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 Southwest 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.
- Burien – Use Route 120 (map) with service along Ambaum starting at South 148th Street; Route 128 (map) with service along South 128th Street; Route 166 (map) with service along Des Moines Memorial Drive; the F Line (map) and Route 180 (map) with service along South 154th Street. The F line connects to Link light rail at Tukwila International Blvd Station and Route 180 connects to Link light rail at SeaTac/Airport Station.
- Des Moines and Kent Valley – Use Route 166 (map) with service along Des Moines Memorial Drive and connections to Kent Station, Highline College, and Burien Transit Center; and the A Line (map) with service along Pacific Highway South with connections to Federal Way Transit Center, Redondo Heights Park and Ride, and SeaTac Airport. The A Line connects to Link light rail at Angle Lake, SeaTac/Airport and Tukwila International Blvd Stations.
- Federal Way – Find service along Southwest 320th Street or 21st Street Southwest on Route 181 (map); along Pacific Highway South on the A Line (map) with connections to Federal Way Transit Center, Redondo Heights Park and Ride, SeaTac Airport, and Tukwila International Blvd Station; and near Southwest 336th Street and 1st Way South on DART Route 903 (map). Federal Way Transit Center will be served by routes 181, 903, and the A Line and Sound Transit Express routes 574, 577, and 578.
- Bryn Mawr and Skyway – Find Route 106 (map) on Rainier Ave S or the Route 106 shuttle on Renton Ave S (map).
- Check Pierce Transit website for information about other local routes.
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.