Getting Around During the #SeattleSqueeze: Commuter Edition

What were we thinking scheduling a meeting in West Seattle only days after the viaduct closed?! We looked at our calendars and shivered with anxiety. Fortunately we combined public transit with ReachNow and our commute worked out well.

Our offices are located close to the Westlake Light Rail station. The trains were running smoothly and on time, and it was a quick ride down to the SoDo station. We waited for the #50, which was running about 15-minutes behind schedule. The bus was definitely more crowded than usual, but we’re viewing crowded buses as an opportunity to melt the Seattle freeze, and we had a nice conversation about the new tunnel with a fellow commuter.

Unfortunately, the transition from 1st Ave onto the West Seattle Bridge is like trying to jog through a peat bog. It was slow going for a bit, but once we got onto the Bridge things moved quickly—there’s a dedicated bus lane and we cruised along nicely.

After our meeting we found a ReachNow MINI and parked near the water taxi. To offset the viaduct rebuild, the City is offering more frequent water taxi trips to/from West Seattle. It was a fun but kind of chilly ride across to downtown. We were in the thick of it there, but fortunately it was only a short walk up to 3rd Avenue, where we hopped the #5 bus back to our offices. All in all, it took a little over an hour to get to West Seattle from downtown, and a little less time to get back. By using public transit we helped keep additional cars off the streets, and we were able to work along the way. ReachNow helped fill in some of the gaps and made the commute significantly easier.

So far we’ve found that if you follow some simple principles — leave early, plan a little extra time, try not to commute during peak hours — your post-viaduct commute might be a little slower, but it should also be okay - and soon, we’ll get to a “new normal.”

We were curious about other routes across the city, so we’re sharing a few more stories from our ReachNow community below. If you have been using ReachNow during the Seattle Squeeze, share your story with us here!

More from downtown to West Seattle :
Yesterday I left the office around 5:45PM. I was able to get a seat on the C-Line heading into west seattle. Before we got off the West Seattle Bridge, I was able to reserve a ReachNow at one of the first stops in West Seattle for the last leg home. Being able to take a ReachNow is much faster than sitting on the C Line as it routes through the Junction.

From Queen Anne to SODO:
I used to take the viaduct to and from Queen Anne and SODO every day. I have changed my commute to taking a ReachNow into downtown and then hopping on the Westlake lightrail station. I thought this might make my commute longer than driving my own personal vehicle but it has in fact made it faster!




Anna Anderson