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Transportation in Seattle
Pre-Arrival Email #3 of 8
Hello from Seattle!

This e-mail is all about transportation - how to get here from the airport and how to get around the city once you're here. The university does not provide airport transfers for students (unless you are participating in the FIUTS Homestay Program and your host is available to pick you up). Luckily, there are lots of options using public transportation. 
** Remember: the deadline to apply for the FIUTS Welcome Week Homestay Program is one month prior to your Seattle arrival! If you're interested in participating, be sure to apply soon! **
Quick Links:
Airport Transportation
The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) is located approximately 30 minutes south of downtown Seattle. There are several ways to get from the airport to your accommodation in Seattle.

Seattle’s Link Light Rail is one of the best ways to get to and from the airport because it’s fast, easy, and connects directly to the University of Washington campus. The trip costs $3.25 and takes approximately 45 minutes to campus. Trains come every six minutes during peak commute times and 10-15 minutes the rest of the day. From the Sea-Tac Airport main baggage claim area, follow the signs and use the covered walkway to get to the Link light rail station (approximately 5-10 minutes from the main terminal). Click here for more info.

Purchase a ticket at one of the vending machines to travel to University of Washington Station (the last station on the line) before you get on the train; the ticket machines accept Visa, MasterCard or cash. Service is available 5 a.m. - 1 a.m. weekdays and 6 a.m. - 12 a.m. on weekends. The University of Washington Station is located on the southeast side of campus adjacent to Husky Stadium. Bus service runs between UW Station and the heart of the University District every eight minutes or less on seven all-day routes (44, 45, 48, 67, 71, 73 and 271).

This shuttle runs 24 hours a day, every day, from the airport to several downtown Seattle hotels. From downtown you can take a public bus or taxi to the U District. One-way trips from SeaTac Airport depart every 30 minutes during peak travel times and cost around $18 per person. Downtown Airporter, operated by Shuttle Express, departs from Level 3 of the parking garage, in the center of the Ground Transportation Plaza.

Share Ride:
The Shuttle Express Airport Share Ride is located on the 3rd floor of the airport parking garage, in the Ground Transportation Plaza. The cost from the airport to the UW is approximately $36 for one person. Discounts are available for two people or more traveling to the same destination. The Shuttle Express will take you to any destination within the city. Service from the airport is on-demand; you do not need to pre-book reservations.

Taxis are available 24 hours a day. In a taxi, the average fare to the university from the airport is about $55-60. All taxis have meters that they must turn on. It is customary to give the driver a gratuity (tip) of 15% in addition to the fare.

Transportation Network Companies:
LyftUber and Wingz provide services at SeaTac Airport. You must request your ride through the mobile app of the company you choose. After you have arranged for your ride, your driver will pick you up at the Ground Transportation Plaza on the 3rd floor of the parking garage. Follow the signs to the TNC/Rideshare pickup area in Sections I & J. Fares can range between $30-50.
ISS Tip of the Week
F-1 students: Can I work?
Your F-1 student status permits you to work on campus. You must maintain F-1 status to be eligible for this employment benefit; maintaining status means that you are a full-time registered student (except for approved exceptions) in good academic standing with a valid I-20.
Seattle has a variety of transit options that can easily get you to where you need to go, including to and from campus. The UW provides a free Commute Options service to help you figure out the logistics of a perfectly planned commute to, from, and around campus. Be sure to connect with them for personalized help using any of the types of transportation listed in this email.

Once you are here, get your UW Husky Card (student ID card) as soon as possible. Why? Because it also has your U-PASS: your go-anywhere, do-anything, transit pass. The $84 per quarter U-PASS fee will appear on your tuition statement and allows you to access the many benefits of U-PASS membership, including commute-related deals and discountsRead more about the U-PASS and the student advisory board. Fall Quarter student U-PASS activation begins September 20.

Seattle's public bus system is called Metro Transit. Before you get your U-PASS, you will need the exact fare to ride the bus; bus drivers do not give change or accept credit cards. When boarding, ask the driver for a transfer so you will not have to pay again on the next bus.

Buses connect the University District with many other Seattle neighborhoods -- you'll hear more about these attractions in upcoming emails. Most bus drivers in Seattle are very helpful, so feel free to ask them for directions. In Seattle, as in any metropolitan area, use caution when traveling with large bags or at night.
Bicycling, Walking, and Rideshares
One popular, inexpensive, and fun way to get around the city is riding a bicycle. There are many bike shops in the area selling both new and used bikes. There is even a Bike Shop right on campus and bike classes for those that would like to learn more about riding on and around the UW. 

If you are interested in riding a bicycle in Seattle, reach out to UW’s Commute Options service to get helpful information on safe routes, upcoming bike classes, and other tips.​

When you get to campus, you will realize there is no one way to get anywhere! With its network of pathways, amazing views and historic landmarks, walking is by far the most popular way to get around campus. 

Carpooling and vanpooling are great ways to commute to campus. If you are planning to live off campus, ride together and you can save money on gas and parking. You’ll also get access to high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes and on-ramps for a faster commute. And don’t forget that you can always mix up your commute as needed: bus, bike, walk or drive alone on the days you can’t share the ride. Use your U-PASS deals and discounts perk to get discounts on rideshare options like car2go and Zipcar!
Zipcar for International Huskies: Zipcar allows 18+ students to rent a car by the hour or day for quick errands or weekend trips. Cars cost $10/hour or $75/day with gas, insurance and 180 daily miles included. Membership costs $15/year and you get $15 free driving when you get signed up using promo code FIUTS17. International driver’s license welcome! learn more at
Don't forget: All students (undergraduate, graduate, exchange, transfer, F-1, J-1) must complete a FIUTS International Student Orientation Session to complete your immigration check-in with International Student Services (ISS). Review the website for more information.

We'd still love to hear from you regarding your expectations for orientation through the pre-arrival survey. And always feel free to contact us if you have further questions. We look forward to welcoming you to Seattle!

Amy Bergstrom
Manager of Student Programs at FIUTS
Join the FIUTS UW International Students Group on Facebook
Have you missed any of the pre-arrival emails? Review the archive on our website.
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