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Railroads and Bus Service
Burlington Northern and Union Pacific provide transcontinental rail service and operate three intermodal yards in Seattle. Passenger service to major U.S. cities is provided by Amtrak. Various bus lines connect Seattle with major cities in the U.S., Canada, and as far south as Tijuana, Mexico. Seattle is served by a county-wide bus system with a ride-free zone in Seattle’s downtown district. The public transportation network includes a trolley line, light rail, commuter rail (from Tacoma and Everett to Seattle), and over 100 miles of HOV lanes and regional express bus routes.
The Port of Seattle is among the top ten container ports in the U.S., with products valued at $33.4 billion crossing its docks in 2009. It is served by over 20 ocean carriers and numerous Alaska barge operators, two major transcontinental railroads, and numerous trucking companies that link Seattle to market hubs throughout North America. The Port encompasses over 500 acres of container handling space, with 24 container cranes and facilities to handle chilled or frozen meat and fish, fruit, vegetables, forest products, steel and grain. Maritime business activities at the Port are responsible for pumping $430 million in local purchases and $2.5 billion in business revenue into the local economy each year. The Port also owns and operates Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Fishermen’s Terminal and Maritime Industrial Center, Harbor Island Marina, Shilshole Bay Marina, and Bell Street Pier, an 11- acre complex with an international conference center, marina, shops and restaurants. Cruise terminals at Bell Street Pier and Terminal 30 serve the Alaska cruise industry with more than 200 ship calls each year. The World Trade Center complex, adjacent to the Bell Street Pier, strengthens Seattle’s role as a center for international trade.
Fishermen’s Terminal serves as the homeport for the U.S. North Pacific fishing fleet and is a growing center for other commercial workboats as well. Recent improvements provide 2,500 feet of linear moorage and more than 340 slips on concrete floating docks. Fishermen’s Terminal also provides the most comprehensive support services available on the West Coast, with loading docks supporting vessels up to 300 feet and 2,800 linear feet of loading dock, secure outdoor storage, indoor lockers, forklifts, cranes and other equipment on site. The facility includes a wide array of on-site businesses catering specifically to the needs of the commercial fishing and workboat industries. Companies in the nearby Ballard, Magnolia and Queen Anne neighborhoods also offer marine supplies, vessel repairs and other specialty services. Nearby, the Maritime Industrial Center offers additional vessel moorage, storage, re-supply, maintenance and repair facilities.
Kobe, Japan (1957)
Sea-Tac is a major gateway connecting Asia, Europe and the U.S. In 2009, Sea-Tac served 31.2 million passengers and transported 269,804 metric tons of air freight. Of the 29 airlines at Sea-Tac, 10 are all-cargo and 12 are foreign-flagged carriers that offer non-stop service to 21 international destinations. The airport is 13 miles (21 km) from Seattle’s central business district and 14 miles from the Port’s marine terminals. In the continental U.S., Sea-Tac is the closest airport to Asia and is approximately 9 hours by air from either Tokyo or London. There are more than 45 scheduled flights to international destinations each week.
Carriers with Direct International Flights
Cities Served by Direct Flights from Seattle