With the grand opening of Climate Pledge Arena and the return of events at venues across the grounds, easing transportation access to Seattle Center remains a priority. There are new and improved ways to access the 74-acre campus. Traffic management plans in place around Arena events will manage associated congestion, and the range of transportation options serving the Center will help to alleviate transit concerns.
Here are some options and approaches to consider on your next trip to Seattle Center.
Plan Ahead: Figure out your best walking, cycling or transit route in advance. If you arrive by private vehicle, allow time to drive to the area, park and walk to your destination. Information on current road conditions affecting access to Seattle Center and alternate driving routes may be found at the Transportation Updates page.
Sound Transit Light Rail: With expanded light rail service to Northgate and parking at most stations, public transit offers an easy, hassle-free way to get to your event or activity. To check the schedule, plan your trip or find station/stop, please visit Sound Transit.
King County Metro: Numerous bus routes serve Seattle Center including Metro routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 13, 24, 29, 31 and 33. Rapid Ride D Line and routes 5 and 28 serve the Center along Aurora Ave N. For more information, visit King County Metro. To find the best bus routes, visit King County Metro Trip Planner.
Seattle Center Monorail: The City of Seattle’s dedicated rail line, traveling between Seattle Center and Westlake Center in less than two minutes, resumed service this week after extensive upgrades. The work modernizes the monorail system, provides better access to the red and blue trains, improves the connection to Link Light Rail and the regional bus network, increases the size of the passenger boarding area at Westlake Station and adds ticket machines and a faregate system at both stations. The Monorail takes all forms of payment, including your ORCA card. Learn more at Seattle Center Monorail.
Parking: Seattle Center operates two parking garages for public use, 5th Ave N Garage, on 5th Ave N, with entrances on Republic and Harrison streets, and Mercer St Garage between Mercer and Roy streets, accessed on 3rd and 4th avenues N. Parkers will find ADA accessible parking in both garages and EV stations in 5th Ave N. Multi-hour parking rates range from $15 for self-service, non-event daytime parking to $30 during peak periods. The Climate Pledge Arena parking page lets you to prepurchase parking in 5th Ave N Garage. Prepurchase and reserve parking in several nearby lots and garages with the new Kraken+Climate Pledge Arena App. Just install it on your Android or Apple device and follow the prompts.
Alternative Driving Routes: Besides the major routes to Seattle Center via the Mercer St and Stewart St exits off I-5, there are alternates routes such as SR-99, Elliott Ave and I-5 downtown exits/entrances. Consider using these routes to avoid after-event traffic crunches.
Cycling to the Center: Seattle Department of Transportation is partnering with Climate Pledge Arena to build a network of protected bike lanes near Seattle Center, and there are numerous bike racks on the grounds, short-term racks on the west plaza of Climate Pledge Arena and safe bike lockers inside the 1st Ave N Garage, managed by Climate Pledge Arena. Bicyclers may use the City of Seattle's Online Bike Map for designated bike routes or use Google Maps to plan a custom route.
Ridesharing: This popular way to access Seattle Center now has new parameters during events at Climate Pledge Arena. Pre-event, rideshare vehicles will be prohibited from dropping off riders on 1st Ave N. The best rideshare drop-off locations on your way to an event will be Republican St and Warren Ave N, the MoPOP turnaround, the Mercer St/Marion Oliver McCaw Hall drop off zone and the Denny Way/Pacific Science Center drop off zone. For the 30 minutes following Climate Pledge Arena events, rideshare vehicles will not be allowed to pick up passengers nearby the arena. Rather, passengers are encouraged to walk east to pick up at Thomas St and Taylor Ave N for premium rideshare and general rideshare at Dexter Ave N and Thomas St.
It is an exciting time for Seattle Center as we welcome events and visitors back to the grounds, prepare for the opening of Climate Pledge Arena and approach the 60th Anniversary, in April 2022, of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, which created Seattle Center as a cultural hub for the people of Seattle. Maintaining easy access is critical in fulfilling our purpose to delight and inspire the human spirit.