Seattle, WA Transport

Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?
If living within the city, it is not necessary for you to operate your own vehicle. You could easily get by with public transportation. However, having your own means of transport is sometimes very convenient. You should keep in mind, though, that parking spaces can be very difficult to find.
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How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?
A U.S. driver's license and driver liability insurance are required for Washington drivers. As a newcomer, you will have six months within which to apply for a Washington license. Teenagers can get a learner's permit at age 16, provided that the permit holder is accompanied by an adult with a valid Washington license. Both the permit and the license can be obtained at any Washington DMV office. In order to obtain a license, you will need to take both a practical and a written test. You will have to provide your own vehicle for the practical test.
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What side of the road do people drive on?
Like all other U.S. states, Washington drivers use the right side of the road.
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Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.
There are several great options for getting around Seattle and the Central Puget Sound region without a car. Seattle has an extensive bus system that can be used to travel throughout the Puget Sound. The three primary transit providers in the Seattle and Central Puget Sound area are King County Metro, Community Transit and Sound Transit. In addition to buses, Sound Transit offers commuter rail service between Tacoma, Seattle, Edmonds and Everett. Sound Transit also operates a light rail system that provides convenient service between Sea-Tac Airport and downtown Seattle.
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Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.

Another option within downtown Seattle is the historic Monorail to Seattle Center, site of the 1962 World’s Fair and the landmark Space Needle. The Seattle Center Monorail operates daily, with departures every 10 minutes from the station at Seattle Center (across from the Space Needle) and from Westlake Center Mall at Fifth and Pine Street. Each trip takes two minutes to cover the 1-mile route. Each train can carry up to 450 passengers per trip. The Monorail provides two-train service during special events and activities, with departures every five minutes or less.

  • Waterfront Transit

The Waterfront Trolley is out of commission; however it has been replaced by a free transit bus that goes the length of the Waterfront and ends in Pioneer Square and close to the international district. Very convenient for visiting the Klondike Gold Rush Museum or to go to the Underground Tours.
Traveling outside of downtown Seattle? Not a problem. Plan your trip online with a regional trip planner. Just type in your location within King, Pierce or Snohomish counties and your destination. The trip planner will give you several options for getting there.
From downtown Seattle, you can also take advantage of the Washington State Ferry System and take a scenic ferry ride to Bainbridge Island, Bremerton or Vashon Island. Beautiful Whidbey Island and Deception Pass State Park are also accessible via ferries departing from Mukilteo, about 30 minutes north of downtown Seattle.
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In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?
None in particular come to mind. Simply exercise normal safety precautions.
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Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?
The King County Metro, Community Transit, and Sound Transit have ticket machines at stations and all buses have ticket machines inside the vehicles. You will need exact change to use one of these typically.
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Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.