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Freezing temperatures and snowy conditions in parts of King County continue into afternoon commutes

Summary

Metro buses serving north and east King County continue to operate on snow routes and Metro’s fleet remains chained where roadway conditions continue to be challenging. Providing reliable, safe service continues to be of utmost importance as Metro prepares its fleet for persistent snow and ice in the coming days.

Story

Monday afternoon, Jan. 13, roadway conditions continue to be challenging for King County Metro bus service in north and east King County. Buses serving those areas and other difficult pathways remain chained, and north and eastside buses will remain on snow routes until roadway conditions improve. Forecasts show freezing temperatures and snowy conditions potentially persisting for the next several days, with a snowstorm forecast midweek.  

 

Riders are encouraged to monitor and review weather and roadway conditions in their community before traveling. Riders can find out if their route is operating on a snow route and sign up for transit alerts at MetroWinter.com. A table of snow route information also is online.

 

Some bus trips will be canceled Monday afternoon due to bad roadway conditions and the grounding of articulated trolley buses, which will not be reflected on MetroWinter.com. Riders should review King County Metro’s real-time tools to see if the trip they want to ride is canceled due to weather and shifting buses to other routes.

  • “Next Departures” in Metro’s updated Trip Planner or Trip Planner app, and
  • Text your stop ID to 62550 for departures or cancellations.

 

Riders’ continued patience is appreciated

As roadway conditions vary throughout the county, some riders may find that their route is on snow route or delayed despite a visual absence of snow. Some Metro routes are connected and operate in a loop across the region, spanning areas with no snow and areas with much snow. For example, Route 5, which starts in Shoreline and today traveled through snow, connects to Route 21, which extends to West Seattle, an area that didn’t see much snow. Other routes contain hills or icy road conditions, challenges that aren’t apparent to all bus stops on the route but may result in delays to the entire route.

 

Traveling safely

Metro is focused on continuing to provide safe and reliable public transportation to the greatest extent possible during the snow and coordinates closely with cities and the state Department of Transportation on road clearing efforts that keep buses moving.

 

As conditions worsened Sunday, Metro shifted buses to snow routes and chained its bus fleet. Metro’s Transit Control Center, facilities, operations and other staff are on 24-hour coverage until weather and road conditions improve. Due to coach availability and road conditions, some peak trips will be canceled as some buses are shifted to cover other bus routes typically operated by articulated trolley buses.

 

Overall, Metro’s fleet remains healthy, with a limited number of stuck coaches thus far, and expects to reliably maintain core service levels should there be a sustained snow event this week.

 

Background to help you study up before you travel

  • Sign up for Transit Alerts at MetroWinter.com to receive notice of known service disruptions; however rapidly changing road, traffic and weather conditions make it impossible to know about every service interruption. It may not be possible to report on service that is affected on a per-trip or per stop basis.
  • Know the snow routing for your bus route. Check the timetables at Metro Online for snow route maps for each route. Not every bus route has snow routing, but most do.
  • Real-time info: Use the Puget Sound Trip Planner app or Metro's trip planner “Next Departures” to see if your trip is listed as canceled. Understand that popular smartphone apps and online trackers may not reliably estimate arrival times when buses are rerouted or significantly delayed.
  • Be prepared and be patient. Buses are not always on schedule in snowy or icy conditions. Increased ridership during bad weather can result in crowded buses and a longer-than-usual wait on the phone for the Customer Information Office during its open hours, via 206-553-3000.
  • Dress warmly for the walk to the bus stop, pack a water bottle, 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.