Shadowrun: Throw Back
Once you’ve arrived in Seattle and settled in, you’ll need to know how to get to the city’s ten main districts.
Most of Seattle’s skyscrapers boast heliports for use by the helicopters, tilt-rotors, and lighter-than-air vehicles of the city’s airlines. Seattle has five airlines: Emerald City Airlines, Renraku Local Airlines, Sea-Tac Exmpress, Aztech Shuttle Service and Federated-Boeing Carriers. They fly to all of the city’s major buildings: the Renraku Arcology, the major government buildings, the luxury hotels, the shopping malls, and many of the business buildings. It is an expensive service. A typical trip from, say, the Renraku Arcology to Bellevue costs 110 nuyen.
Seattle has ten local car rental agencies plus the larger continental chains. All rent a wide variety of vehicles to suit any taste and budget. A valid driver’s license and insurance are required. The city has a good road system. A web of multi-lane highways gridded for electric cars ensure travel across the metroplex in less than three hours during non-peak hours. During rush hour, the highways are jammed, and traffic is strictly stop-and-go. Traffic violence (go-gangs, random shootings) is low during the daylight hours. Business and residential streets are generally well-maintained except in the Barrens, where roads may be impassible because of grid breaks or because the poor have ripped away materials for housing and money. The safety of a residential street depends on the part of the city. Traveling the highways at night is not advisable, for the criminal element is out in full force. When not fighting among themselves, go-gangs-whether on bikes in cars, or in aircraft-often terrorize and even kill anyone foolish enough to travel the roads at night.
The Seattle Public Ferry System runs 20 boats of several sizes up and down the waterfront. Pier 66 of the downtown waterfront is the ferry system’s hub. Boats leave on the hour for Everett and Tacoma. Some of the ferries are large enough to carry up to 50 vehicles, with each car-owner paying 10 nuyen. Other ferries are small fast ships (usually Federated-Boeing hydrofoils) and cost 2 nuyen to board. Trips to Everett and Tacoma usually take 40 minutes for the larger ferries, 15 for the hydrofoils. The Seattle Public Ferry System has a long history of mistakes and mismanagement, especially embarrassing for the city government because this is one of the last services run by the city. Accidents, such as a ferry ramming a dock hard enough to put both the ship and the pier out of commission, occur about once a year. Incidents, such as a captain trying to impress a young woman by maneuvering his large ferry into a tiny sheltered bay and running it onto the beach, are very common. What the ships’ crews are doing on the water, the ferry system’s managers are doing to its money. Corruption is an expected thing in the ferry system, with bets being laid on when the next ferry official will be caught with his hand in the till.
Metro Transit is considered one of the best transit companies in the UCAS. There are many bus routes throughout the city, with frequent stops. Bus schedules are available in many public places. In the downtown area, there is no charge for riding the buses. Outside the downtown district, a ride costs 1 nuyen. There is also a system of bus tunnels, built in the 1980s to reduce traffic, that loop under the downtown, connect with the Seattle Center, pass through the Renraku Arcology, and end at the King Street Station. These tunnels are wide enough for buses to travel in both directions. Tunnel bus stops are fairly pleasant, with at least a few small stores and kiosks in most. Entering the bus tunnels after nightfall can be dangerous, despite the presence of armed guards.
Seattle’s monorail system has been updated and expanded several times in its nearly 100-year history. Today’s monorail makes a large loop around the downtown district on elevated tracks, with stops at the Seattle Center, the Renraku Arcology, the King Street Station, and many other places along the way. There are tracks for only two monorails. Cost is .5 nuyen.
Section: Facts At Your Fingertips