Around the Sound by Transit – Part 2

Following my recent trip Around The Sound – Part 1, I was eager to explore further. Often, while watching ships out in the Sound from the Seattle waterfront, I have noticed how the Bremerton ferries disappear through a narrow passage between Bainbridge and Blake Islands…

My ferry journeys thus far have been across open water: Seattle-Bainbridge and Edmonds-Kingston; so I was curious to experience the ferry route that negotiates the passages and inlets leading to Bremerton. Besides, with Bremerton being one of the major Navy towns of Puget Sound, I figured there might be interesting things to see and do there.

In keeping with my original trip I put together an itinerary using different ferry routes out and back. As you can see from the Washington State Ferries route map at right, there are several opportunities for circular routes starting and ending at Seattle. As I proved with Around The Sound Part 1, the transit services serving the localities at the ends of the ferry routes provide good connections from one ferry terminal to another.

So, for Around The Sound 2, I decided to take an indirect route to Bremerton using the southernmost crossing to the Kitsap Peninsula that goes out of the Fauntleroy terminal in West Seattle.

My route for Around The Sound Part 2:

  • Sound Transit 550 – Bellevue to Seattle
  • Metro Transit 54 – Seattle to Fauntleroy Ferry
  • Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth Ferry
  • Kitsap Transit 86 – Southworth Ferry to Port Orchard Dock
  • Kitsap Transit Foot Ferry – Port Orchard to Bremerton Ferry
  • Bremerton-Seattle Ferry
  • Sound Transit 550 – Seattle to Bellevue

Looking to the future, I see an opportunity to make a circuit from Mukilteo to Keystone on Whidbey Island, onward to Port Townsend, then to Kingston or Bainbridge Island to connect back to Seattle. This would be a major undertaking; I don’t know what transit options exist on Whidbey Island; or from Port Townsend, on the Olympic Peninsula, linking to Kingston or Bainbridge, if any. But if there’s a way to make it work, you can bet I’l find it.

An easier, but perhaps less interesting circuit also under consideration, is Fauntleroy to Vashon, then bus to Tahlequah, ferry to Point Defiance, then various connections back to Seattle via Tacoma. All in all, there’s plenty to keep this transit tourist busy for some time to come.

For some great shots from this trip check out my photo album.



  1. ORCA doesn’t work on the Olympic Peninsula, just ferries and in Thurston, Kitsap, Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties. Island Transit (Whidbey and Camano Islands with weekday and limited Saturday service to Mount Vernon and weekday service between Camano Island and Everett Station) is free and runs Monday thru Saturday.

    1. Hopefully every transit agency in the NW will eventually participate in Orca, and then maybe even a network of transit smart cards might evolve. Just returned from San Francisco where it would have been great to use Orca e-Purse as an alternative to the Bay Area’s Clipper for instance; rather than what we ended up doing – which was deal with BART TVMs and Muni passes.

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