Which way is quickest?

  • By Bill Sheets
  • Thursday, April 21, 2011 12:01am
  • Local News

Thousands of people pour out of Snohomish County every day and head south for work, business or pleasure in downtown Seattle. For most, there are five ways to get there: by freeway in regular lanes; by freeway in carpool lanes; on Sound Transit’s Sounder commuter train; by Sound Transit bus; and by

Community Transit bus. So which way is the fastest?Whether commuting in the morning or evening, driving is usually the fastest way between Everett and Seattle. For the purposes of this snapshot, we chose the

Everett Station as the starting point and bus stops closest to King Street Station in downtown Seattle, where the Sounder train stops, as destinations.

Early in the morning, driving can be 20 minutes faster or more than taking the bus or train. That difference shrinks as I-5 fills. Between 8

a.m. and 9 a.m., it could take longer to drive than it would riding a Sound Transit bus.

These numbers are averages, and things change every day. One bad accident on I-5 or a mudslide on the railroad tracks can mess up a trip. In general, auto commute times in the Puget Sound region are tren

ding downward, according to studies by the INRIX Corp. of Kirkland and the Texas Transportation Institute.

Everett to Seattle commute

Driving
Four consecutive Wednesdays in March including spring break, from

Everett Station to King Street Station in Seattle.

Carpool lanes
Four consec

utive Wednesdays in March including spring break, from Everett Station to King Street Station in Seattle.

Sound Transit bus
From Everett Station to Airport Way South and South Royal Brougham Way in Seattle.
Sound T

ransit Sounder commuter rail
Includes Amtrak’s 10:02 a.m. departure; from Everett Station to King Street Station in Seattle.

Community Transit
Includes a transfer at Mariner Park & Ride and an average wait of 10 minutes; from Everett Station to Second Avenue and South Washington Street in Seattle.
Time: minutes Time: minutes Time: minutes Time: minutes Time: minutes
5:15 a.m.: 36.75 5:15 a.m.: 35.75 5:20 a.m.: 51.00   5:30 a.m.: 68.00
5:30 a.m.: 40.00 5:30 a.m.: 37.00 5:35 a.m.: 53.00    
5:45 a.m.: 48.25 5:45 a.m.: 40.50 5:44 a.m.: 53.00    
6:00 a.m.: 49.00 6:00 a.m.: 42.25   5:45 a.m.: 59.00  
5 a.m. hour average: 43.50 5 a.m. hour average: 38.88 5 a.m. hour average: 52.33 5 a.m. hour average: 59.00 5 a.m. hour average: 68.00
6:15 a.m.: 44.25 6:15 a.m.: 44.00 6:00 a.m.: 56.00 6:15 a.m.: 59.00 6 a.m.: 69.00
6:30 a.m.: 48.75 6:30 a.m.: 41.25 6:10 a.m.: 59.00 6:45 a.m.: 59.00 6:20 a.m.: 74.00
6:45 a.m.: 45.50 6:45 a.m.: 32.25 6:20 a.m.: 63.00   6:40 a.m.: 76.00
7:00 a.m.: 56.00 7:00 a.m.: 42.25 6:36 a.m.: 66.00   6:55 a.m.: 79.00
    6:46 a.m.: 68.00    
6 a.m. hour average: 48.63 6 a.m. hour average: 39.94 6 a.m. hour average: 62.40 6 a.m. hour average: 59.00 6 a.m. hour average: 74.50
7:15 a.m.: 59.50 7:15 a.m.: 46.75 7:01 a.m.: 68.00 7:15 a.m.: 59.00 7:10 a.m.: 81.00
7:30 a.m.: 64.75 7:30 a.m.: 50.50 7:16 a.m.: 67.00   7:35 a.m.: 82.00
7:45 a.m.: 67.00 7:45 a.m.: 52.25 7:31 a.m.: 65.00    
8:00 a.m.: 71.50 8:00 a.m.: 53.75 7:46 a.m.: 64.00    
7 a.m. hour average: 65.69 7 a.m. hour average: 50.81 7 a.m. hour average: 66.00 7 a.m. hour average: 59.00 7 a.m. hour average: 81.50
8:15 a.m.: 65.75 8:15 a.m.: 52.25 8:01 a.m.: 62.00   8 a.m.: 80.00
8:30 a.m.: 61.50 8:30 a.m.: 50.00 8:16 a.m.: 61.00    
8:45 a.m.: 59.75 8:45 a.m.: 48.75 8:31 a.m.: 61.00    
9:00 a.m.: 57.75 9:00 a.m.: 47.50 8:50 a.m.: 58.00    
8 a.m. hour average: 61.19 8 a.m. hour average: 49.63 8 a.m. hour average: 60.50   8 a.m. hour average: 80.00
9:15 a.m.: 53.50 9:15 a.m.: 44.75 9:20 a.m.: 58.00    
9:30 a.m.: 50.50 9:30 a.m.: 42.50 9:50 a.m.: 58.00    
9:45 a.m.: 49.50 9:45 a.m.: 41.75      
10:00 a.m.: 47.25 10:00 a.m.: 40.50      
9 a.m. hour average: 50.19 9 a.m. hour average: 42.38 9 a.m. hour average: 58.00    
      10:02 a.m.: 63.00  
Morning average minutes: 53.84 Morning average minutes: 44.33 Morning average minutes: 60.61 Morning average minutes: 59.00 Morning average minutes: 76.13

