Wheelchair Accessible Transportation
There are a variety of very wheelchair friendly transportation options in and around Seattle. Whether you are looking to get to or from the SeaTac Airport, visit city attractions, or tour one of the beautiful islands of the Pacific Northwest - your guaranteed an accessible, comfortable transportation experience. Below you will find the information you need to make Seattle easily accessible.
Are you looking to purchase an accessible van? Watch my video review before you shop? You will be shocked with my conclusions.
Phone: (206) 622-6500
- Wheelchair accessible taxi service in Seattle is limited but getting better. However, Yellow Taxi now has 53 vehicles, equipped with ramps that extend from the rear of the vehicle, to service the city of Seattle. The best way to book a WAT is through the iOS and Android app. You can book a WAT by tapping it on the third screen where it says Regular Cab. Wheelchair Van is the third option. Get the App here Yellow Taxi
- Wait times are typically 30-45 minutes, so call early.
- Taxi fare from SeaTac to Seattle is approximately $41.
- You might also try Farwest taxi which has 3 accessible vans.
Yellow Taxi: (206) 622-6500
Farwest taxi (206) 508-6885
Seattle Metro Buses & Sound Transit
- All Seattle Metro buses and Sound Transit light rail are wheelchair accessible.
- Link light rail travels between Westlake Station in downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport, making 11 stops along the way. Link trains run every 7.5, 10 or 15 minutes depending on the time of day.
- Sound Transit Express buses are equipped with ramps or wheelchair lifts.
- On Sounder train platforms, the conductor will deploy a boarding ramp to help riders get onto the train safely.
- Central Link light rail trains feature level boarding. Board directly from the platform without climbing steps or using a lift or ramp.
- On Tacoma Link, press the round accessibility symbol on the outside of the door when the train has stopped. The light rail operator will deploy a ramp to allow you to board the train.
Sound Transit Rail Link
- The Sound rail is terrific, convenient and very wheelchair accessible; it's by far the best pricing option and takes 45-60 minute to get from SeaTac to the last downtown station at Westlake.
- It's easy to roll-on /off with only 1-2 level inches between the platform and train. There is a 1-2 inch drop from the platform to train at some stations.
- There is plenty of available seating but make sure your brakes are working well because you're not locked down.
- There are no restrooms or food on the Sound rail.
- Cost is about $5.50 for a full day; $2.75 one-way. Kiosks to purchase tickets are very good height for wheelchair users.
- Use Stadium exit for Safeco Field (Seattle Mariners); just 2 level blocks away. Century Link Stadium (Seattle Seahawks) is 3 level blocks away.
- Alternatively use International District/Chinatown exit for Century Link Stadium (about 3 blocks away).
- Use International District/Chinatown exit for Amtrak (King St Station) and Union Station (Metro Bus hub).
- Use University St and Westlake exits for most downtown hotels.
- If you use University St exit, going east or west is very steep; best to go North or South.
Seattle Shuttle Express
Phone: (425) 981-7000
Visit Shuttle Express
Shuttle Express is a good choice for SeaTac Airport transfers, luxury, tour and charter transportation, serving homes, hotels, offices and cruise terminals in Puget Sound for 25 years.
- The Shuttle Express operates from SeaTac airport but has only 2 wheelchair accessible vans that hold the wheelchair user plus 2 adults or 1 adult and 2 children.
- They go anywhere in the Seattle area and take you anywhere you need to go; they will pick you up at your house if you wish.
- It is best to go online and schedule a reservation but you can also call for service or go up to the check-in counter at SeaTac. Both vehicles were there waiting when I visited.
- Cost from SeaTac to Seattle ranges from $18-$33 depending on the zip code (the 2nd and 3rd passengers are less expensive).
- The Shuttle Express is a much lower cost than a taxi if you can plan in advance and make a reservation
- If you have a larger party, consider sending some passengers on the non-accessible Shuttle Express buses which stop at 8 major downtown Seattle hotels.
- Do not attempt to use the hotel shuttle service "phone call box" for wheelchair accessible service. The contract has been discontinued.
- I have used them once about 11 PM and all went well.
Washington State Ferries
- If you are traveling by car and want to park near the elevator, be sure to let the ticket seller know. You do not need to make advance reservations.
- The Washington State Ferry system permits all drivers to remain in your vehicle during sailing if desired.
- I've been on ferry boats around the world, and I consider the Washington State ferry system the best, most wheelchair accessible and consumer friendly.
Check out the Washington State Ferry website which contains a list, picture and ADA notes for each vessel along with schedules, routes and fares. Most vessels (but not all) are very wheelchair accessible with ramps and elevators. Most vessels have elevator access from multiple auto deck levels to all of the passenger cabin areas. Accessible restrooms are generally on both the auto deck and the main passenger deck. On most vessels you can either walk-on (roll-on) or drive-on.
303 S. Jackson Street. Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: (800) 872-7245
Amtrak is essentially owned and operated by the U.S. Government. It is very aware of ADA regulations and is quite accommodating of wheelchairs. Seating for wheelchairs is limited so call in advance and inform Amtrak of any special needs. Seating is on the lower level on specific railway cars equipped with fully ADA compliant restrooms.
- Certain cars are also equipped for overnight wheelchair passenger sleeping. There is a small separate room which includes an accessible bathroom.
- All trains are accessible from the loading platform by a removable ramp which the conductor puts in place for wheelchair passengers.
- Dining and lounge areas are on the second level and are not generally accessible. Conductors, however, are available to bring food and beverages to passengers requiring assistance.
- In Seattle use the King Street Station. Although the Amtrak physical address is 303 South Jackson Street, follow King Street and enter on the west side of the station for parking and tickets.
- If using the Sound Transit Rail Link, use the International District/Chinatown exit. After you exit the train, go up the elevator to street level, then go past Union Station and turn right to go across 4th St and enter King St Station. Take the elevator down to the Amtrak station.
- Daily wheelchair passengers to Portland are approximately 15.
King County Water Taxi
801 Alaskan Way. Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: (206) 296-0100
The King County Water Taxi is a service operated by the King County Ferry District. It operates two routes, the West Seattle/Downtown Seattle Route (formerly known as Elliott Bay Water Taxi and West Seattle Water Taxi) and the Vashon Island/Downtown Seattle route.
Downtown Seattle/West Seattle
The West Seattle route crosses Elliott Bay from Pier 50 on the downtown Seattle waterfront to the Seacrest dock in West Seattle. The ferry's crossing time is approximately ten minutes, and the fare is $3.50 for adults if paid by ORCA Card. The water taxi operates seven days a week during the summer and on weekdays only during the winter.
Downtown Seattle/Vashon Island
Also operating from Pier 50 is another King County Water Taxi that goes to Vashon Island, which operates on weekdays and takes about 22 minutes.
Victoria Clipper - Pier 69
2701 Alaskan Way. Seattle, WA 98121
Phone: (206) 448-5000
- Fully accessible, ramp to board, call in advance as they will remove a seat. Able to move about boat while traveling.
- Food and beverages available onbaord.
- ADA compliant restrooms.
- No car traffic-Walk on only.
Accessible Van Rentals
Jim's Comments:Accessible van rentals are expensive and cost $100-$150 per day plus mileage. Many charge an additional $50-$90 for delivery and pick-up services. Some rental companies will not add hand controls or provide transfer/swivel seats, preferring to rent to able bodied persons who drive persons confined to wheelchairs.
Access Mobility Systems
7202 Evergreen Way, Everett, WA 98203
Phone: (425) 353-6563
Absolute Mobility Center
21704 87th Ave SE, Woodinville, WA 98072