Discovering One of Seattle’s Hidden Gems


Jack Kingston, Reporter

One of the most underrated ways to travel around the Seattle area while avoiding traffic and getting to see some of the best spots in the city, is also one of the more unique modes of transportation. 

The King County Metro Water Taxi has been running its route every spring to fall, from West Seattle to Downtown’s Pier 50, since 1888. While the route has seen plenty of name and boat changes during that 134 year period, including stoppage during the 1980s and 90s, the historic water route remains the same. Now, the water taxi service operates every day (minus holidays) from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm, making it the perfect commute for almost any time of the day. 

“It’s a very convenient way to get Downtown and back, especially with the West Seattle bridge being repaired,” said West Seattle Resident Paul Leonardo.

The recent controversy of the West Seattle Bridge closure has actually opened up the water taxi to more people who have been looking for alternate modes of transportation. West Seattle residents that work downtown can commute with ease and avoid the nasty First Avenue Bridge traffic. 

Not only is the water taxi great for commuting back and forth, but it is also an amazing way to access some of Seattle’s most interesting and popular spots, like Pike Place Market, the greater Downtown Area, the Seattle Piers, and the Sodo/Sports Stadium area.

“I used it for a Seahawks game one day and it worked great!” said Paul Leonardo again. 

The Pier 50 dock has even seen some repairs that have made it more friendly to passengers and bikers going from West Seattle to Downtown, with multiple walking and bike paths that make walking to the stadiums, downtown, or the piers easier. 

For families, it could be the perfect day trip to see the sights of the Puget Sound and Seattle skyline while also experiencing classic tourist attractions like Pike Place Market. On a beautiful day, the view stretches all the way from Queen Anne to Mt. Rainer, and the fifteen-minute boat ride offers plenty of time to take in the view and take pictures. It’s truly a great way to see the city not only up close but from far as well. 

While parking near the West Seattle dock can sometimes be tricky and the $5.75 Adult Passenger fee may not be very sustainable for daily trips, the King County Metro Water Taxi offers a special type of transportation that gives passengers many opportunities to commute and explore around the city of Seattle with ease. 

It’s also here to stay for a while, with King County Executive Dow Constantine and King County Councilmember Joe McDermott pledging to keep funding for the Water Taxi service up all year round, as opposed to the normal spring to fall cycle, to support West Seattle Residents. The King County Metro Water Taxi is not only a great mode of transport around Seattle, but also a wonderful chance to experience the sights and sounds of the city.