Most Seattle area trains, buses, and ferries on Thanksgiving holiday schedules
Plan ahead now, as transit times in the greater Seattle area may be slightly different on your typical routes for Thanksgiving weekend.
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Among the service cuts for Sound Transit on Thanksgiving Day: the Sounder commuter train will not operate; ST Express bus lines will operate on Sunday schedules; The Link light rail train will operate on Sunday; and Tacoma Link will operate on Sunday.
The day after Thanksgiving, the number of Sounder trains will be limited as the Sounder service will operate on a modified schedule. There will be no service on the Sounder North line on Friday.
The other Friday services are as follows: ST Express buses will provide regular weekday service; The Link light train will operate on Saturdays; and Tacoma Link will operate regular weekday service.
Find more information on holiday timetables online here from Sound Transit. Sign up here to receive passenger alerts to receive up-to-date information on service changes.
Washington State Ferries
For those planning a ferry crossing over the holiday weekend, prepare for busy crossings. The latest sailing schedules can be viewed online here from Washington State Ferries. If the crew allows, the ferry system indicates that more daily crossings can be added on reduced service routes.
WSF temporarily switched to alternate service schedules on most routes on October 16 to reduce the number of last minute cancellations caused by staff shortages. The severe staff shortage is due to many variables, the WSF notes, including a global shortage of sailors that has been exacerbated by the pandemic, an aging workforce, and COVID-19 cases and quarantines.
Even without a crew shortage, however, ferries are popular every public holiday weekend and WSF says those boarding a ferry should be prepared for long waits.
The busiest crossings are likely to head west (or to an island) from Wednesday afternoon November 24 through Thursday morning November 25. or eliminate your waiting time, WSF suggests considering sailing early in the morning or late at night, or continuing to walk.
On Thanksgiving Day there will be some schedule changes for the Point Defiance / Tahlequah race, as well as the Edmonds / Kingston and Mukilteo / Clinton routes if additional service is added. The Seattle / Bainbridge Island and Fauntleroy / Vashon / Southworth routes will operate on a weekend schedule that day with some schedule changes if service is added.
Washington State Ferries will slowly begin to restore normal service
Sign up here to receive email alerts and check terminal conditions here before you go.
If you’re taking a national highway to get to the ferry terminal, plan ahead for backups and delays with real-time traffic information on the Washington State Department of Transportation’s travel map here.