Route 106 travels through several historical areas, International District or “China Town” which was before World War 2 referred to as “Japan Town” then runs via “Rainier Avenue” to the nearby suburb city named Renton.
The International District’s Story is largely the Asian immigration story of Seattle, of which, Seattle could not have been built.
Through Seattle’s growth the International District may have changed nick names, some configurations have changed, but through it all it has provided mostly the center of Asian Culture or, starting point for many families through immigration programs, grocery stores, restaurants, places of worship, Museums, Galleries. Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Filipino, Laotian all have interests there.
We start 106 in front of Seattle’s Historic Union Station, pick up mostly elderly people up that have been grocery shopping. It’s a busy stop, some days 20-30 people with push carts and bags, all very polite as they greet you with bows and hello’s as they make their way to their seat.
We head east on Jackson picking up a few more shoppers as we turn South on Rainier Ave to begin dropping off our shoppers at nearby condos, apartments, houses.
We take a right and face South on Rainier, the view of Mt Rainier commands attention over buildings, cars, people, as we pass through the busy shops, immigration offices and services.
Martin Luther King Way intersects with Rainier, as we follow it South, the route keeps it’s immigration feel as we pass newer East African neighborhoods with their restaurants, galleries, places of worship and community centers.
Martin Luther King way offers several stops for our Link Rail system, Townhomes, condos and apartments create a lot of density as well a number of streetlights as we continue south.
We take a quick turn east as we begin our way through Renton via Rainier Beach, then up a hill to the somewhat quiet Skyway neighborhood that offers some spectacular views of Lake Washington and while looking North, the Seattle Skyline.
Skyway is a neighborhood that has a great mix of homes, new, modest, lavish often we are picking, dropping off students and commuters of all ages.
We head East on Renton Ave, then South dropping off the last of our riders at the Renton Transit Station located just south of Lake Washington, Renton Municipal Airport meant for smaller planes.
There are shops, condos attached to the Transit Center. People transfer to other routes or pick up their cars as they continue on their way.