Built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the Monorail celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2012. If you are interested in reading about the history of the Monorail or the system description, please click on the links.
The Monorail has been a Seattle icon since the 1962 World’s Fair. Seattle Center Monorail is owned by the City of Seattle and operated by Seattle Monorail Services, a privately run business with independent leadership and staff. You can read more about Seattle Monorail Services by clicking here.
Today, the trains carry over 2 million passengers every year. The monorail has become an important fixture in Seattle for locals, who use the trains during major festivals and sporting events. The monorail can carry 250 passengers per train. When operating in two-train service, the monorail has the capacity to move 6,000 passengers per hour (both directions) or 3,000 passengers per hour (one direction).
We recommend visiting The Monorail Society website if you’re interested in learning more about monorail systems all over the world!
Click for: Frequently Asked Questions
Seattle Center Monorail departs from two stations:
- Seattle Center station: Adjacent to the Space Needle.
- Westlake Center Mall station: At Fifth Avenue and Pine Street.
- Train departs approximately every 10 minutes.
Affordable parking is available near both platforms.
- If you plan on parking downtown and riding the monorail train to Seattle Center, we recommend that you park at Pacific Place Parking Garage (entrances on 6th & 7th Ave between Olive Way and Pine St) . Parking is $10 on weekends – there are frequent weekday parking specials.
- If you plan on parking at Seattle Center and riding the monorail train downtown, we recommend you park at the Seattle Center 5th Avenue Garage (entrances on Harrison St. & Republican St. east of 5th Ave). Parking is $10-$15 for up to 10 hours.
Seattle Center Monorail is wheelchair accessible:
- Westlake Center Monorail platform is accessible by wheelchair if you use the elevator located at street level on 5th Avenue (between Olive Way and Pine Street, next to the stairwell) or you can use the elevator inside of Westlake Center Mall.
- Seattle Center Monorail platform is accessible by wheelchair by using the ramp that leads to the cashier booths. Please notify the cashier or attendant if you need assistance. Once on the platform, please wait by the yellow, wheelchair accessible gates. Once the monorail train has arrived in the station, pull the yellow gate open. Upon request, a cashier or monorail train driver can provide a small ramp which can be used to bridge the gap between the monorail train and the platform.
- For additional information about ADA policies, please view our NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATION page.
How to get to the airport:
- To get from Seattle Center to Sea-Tac Airport, buy a Monorail ticket at the Seattle Center Monorail station and ride the monorail train to Westlake Center. As you exit the Monorail at Westlake Center, you will see an elevator and stairwell on the far left side of the platform, use either option to go to all the way to the bottom level to the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. From there, buy a ticket and ride the Sound Transit Central Link Light Rail which carries passengers between UW Station (Northern-most stop) and Angle Lake Station (Southern-most stop). When you board the light rail at Westlake Station, there are 11 stops until you arrive at Sea-Tac/Airport Station. The trip takes approximately 35 minutes; the light rail departs every 6-15 minutes depending on the time of day.
- To get from Sea-Tac Airport to Seattle Center, look for signs in the airport for Sound Transit Link Light Rail. Catch the light rail from Sea-Tac Airport and get off at Westlake Center (the very last stop). From the transit tunnel at Westlake, look for signs for the Monorail, you can take the elevator (with ‘MONORAIL’ written above it) up to to the Westlake Center Monorail station located on the third floor of Westlake Center. Then, you can purchase a Monorail ticket to ride directly to Seattle Center, home of the Space Needle, Pacific Science Center, KeyArena and more! Please keep in mind that the Monorail is cash only, no credit cards please.