How to move in the Puget Sound

Marie Damman
Marie Damman

From Everett to Tacoma, through Seattle, there are several ways of living without owing a car. Sometimes, it seems really difficult to be able to do it, and in some area, it is simply not possible. Nevertheless, you can live months without thinking of buying a car and here is the way how to do it.

Buses and trains

First of all, each town has his bus line, it is called Transit. So you have the Everett Transit, Pierce Transit and the Metro Transit for King County included Seattle. The buses which go across counties are called SoundTransit. Buses don’t give change so make sure you have the right amount before boarding. If you want to combine bus and bike, in the US it is really easy to do it. Buses allow two bikes in front. When you stop, you only to take it back and start riding again.

In cities, buses leave quiet regularly, every 10 of 15 minutes on weekdays, to 30-60 minutes on Sundays. You can find several line, you need to pick the one the most appropriate to your journey. Don’t worry; the website Community Transit is well done to help you find the best match.

When you work in a different city, it is quiet easy wherever you are. The SoundTransit leaves every 15 minutes and you have also Amtrak trains which leave on weekdays on rushing hours. The bus is around $3,50 for adults, the train is more expensive and can go up to $40.

When you wanna go on city trip somewhere, the Greyhound is really useful. It can bring you anywhere for a cheap price. Sometimes, the company works with the Amtrak buses business which can make you confuse. When it happens, a Norhtwest bus shows up, not an Amtrak nor a Greyhound. That’s okay, it is in the right bay, with the right destination.

To go to the Airport, the best is to take the Sound Transit to Seattle. The main city opened a new subway line, the Central Link light rail,  that lead directly from downtown Seattle to the Airport. You have to look a little bit to find it in the mall at 4th & Pike. Signs tell you to go on your right, which there is a door that lead to the hall you came from, so don’t take it. Keep going straight until the signs tell you to go to your right and on that side you see stairs to go down.

To travel from Everett to Tacoma, you could either take a Greyhound/Amtrak bus, it would lead you directly to your destination for around $20 or, take two SoundTransit buses, change in Seattle, which cost $3,50 twice. With the Greyhound bus, it is more comfortable and you have space if you travel with a big bag or a suitcase. The SoundTransit uses to be a little bit crowded, people will keep trying to sit next to your while the seat is already taken by your huge bag.

Still need a car?

There are several American website to help you having a car when you need it without owing one.

RelayRides suggests you to rent a car a day or longer from someone in your area. You can pick the car you need according to its features. The map is quiet useful to find the closest renter. It is only a shame that there is no one around Everett downtown.

On RideShareOnline, you can find car-mate, to go on day trip or perhaps you can find someone who works around the same place to take you every morning.

ZimRide works pretty much the same as RideShareOnline. Here, you see directly if someone does the ride you are looking for, you don’t have to register. On RideShareOnline, registration is required before using any tool.

Zipcar is famous in big cities such as San Francisco or Seattle. It works like the city car in Europe. You use it for hours or day, take it from a zipcar parking spot and put it back in the same parking spot. This is the only bad point about it, you have to put it back where you took it, not in another parking spot. The video explanation about how to use it is really clear and nice to watch.

While living in Everett, no one of them would suggest me cars around my town. If you are like me, using your feet under the rain and the snow in a small town, I would advice to buy a used car.

In Seattle, teenagers and young adults don’t even think about passing the driving test. Parking spots are rare and expensive. They feel like they have enough transportation to be by themselves. Of course, the city is still thinking of improving the streets for pedestrians.


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