October 25, 2021
Light Rail Expands to the North
We’re happy to report that getting from the airport and downtown to Greenlake Guest House just got easier with the grand opening of the Roosevelt light rail station. The U-District, Roosevelt, and Northgate stations opened on October 2, after nearly 25 years of campaigning and construction. Originally opening in 2009 with a route from the airport to downtown, the Link currently goes from Angle Lake (south of the airport) to Northgate (several miles north of downtown). The Link stops in South Seattle neighborhoods, at the football and baseball stadiums, International District/Chinatown, downtown, Capitol Hill, and 2 stops at the University of Washington. The north end of the line currently ends at Northgate, a major transit center, and home of the new Kraken ice hockey training facility. Eventually, the light rail will run south to Tacoma, north to Everett, West Seattle, and east to Bellevue and Redmond.
Why Take the Light Rail?
Instead of being stuck in traffic, now you can relax and read a book or watch a show while you travel to and from neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, downtown, or the airport. The cars are new and clean. It’s safe and environmentally friendlier than driving. Additionally, you can avoid the hassle of finding and paying for parking in congested neighborhoods downtown. It’s easy to use and much less expensive than a car rental, cab or rideshare. Please note that masks are currently required on all public transit.
Directions from the Airport to Greenlake Guest House
The SeaTac/Airport Link Station is located on the fourth floor of the airport parking garage. Take the skybridge to walk a short distance to the station. Then head north and ride for 45 minutes (16 stops) until you reach the Roosevelt Station. Walk 1 minute to Bay 2 and connect to Metro bus route #45 heading northwest to Loyal Heights. Ride 6 minutes and leave the bus at Meridian and E. Green Lake Drive N. Route #45 comes every 15 minutes and stops 3 doors to the right (east) of our B&B. Alternately, you can walk 1.2 miles from the Roosevelt Station in about 25 minutes. The total trip is about 60-75 minutes door to door and costs $3.25 per person. For more suggestions on getting here from the airport, see our website.
How to Pay
You can buy one-way, return, or all-day rail tickets at light rail ticket machines. Ticket machines accept cash and credit cards. Or, you can buy a single ticket on your phone with the Transit GO ticket app. When you are ready to board, activate the ticket and show your screen to the bus driver or to the light rail fare enforcement officer, if asked.
The easiest way to pay is with an ORCA card, which may be purchased for $5 at a light rail ticket machine, online at www.orcacard.com, by mail, and at some retail locations. Once you have the card, you can add funds. The card can also be used for all area public transportation including the bus, monorail, water taxi, street car, or ferry.
When using an ORCA card to ride the Link light rail, tap the yellow card reader when you get on and again when you get off. If you don’t tap when you get off, you will be charged the highest fare from where you started. On buses, you only need to tap the reader by the driver when you board, and not when you exit. The ORCA card allows you to easily make transfers between trains and buses without having to pay for 2 separate fares. You simply pay for the most expensive leg of the trip, whether it is the train or the bus. We think the system is very user friendly.
For more details on payment, see https://www.soundtransit.org/ride-with-us/how-to-pay
About Roosevelt Station
Roosevelt Station was named after Teddy Roosevelt. It’s located 1.2 miles from Greenlake Guest House. You can walk there in 24 minutes, or ride the #45 bus nearly door-to-door in 6 minutes (the bus stops every 15 minutes). If you have a rental car, there is free parking within a couple blocks of the station if you want to drive and park nearby. The neighborhood offers a mix of little restaurants and coffee houses and historic Roosevelt High School.
Should I rent a car when coming to Seattle?
About half our guests rent cars and half do not. Car rentals and in-city parking can be expensive, but they do allow the most flexibility. Parking is free and readily available on our street. If you plan to make day trips outside of the city, then you should definitely rent a car for at least some of your trip.
However, if your stay is short or you don’t plan to travel outside Seattle, it’s easy to use public transportation via the light rail or bus to downtown and the airport. Public transportation is faster and easier going north-south to downtown than east-west to neighborhoods like Ballard. Taxis, town cars, and rideshares like Uber and Lyft are also a convenient, easy option for getting around Seattle if you don’t want to use public transit or drive. You might choose to do a little of everything when visiting Seattle. That’s what the locals do!
Seattle has been quite late to the light rail party, but we are happy to say that we now have lots of options for visitors to get around the area.