Third Try, Public Transportation from Laurelhurst

Our children moved from Queen Anne to Redmond. Nice for them, but they took our grandchildren with them. On this lovely Friday, April 15, our granddaughter Nina was scheduled to play Baloo in a student production of the Jungle Book at 4 p.m. in a theatre in Kirkland. Our daughter-in-law suggested that we should come early, to the Redmond Transit Center (RTC)  in the heart of Redmond and she would pick us up there. So once again we set out to park near Children’s Hospital, but this time, on a weekday, the lots were full. We found a place to leave the car on a residential street north of the hospital, and walked three blocks to the intersection of Sand Point Way and 40th Ave NE. It seemed to take a long time for a bus to arrive, but soon we were on our way to the U of W campus. The bus left us at Rainier Vista, and we started down the path toward the stadium, Montlake Blvd, and Bay # 1.

This was a conundrum. Don had learned that we must take Sound Transit bus #542 to get to the RTC. Sound Transit is not the same as our Seattle Metro. Transfers won’t work, and the information people don’t know much about it. We were told the bus would stop at Bay #1, at the intersection of Montlake and NE Pacific Street, but there are several bus stops at that intersection and no one could tell us where to find Bay #1. Now we know to start from Rainier Vista toward the stadium, but just before reaching the bridge over Montlake Blvd, veer to the right and follow a path down to street level, aiming for a huge black W. Cross NE Pacific Street there, and the three or four bus shelters in a row are all Bay #1.

Where we went wrong: we had seen Bay #4 at the long bus stop on Montlake Blvd across the street from the stadium, and we assumed that the stops marked for buses there would be #s 1, 2, 3, and 4. That was wrong. A passerby told us to walk toward the hospital, and just as we reached Pacific Street, we saw bus #542 pulling away. The light was red for us and the street full of cars. Jumping up and down and waving didn’t impress the driver. By the time we could cross the street, the bus was gone. Buses to Redmond come half an hour apart. We settled in to the first shelter to wait. All together it took one and three quarters hours to get from our house to the RTC, and a few minutes longer to access our daughter-in-law.

For your information, Bay #1 is on the south side of NE Pacific Street; directly across the street is Bay #2, where the 542 Redmond bus returns. Bay #4 is on the west side of Montlake across from the stadium, and Bay #3 is on the east side. Coming home, we could have been taken back to the RTC, taken the 542 bus to Bay #2, walked up past the black W and caught a Metro bus to our car near Children’s–we could have done that, but we didn’t. Our son drove us back to our car, crossing on the new 520 bridge. Next time we visit Redmond, I think we’ll take our own car.

Special to Laurelhurst: these buses (31, 32, 65, 67, and 75) go from Sand Point Way and 40th NE to Rainier Vista on the U of W campus, the drop-off spot for reaching Light Rail and Metro and Sound Transit buses that leave from Bays #1,2,3,and4. The Laurelhurst bus 78 does not stop at Sand Point Way and 40th NE, but it does stop at Rainier Vista. Metro refers to the area around the Light Rail Station and the University Hospital as “University Station.” Of all the printed bus schedules for buses that go to Rainier Vista, none shows a map of University Station. Only the printed schedule for bus 78 has a map of University Station, with all its bays.

 

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2 Responses to Third Try, Public Transportation from Laurelhurst

  1. Joan says:

    Thanks for this “voice of experience” with public transport from Laurelhurst.

  2. admin says:

    Correction: I was wrong about not being able to transfer from a Metro bus to a Sound Transit. You don’t get a paper transfer anymore. The ORCA card works for both, and a computer somewhere keeps track of where you have swiped your card–you can go anywhere within those two systems within two hours. So our long trip to Redmond, using our senior cards, cost only one dollar apiece.

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