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Transportation

Nov. 21, 2010

5:30 p.m.

Metro Transit will start Monday with buses on snow routing

Due to the potential for snow during the morning commute, King County Metro Transit will start service on Monday with buses in all areas on snow routing. Bus riders should check www.kingcounty.gov/metro/snow for the most current status of Metro service before traveling on Monday. Updates to the online information will begin at 4 a.m.

Metro has been monitoring the weather over the weekend and preparing for the possibility of snow. The Monday forecast from the National Weather Service indicates that cold temperatures and more moisture could cause snowfall in King County starting in the morning and lasting throughout the day.

While the accumulations are not expected to be deep, Metro managers want to be prepared and not have to change to snow routing during the middle of the busiest travel times.

“We decided Sunday night to be proactive, even though we know how unpredictable snowfall can be in King County,” said Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond. “We would rather be over prepared than have buses stuck on regular routes during the middle of a snowy commute in the morning or afternoon.”

Metro is urging bus riders to make preparations for winter travel.

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. Two routes – 38 and 45 – don’t operate in these conditions. Special bus service between downtown and First Hill, the Route 90, will be operating on Monday.

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 will be 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.

Here are some other snow tips for Metro customers:

• 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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