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Transportation

Dec. 28, 2010

 

2:30 p.m.

Metro Transit on snow watch for Wednesday

With snow showers in the forecast for Wednesday morning, King County Metro Transit is urging bus riders to prepare by making sure they are signed up for Transit Alerts and that they know the snow routing for the buses they will ride tomorrow.

Then before traveling, riders should check www.kingcounty.gov/metro/snow for the most current status of Metro service. Updates to the online information will begin at 4 a.m. each morning.

Remember, Metro is operating with a reduced schedule this week, which means some commuter and school-oriented routes do not operate, and other routes have individual trips canceled. This is indicated by an “H” in the timetables.

Current weather forecasts indicate if snow falls Tuesday night into Wednesday morning in the lower elevations of King County, it should be mostly in the form of snow showers with no significant accumulations. But, the snow could be heavier at higher areas in east King County or if a convergence zone sets up inside the county. Bus operations could change rapidly.

Here are some tips for bus travel if it does snow:

• Know the snow routing for your bus route. Check the timetables at www.kingcounty.gov/metro for snow route maps for each route. Not every bus route has snow routing, but most do;

• When buses are on snow routing, some streets and bus stops may be missed and there are often delays due to travel conditions. There is new snow routing in many areas that is different from past years, so be sure to check the snow routes for all the routes you use most often;

• If you haven’t already, sign up for Transit Alerts to keep up with any major changes to bus service. The alerts can be received as email or text messages. Go to www.kingcounty.gov/metro/signup to subscribe:

• Metro is using a new online color-coded map to keep riders informed of the status of its bus service. All bus routes are assigned into one or more of seven geographic areas within King County. When there is snow or ice on the roads, the service status of each area will be color coded and displayed on an online snow map. Green indicates buses are operating on normal routes; yellow that some – but not all – routes in the area are on snow routes (primarily in higher elevation areas); and red tells you that all bus routes in the entire geographic area are on snow routing;

• People without online access can call the Customer Information Office at (206) 553-3000. General information about service will also be sent out via the kcmetrobus Twitter account;

• Be patient. Buses are not always on schedule in snowy or icy conditions. And, increased ridership during bad weather can result in crowded buses and a longer-than-usual wait on the phone for the Customer Information Office;

• Dress warmly for the walk to the bus stop, expect delays, and wear appropriate footwear for the weather;

• Head for bus stops on main arterials or at major transfer points such as park-and-ride lots, transit centers, or shopping centers; and

• Riders should wait at bus stops at the very top or very bottom of hills, because buses are often unable to stop for passengers on inclines.

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