Skip to main content
King County logo

Transportation news

Department of
Transportation


Tuesday update: Metro helps riders move safely as snow, ice, and freezing temperatures continue in King County

Summary


King County Metro is focused on providing safe and reliable public transportation during adverse weather conditions. Metro is preparing its fleet for the possibility of adjusting service levels Tuesday night as another snowstorm – and the challenges that come with it – is expected.

Story

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 14 and 15, the National Weather Service continues to forecast cold temperatures, an evening snowstorm and the addition of high winds in our transit service area, which brings the potential for power outages that would make the travel situation even more difficult. Metro is actively monitoring changing weather forecasts and the expectation of snow after the Tuesday evening commute, and the possibility of revising transit service to respond to worsening road conditions across King County.

Current Metro bus service

Metro’s crews are working around the clock to keep buses moving safely.

Snow routes: As of Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 14, Metro continues to operate all north and Eastside bus service on snow routes.

Canceled trips: Some peak commute bus trips have been canceled due to fleet and service needs, including the grounding of articulated trolleys and fleet repairs in preparation for the possibility of a prolonged snow event this week. Tuesday morning Metro also canceled all trips on three north-eastside bus routes – routes 237, 243 and 244 – due to road conditions.

Rider tools for staying informed

Alerts: Riders and the public will be notified via text and email Transit Alerts if additional bus routes shift to snow routes or return to regular route.

Website: Snow routes and service revisions are posted online at MetroWinter.com

Text message and “Next Departures”: Individual trip cancellations are not posted on MetroWinter.com or included in transit alerts. Before traveling, riders should first see if their bus is on snow route, and then see if the trip they want is canceled using the Puget Sound Trip Planner app or Metro’s trip planner “Next Departures” or by texting their stop ID to 62550.

Metro encourages its riders to plan for possible delays even when snow isn’t visible at their bus stop, as many routes pass through varying roadway conditions along their routes.

 

Fare enforcement officers traveling on RapidRide routes and on Third Avenue will be functioning as safety officers during this period of extreme cold temperatures, providing customer service to riders and helping people stay safe.

 

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 on Metro’s website 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 flat portions of main arterials that have been plowed, or at major transfer points such as park-and-ride lots, transit centers, or shopping centers.
  • Understand that your bus may be on snow route 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. Other routes have 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.

 

Metro thanks riders for their continued patience as bus operations, vehicle maintenance and facility team members work their way through this week’s commutes.