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The Great Urban Debate: Who has better transit?

Jul 14, 2009

Here is the second clip from the Seattle debate that highlights a discussion on transit in Seattle and Vancouver.

Who’s got it right? Vancouver with an integrated multimodal transit network and no downtown highways? Or Seattle with a comprehensive highway network and a brand new transit line?

Watch this clip and let us know what you think:


  1. Unlike on buses, rides within Seattle’s downtown on the new light rail are not free, officially at least.

  2. I have little exposure to Vancouver’s transit system, but I have always been impressed with Seattle’s bus system.

    That said, the other posters are correct in saying that Seattle’s public transit is far from comprehensive.

  3. I just want to echo Anonymous #1. I love the bus tunnel in Seattle. Feels like an upscale DC subway with more space. And the price is right. Free. If you live and work in Seattle there is little need for a car.

  4. I agree with both points. It is fantastic to be able to get around Downtown Vancouver with no car, however the arterial routes are too congested. Once downtown, it’s easy to get around, but getting there can be a challenge.

    Seattle is not that much better. I’ve been stuck in I-5 grdilock within sight of the downtown core, however being able to take single exit and be right in the heart of the city is a great feature.

  5. I would hardly call Seattle’s highway system ‘comprehensive.’ Although there is not much you can do because of the topography, the 6miles of North-South bottleneck is hardly better than no innercity highway at all.

  6. Move around by bus within downtown Seattle during the day and the fare = zero.

    Move around by bus of Skytrain within downtown Vancouver and the fare = $2.50 for 90 minutes of on and off.

    I’m from Seattle and I like Seattle’s system for CBD mobility better. Most people I meet from Vancouver like Seattle’s system better!

    Is Skytrain between downtown Vancouver and Surrey better than Regional Express bus between the downtowns of Bellevue and Seattle? A close call, but I like the Wi-Fi on the Sound Transit buses and more spaciousness than aboard the older Skytrain railcars.