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County Council extends bus transfers during adverse weather


Service disruptions won't leave riders stranded without fare


After two winter storms that kept bus riders in the cold and in danger of expired transfers, the Metropolitan King County Council today approved an ordinance allowing Metro Transit to extend the length of time transfers are valid during service disruptions caused by severe weather.

“When routes are cancelled and bus service is sporadic, Metro riders deserve the peace of mind of knowing that delays won’t make their transfers worthless,” said Council Vice Chair Bob Ferguson, who sponsored the legislation and regularly commutes by bus. “Although many Metro operators no doubt recognize the reality of conditions and act accordingly, there should be a systemwide policy that can be communicated clearly and confidently to customers.”

“I am pleased that with the passage of this legislation we are ensuring our riders will be taken care of,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague. “Riders should expect that they can still transfer even if they miss a bus because of bad weather. This legislation especially makes sense for riders with a long commute.”

Transfers are normally valid for two hours. With the adopted ordinance, the transfer time limit can now be extended to reflect weather and service conditions.

During the worst of the December 2008 snowstorms, which included four separate snowfalls over two weeks and prolonged sub-freezing temperatures, Metro bus service was reduced by half. As a result, many riders faced lengthy waits at bus stops, and the possibility of having their transfers expire while waiting for their bus to arrive.

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