On Monday, I decided to ride on the Amtrak Thruway Bus from Seattle to the small town of Mount Vernon, Washington. The last time I rode a bus―Greyhound―was in my twenties, and I have never ridden on an Amtrak Thruway bus, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
First, I have to remark on King Street Station. The building is quite stately. Inside is gorgeous with a large public space cast in white stone ornamentation. I could have easily gazed up at the intricate ceiling for hours.
The station is near Pioneer Square and Century Link Stadium, which means if you have time to kill there are interesting sights and eateries nearby. If you are there at lunchtime, I would suggest trying one of the food trucks in Occidental Square or The London Plane. There is only vending machines at the station so don’t expect to find a meal there.
Interesting history: The station was In 1906 by Great Northern Railway, and the design firm was the same one used to build Grand Central Station in New York City. When the station was built, the clock tower was the tallest structure in Seattle. More history here.
A Ride on the Amtrak Thruway Bus
The waiting area for the Amtrak Thruway bus is outside, as it pulls up along the street. The bus arrived about 10 minutes before departure and left on time–yes, on time! I sat in the front, as I’m prone to motion sickness, and was pleasantly surprised to find a variety of device plug-ins. I didn’t need to charge my phone, but if I did that would come in super handy.
When we left the station, Michael, our driver, made a few announcements about transport time, stops, phone calls (riders are asked to talk softly), and that Wi-Fi was courtesy of MTR Western. Micheal was super friendly and when he said, “To think I could have had today off, and now I get to see blues and greens all day long,” I knew he enjoyed his job driving to and from the city.
The ride itself flew by as the bus takes the carpool lane and took a short 5-minute break in Everett, Washington. The station in Mount Vernon is right next to downtown and within walking distance are restaurants, the historic Lincoln Theatre and the river walk next to the Skagit River.
Would I take it again? Yes!
Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
More info: Amtrak Cascade Routes