It is fairly easy to take public transportation from Seattle to the Tacoma Convention Center. Sound Transit Express Bus (ST) #590/594 begins on Stewart St at Yale/Denny and has stops on 2nd Ave downtown, 4th Ave in the ID, and the bus corridor through SODO. These busses are much nicer than a regular Metro Bus, and the trip takes about an hour and will take you a short block from the Convention Center. Get off at Pacific and 15th in Tacoma and you can see the Convention Center from the bus stop. Fare from Seattle to Tacoma: $3.50/adult $2.50/youth.
Both routes run on the weekdays but only ST #594 runs on the weekend, with busses running every half hour throughout all of the days. Running right in front of the Convention Center on Commerce is the Tacoma Link, which is a free light rail train. Taking the Link train to the end of the line (two stops) will put you a short walk from Dorky’s at the corner of S 9th and Pacific. If you take the Light Rail to the other end of the line, you’ll get to Frieghthouse Square which offers a very diverse food court and small shops similar to Pike Place market.
Commerce is also the street where you will catch the bus back to Seattle. There are many bus boarding zones on this street and not all busses stop at every one, so it’s a good idea to scope out which boarding zone the ST #594 services just in case you need to run for it (like we did). WARNING: The last bus leaves Tacoma at 10:20 PM.
If you miss the last bus, the only option that we know of is to take a cab to Sea-Tac airport’s Light Rail Station and catch the train to Seattle. The last train leaves at 12:10 AM. Consult Sound Transit for more details on times and bus stops: http://www.soundtransit.org/ Note: The Sounder train is often discussed as an option for going to Tacoma from Seattle but the last train is at 6:15 PM on Friday and it doesn’t run at all during the weekend.
The above was originally posted on June 3, 2013. According to the internet all the information is still good but we haven’t taken this bus ourselves since last year. The dates in the article have been changed to this years event. – ed