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Old Mar 28, 08, 11:49 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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The Tacoma Dome Parking Garage & the 574 bus, aka Mileage run parking for cheapskates

As a Kitsap Peninsula resident, SEA is a bit of a journey for me and I have a major loathing of the parking options. So I've tried to be creative in finding ways to get to the airport without hooking up one of the parking firms on 99.

Recently I tried the 574 Express bus to SEA (via I-5 & Federal Way) from the Tacoma Dome parking garage. I know there are posts about taking the bus from Seattle, but I didn't see any about riding from Tacoma, so here goes:

http://www.soundtransit.org/x7239.xml

The bus stops several times so it's not as fast as driving it yourself, but it's $2.50 each way and the buses are comfortable. Not a huge amount of luggage space, so I don't suggest the 574 if you're traveling with big bags during a busy time of the month, but enough for a couple of small carry-ons I should think.

The bus drops you off at the end of the arrivals drive near the Airporter departure area/door 00 and picks up about 100ft further down the drive. You can't make change on the bus but there is a change machine available at the Tacoma bus stop (there are some inside the bag claim level at SEA as well, but they were out of order).

Regarding the parking garage - it's free unless there's an event at the Dome. Technically you can't stay more than 24 hours. I recently parked there for several days, though, and walked to the Amtrak station for a trip to Portland. When I returned, I had been ticketed by the Diamond Parking staff, but not for 24hr+ parking - it was for not parking exactly between the lines, and it took them three days to ticket me (and I was within the lines, dang it). I called the service number on the ticket and got the $25 fee waived (lucky), but it seems to me that garage management doesn't check too rigorously.

Use at your own risk of course, but the 24 hour rule does make it possible to save cash if doing a quick mileage run out of SEA by just taking the 574 for $5.00 r/t instead of paying up for parking around SEA.

Needless to say, you can also just be dropped off at any 574 stop.

My other option is the Holiday Inn Kent, which has an airport shuttle, does not charge for parking, and allows seven days of parking with a one night's stay at the hotel. I reviewed the hotel here (shameless plug) in the IC Hotels forum and think it's a great value. Their rates are usually much lower than park & fly rates offered around SEA. I know there are many other hotels in the area that offer a free ride and free parking, but this is the only one I've seen with free park & fly.

Anyway, just trying to do my part to deny money to the parking outfits around SEA. If I'm flying out of SEA on business, I park at MasterPark and claim it, but if it's on my own dime I'm going to do whatever I can to keep parking from costing more than my airfare.

Last edited by keihin_242; Mar 31, 08 at 1:33 am.
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Old Mar 30, 08, 3:40 am   #2
 
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Originally Posted by keihin_242 View Post

You can't make change on the bus but there is a change machine available at the Tacoma bus stop (there are some inside the bag claim level at SEA as well, but they were out of order).
Nice little tip that there are change machines availiable if you need some coins to pay for the bus fare !
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Old Mar 31, 08, 1:31 am   #3
 
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Originally Posted by cph_flyer View Post
Nice little tip that there are change machines availiable if you need some coins to pay for the bus fare !
If forgot to mention that the buses do accept dollar bills (but not anything bigger), so you won't need to carry around a pound of quarters.
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Old May 2, 08, 6:23 am   #4
 
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I'll latch on here if I may.

We'll be going from Tacoma to SeaTac on an upcoming trip and I notice the caution about lack of luggage space on the ST574. What would the sensible mode of public transport be for 2 people with more than a carry on - say one medium suitcase and a carry on each? I'm guessing it's about a 30 minute cab ride?
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Old May 2, 08, 6:32 am   #5
 
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Originally Posted by Cheetah_SA View Post
I'll latch on here if I may.

We'll be going from Tacoma to SeaTac on an upcoming trip and I notice the caution about lack of luggage space on the ST574. What would the sensible mode of public transport be for 2 people with more than a carry on - say one medium suitcase and a carry on each? I'm guessing it's about a 30 minute cab ride?
Shuttle Express would probably be your best bet. I don't know what a cab fare is from Tacoma to Sea-Tac is but from Seattle to Sea-Tac it is iirc about $40-$45ish. I would think that it might be a bit more from Tacoma depending on where in the city you live. I live on Cap Hill so freeway access is just a few minutes from my door step.
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Old May 2, 08, 6:34 am   #6
 
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I took this bus once to the airport. It really is a comfy ride but I didn't like all the stops it makes on the way up. It seems that it is more stops up then the Metro does going down from Seattle. If one has more then a carry on taking the bus during rush hour can be a bit of a pain I'd have to say.
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Old May 3, 08, 3:06 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by fly4funsea View Post
Shuttle Express would probably be your best bet. I don't know what a cab fare is from Tacoma to Sea-Tac is but from Seattle to Sea-Tac it is iirc about $40-$45ish. I would think that it might be a bit more from Tacoma depending on where in the city you live. I live on Cap Hill so freeway access is just a few minutes from my door step.
Thanks, fly4funsea. We'll not actually staying in Tacoma - we'll be arriving by Amtrak in the morning, visiting the Glass Museum and then going on to catch a flight from SEA. But it should work to get Shuttle Express to pick us up at the Glass Museum. According to their web site that should be $45 for the 2 of us.
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Old Jul 12, 09, 10:35 pm   #8
 
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The hazards of taking the 574, which I've done many times, are
(1) I-5 congestion can be bad (one missed flight in 10 years, but many close calls, leave the Dome 2.5 hrs before departure time (or more if you confront a rush hour), nominal ride time is about 45 min.);
(2) the 574 stops running from SEA back to the Dome/Lakewood at 10 p.m. (although you can take the 174 to an unsavory busstop in S. Seattle, then transfer to a Seattle/Tacoma bus);
(3) the bus, on the very abraded I-5 surfaces, is VERY noisy. Wear earplugs.
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