How to Ride Light Rail In Seattle

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Seattle’s light rail is brand new opening in July 2009. Currently it runs from Tukwila International Blvd (close to SeaTac International Airport) to downtown. It runs right past Safeco Field (baseball) and Qwest Field (NFL football and soccer) as well as through China Town. The current end is at Westlake which is within a few blocks of Pike Place market and the Seattle Center / Space Needle (Weslake Center is the end of the world’s fair monorail) By December 2009, the Light Rail will run clear into SeaTac airport. Currently there is a shuttle bus between the airport and the Tukwila Inl. Blvd. station. The trains run from 5:00 Am – 12AM every 7 – 15 minutes depending on time of day.

To ride the light rail, you will need need to purchase a ticket at the vending machine. A one way pass is good for two hours and a round trip is good for all day.

At the end stations, sometimes the trains are stopped several minutes before they leave the station. If the doors are open, enter the train and take a seat. When the tones sound and door lights flash, the doors are closing. If you miss the train (and it isn’t the last one of the day) the next train will be there in a few minutes.

If the doors are closed because of bad weather and the train is still boarding, you can open the doors by pressing the door open button. The buttons are on the inside and the outside of the doors.

Enjoy your ride!


  • Space Needle / Seattle Center and Pike Place market: Westlake Station
  • Smith Tower: Pioneer Station
  • China Town / uwajimayas / Qwest Field : China Town / International District Station
  • Safeco Field: Stadium Station
  • Columbia City Farmers Market: Columbia City Station
  • SeaTac International Airport: Tukwila International Blvd. Station (for now)
  • Fare skipping is over $100. ticket and they do check
  • Do not confuse Sound Transit’s Light Rail with Sound Transit’s Sounder train – the Sounder is not close to the airport and t is a commuter rail with limited hours

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