In response to ongoing freezing weather and snowstorms in the forecast, King County Metro activated its Emergency Snow Network (ESN) on Feb. 9 at 4 a.m. Due to the forecast, worsening road conditions and buses requiring repairs, the ESN will continue Monday, Feb. 11 and Tuesday, Feb. 12. There are only 67 routes and shuttles in operation until further notice.
What does it mean for me?
ESN transit service is focused on plowed and treated arterial roadways maintained by the state and local jurisdictions.
However some residents are along routes that are not possible to serve under major winter storm conditions.
The following are nearest alternatives for Southeast King County residents who need to use transit and are not directly served by the ESN.
Please note all routes listed are traveling on their snow route pathways.
- Renton Highlands – Make your way to The Landing with connection to the F Line (map) and Sound Transit Express Route 560; or the Renton Transit Center with connections to routes 101 (map), 106 (map), 169 (map), and Sound Transit Express Routes 560 and 566. Please check Sound Transit’s website for operating information about Sound Transit routes.
- Renton’s Benson and Fairwood neighborhoods – Fairwood residents can find service on the Route 102 Shuttle (weekdays only) (map). All others, connect to transit at the nearest transit center, park and ride, or location listed here:
- Tukwila and SeaTac –
- Use Route 124 (map) north of South 154th Street and the A Line (map) south of South 154th Street with service along Tukwila International Blvd;
- Use Sounder commuter train service from Tukwila Station;
- Connect to Link light rail, routes 124 (map) and 128 (map), and the A Line (map) at Tukwila International Blvd Station;
- Use Link light rail, Route 180 (map) or the A Line (map) to get to SeaTac Airport; and
- Use DART Route 908 (map) on Southwest 43rd Street.
- Kent East Hill –
- Make your way to the Kent Transit Center for connection to routes 150 (map), 166 (map), 168 (map), 169 (map), and 180 (map); Sounder commuter rail and Sound Transit Express Routes 566 and 567
- Connect to Maple Valley, Lake Meridian, and Kent Station by Route 168 (map); and
- Connect to the Renton Transit Center, South Renton Park and Ride, and Kent Station by Route 169 (map) with service along 104th Avenue Southeast and 108th Avenue Southeast.
- Covington, Maple Valley, Black Diamond – Find service on Route 168 (map) which operates along Southeast 272nd Street and DART Route 907 (map) on SR169.
- Enumclaw – Make your way to Black Diamond for connection to DART Route 907 (map) or Auburn for connection to Route 180 (map), Route 181, Sounder commuter rail, or Sound Transit Express routes 566 and 578 at Auburn Station.
- SE Auburn, Auburn Way South, and Muckleshoot Reservation – Use Route 180 (map) or connect to service at Auburn Station.
- Check Sound Transit’s website for Sounder Commuter and Sound Transit Express information.
For specific stop locations, use the “Stop and Next Arrival” feature of Metro’s Puget Sound Trip Planner. DO NOT use the schedule or trip planning information on the Trip Planner for Emergency Snow Network information.
Note: Metro and transportation agencies intend for most bus stops along these routes to be available, but in some cases such as on steeper uphill slopes, buses may not be able to stop at all designated locations.
Why activate the ESN?
Transit vehicles are only able to safely operate on effectively plowed, sanded, and/or de-iced arterial streets, roads, highways, or freeways. When major winter storms occur and significant snow or ice accumulates on street surfaces, Metro installs tire chains on all buses and the ESN is activated in order to allow the backbone of the network to continue operating. The goal is to serve as many customers on these high-ridership routes and corridors reliably during the winter weather over several days.
All routes not in operation
What riders should know
Metro encourages people to avoid traveling if at all possible.
Riders who intend to use Metro’s services should visit the Emergency Snow Network webpage to view details about routes in operation and to identify their options. Routes will travel on posted snow routes unless otherwise communicated.
Metro’s Customer Information Office opens at 6 a.m. Monday to assist riders with trip planning. Get in touch at 206-553-3000.
Posted timetables on Metro’s Schedules and Maps page are a good point of reference for the 60 ESN routes that are operating, but unforeseen roadway and weather conditions may result in delays or unplanned reroutes.
Customers should be aware that Puget Sound Trip Planner and third-party apps will not reflect ESN service and will not be accurate for planning itineraries on ESN days.
However, once intending riders know which ESN route they want to use, other Puget Sound Trip Planner features, such as maps, bus stop locations and timetables for ESN routes are valid. Puget Sound Trip Planner and other apps are still accurate for planning trips or getting schedules for regular service days. Next Departure features and Text for Departure tools are working for only bus routes that are in service.
What happens with Sammamish and issaqua bus service?
With the ESN operating, there is no bus service in Sammamish.
In Issaquah, routes 271 and Sound Transit 554 are operating, but no other routes. Sound Transit Route 554 is operating between downtown Seattle and the Issaquah Transit Center, and a Route 554 shuttle is operating between Issaquah Transit Center and Issaquah Highlands. More information including maps are available on the ESN webpage: https://edit.kingcounty.gov/depts/transportation/metro/alerts-updates/winter/esn.aspx
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