Seattle to Everett commute

Driving
Four consecutive Wednesdays in March including spring break and one day with a major accident
Carpool Lanes
Four consecutive Wednesdays in March including spring break and one day with a major accident
Sound Transit bus
From Sixth Avenue South and South Atlantic Street in Seattle to Everett Station
Sound Transit Rail
Includes the Sounder Train and Amtrak for the 6:50 p.m. departure; from King Street Station in Seattle to Everett Station
Community Transit
Includes a transfer at Mariner Park & Ride and an average wait time of 10 minutes; from Fourth Avenue South and South Jackson Street in Seattle to Everett Station
Time: minutes Time: minutes Time: minutes Time: minutes Time: minutes
3:15 p.m.: 48.50 3:15 p.m.: 43.25 3:00 p.m.: 57.00   3:07 p.m.: 65.00
3:30 p.m.: 47.25 3:30 p.m.: 43.75 3:15 p.m.: 61.00   3:37 p.m.: 68.00
3:45 p.m.: 48.75 3:45 p.m.: 42.75 3:25 p.m.: 62.00    
4:00 p.m.: 48.00 4:00 p.m.: 45.00 3:41 p.m.: 67.00    
    3:55 p.m.: 68.00    
3 p.m. hour average: 48.13 3 p.m. hour average: 43.69 3 p.m. hour average: 63.00   3 p.m. hour average: 66.50
4:15 p.m.: 47.25 4:15 p.m.: 48.25 4:10 p.m.: 70.00 4:05 p.m.: 59.00 4:05 p.m.: 73.00
4:30 p.m.: 47.00 4:30 p.m.: 45.25 4:25 p.m.: 72.00 4:33 p.m.: 59.00 4:25 p.m.: 75.00
4:45 p.m.: 44.50 4:45 p.m.: 43.75 4:40 p.m.: 73.00   4:45 p.m.: 77.00
5:00 p.m.: 46.25 5:00 p.m.: 45.00 4:50 p.m.: 73.00    
4 p.m. hour average: 46.25 4 p.m. hour average: 45.56 4 p.m. hour average: 72.00 4 p.m. hour average: 59.00 4 p.m. hour average: 75.00
5:15 p.m.: 47.25 5:15 p.m.: 45.50 5:05 p.m.: 72.00 5:05 p.m.: 59.00 5:05 p.m.: 77.00
5:30 p.m.: 46.75 5:30 p.m.: 46.25 5:20 p.m.: 71.00 5:35 p.m.: 59.00 5:35 p.m.: 74.00
5:45 p.m.: 46.00 5:45 p.m.: 46.25 5:30 p.m.: 70.00    
6:00 p.m.: 44.25 6:00 p.m.: 43.50 5:45 p.m.: 68.00    
5 p.m. hour average: 46.06 5 p.m. hour average: 45.38 5 p.m. hour average: 70.25 5 p.m. hour average: 59.00 5 p.m. hour average: 75.50
6:15 p.m.: 42.00 6:15 p.m.: 41.25 6:15 p.m.: 65.00 6:50 p.m.: 52.00 6:05 p.m.: 70.00
6:30 p.m.: 41.00 6:30 p.m.: 30.25 6:45 p.m.: 61.00    
6:45 p.m.: 39.25 6:45 p.m.: 38.50      
7:00 p.m.: 38.50 7:00 p.m.: 38.25      
6 p.m. hour average: 40.19 6 p.m. hour average: 37.06 6 p.m. hour average: 63.00 6 p.m. hour average: 52.00 6 p.m. hour average: 70.00
7:15 p.m.: 27.00 7:15 p.m.: 27.00 7:15 p.m.: 59.00    
7:30 p.m.: 27.00 7:30 p.m.: 27.00 7:44 p.m.: 56.00    
7:45 p.m.: 27.00 7:45 p.m.: 27.00      
8:00 p.m.: 27.00 8:00 p.m.: 27.00      
7 p.m. hour average: 27.00 7 p.m. hour average: 27.00 7 p.m. hour average: 57.50    
Afternoon average minutes: 41.53 Afternoon average minutes: 39.74 Afternoon average minutes: 66.18 Afternoon average minutes: 57.60 Afternoon average minutes: 72.38

SOURCES: Driving times are from the Washington State Department of Transportation, with additional Herald reporting to add side-street travel to WSDOT’s interchange-to-interchange freeway measurements. Bus and train times are from the respective transit agencies.

Cost of the commute

Driving Sound Transit bus Sound Transit rail Community Transit bus
$4.39* $3** $4.50** $3.50***

* 25 mpg at $3.75 per gallon
** Rates vary for seniors, disabled people and youths
*** $5.25 without Orca card

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