If you’ve ever ridden the Sounder train before – whether from Lakewood or Everett or anywhere in between – you know it’s a great way to get to work.
Between stunning views of Mount Rainier to the south and a waterfront ride to the north, these commuter rail lines (the S Line and the N Line) provide a stress-free way to travel to Seattle.
What you might not know is that these trains also occasionally run on the weekends!
When there’s a big event or sports game in town, like this Sunday (July 24) when our Mariners take on their division rivals, we run Sounder event service.
Earlier this month, I rode from down to Lumen Field when our Seattle Sounders (Sounder to Sounders – get it?) took on the Portland Timbers – but, I wasn’t planning on going to the game!
It was a sunny day in Seattle so I decided to hop on the train, walk to the waterfront and ride the King County Water Taxi over to West Seattle for the afternoon.
This is the first in our new series of ‘Transit Safaris’ – where we use the modes of transit you know, but maybe in a new way.
We’ve been so inspired by people who use transit to take cool trips – like taking the bus to hiking trails or the Seattle Transit Blot excursions touring our region via boat, train and the streetcar, racing to ride seven modes of Seattle transit in four hours or combining bikes and transit for multi-wheeled advendures.
1/3 Today’s adventure showcased the freedom an e-bike brings w an assist from public transit #SEAbikes #bikePNW— Bob Svercl ??? (@bobco85) July 4, 2022
-hopped on light rail to get to Angle Lake
-relic from a historic world fair I’ll cover on my Queen Anne History Ride
-enjoying the sunshine at Redondo Beach (WA) pic.twitter.com/gvY2afbHG0
Got any amazing transit-only trips, a cool reverse commute or another fun way to move around the Sound? We want to hear it!
Find us on social media on @SoundTransit and share your safari, or email your trip plan to email@example.com.
When I rode on July 9, the train departed from Edmonds Station at 11:11 a.m. and was right on time.
I used my work-provided ORCA card, but an adult fare would have cost $4.
ORCA is the best way to travel around the Sound – find more information on how to pay, including reduced fare options, here.
I rode to Seattle and got off at King Street Station with my fellow passengers around 11:45 a.m. But while they walked to the stadium, I headed to the new water taxi facility at Colman Dock.
I had some time to spend before the water taxi left at 12:30 p.m. (and still an hour and a half before the soccer match even started!), so I walked around the waterfront before boarding.
Adult fare on the water taxis is $5.75 one way ($5 with an ORCA card). Check the schedule and plan your next adventure!
King County offers a free shuttle service on the West Seattle side, so you can head to the Alaska Junction or over to the main part of Alki Beach.
There’s so much to do – rent a kayak, go for a swim, grab an ice cream – or just do what I did, and enjoy a cocktail with one of the best views in the city!
I had to keep an eye on the progress of the game, because the train leaves about a half hour after the final whistle. But I still had plenty of time to enjoy a beautiful day downtown.
How to ride Sounder
People often ask why Sounder doesn’t run all day and every weekend, similar to light rail.
The reason is that the railroad tracks Sounder uses between Tacoma and Seattle are owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) and are heavily used by freight trains as well as Amtrak.
So take advantage when event service is offered! Or, try Sounder for your next commute:
And no worries if you don't have an ORCA card - you can buy transit passes for Metro, Water Taxi, Link light rail and more on your phone with Transit Go Ticket. It can be a time saver, especially on game days!
If you're headed to a match, even if it's not on Sounder, check out more of our game day travel tips.
See you on board!