation.
Airport Transportation
airportThe Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) is located approximately 30 minutes south of downtown Seattle. There are several ways to get from the airport to your accommodation in Seattle.

Downtown Airporter: This shuttle runs from the airport to several downtown hotels. From downtown you can take a public bus or taxi to the University District (U District). The trip to downtown costs around $15 per person. The Gray Line counter is located at the south end of the airport main terminal.

Shuttle Express: Less expensive than a taxi, the Shuttle Express is located on the 3rd floor of the parking garage at the airport. The cost from the airport to the UW is approximately $21 for one person. Discounts are available for 2 people or more traveling to the same destination. The Shuttle Express will take you to any destination within the city.

Light Rail / Bus:  Seattle's new light rail connects Sea-Tac airport to downtown Seattle. The light rail runs approximately every 10 minutes, and takes about 30 minutes to go downtown. The fare is $2.50, and you must buy a ticket at the light rail station before you get on the train. The ticket machines accept Visa, Mastercard or cash. From downtown you can take a public bus or taxi to the University District (U District).

Taxis: Taxis are available 24 hours a day. In a taxi, the average fare to the University from the airport is about $45. All taxis have meters that they must turn on. It is customary to give the driver a gratuity (tip) of 15% in addition to the fare.
Metro Transportation 
metro busSeattle's public bus system is called Metro Transit. As a student, you will probably use Metro frequently.

From downtown Seattle, you can take bus #71, 72, or 73 from any bus tunnel station north to the University District. The cost is $1.75 to $2.50 depending upon the time of day. You need the exact fare required; bus drivers do not give change or accept credit cards. When boarding, ask the driver for a transfer so you will not have to pay again on the next bus. 

Most bus drivers in Seattle are very helpful, so feel free to ask them for directions. In Seattle, as in any metropolitan area, use caution when traveling with large bags or at night.
Bicycling in Seattle
One popular way to get around the city once you are here, especially for students, is riding a bicycle. There are many bike shops in the area selling both new and used bikes. Cyclists can ride on city streets as well as on trails built especially for bicycles. The Seattle Department of Transportation Bicycle Program has online information about bike routes, free maps, and guidelines for riding bicycles in Seattle. 
I hope this information is helpful in arranging your transportation in Seattle. Again, feel free to contact me if you have further questions. We look forward to welcoming you to Seattle!


Brianna Mercker
Manager of Student Programs
Foundation for International Understanding Through Students  (FIUTS)