Forecasts show bitter cold and snowy conditions that could affect King County Metro bus services Sunday and Monday, Jan. 12 and 13. Riders are encouraged to monitor and review weather and roadway conditions in their community before traveling and sign up for transit alerts at to receive important updates.

This is a photo from the snow storm on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (Ned Ahrens)

Metro is prepared

Metro is focused on providing safe and reliable public transportation to the greatest extent possible during the coming snowstorm and coordinating closely with cities and the state Department of Transportation on road clearing efforts that keep buses moving.

Where road conditions worsen, Metro is prepared to shift buses to snow reroutes and chain its bus fleet. As a precaution, maintenance crews plan to chain buses in the field on routes scheduled to operate past 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12. The Transit Control Center, facilities and operations and other staff also are ramping up operations and staffing Sunday afternoon as the storm strengthens.

Riders should prepare for possible travel delays, visit the updated page

Transit customers face potential travel delays on Sunday and Monday due to worsening road conditions and should plan accordingly in the event that bus service also is delayed or trips are very crowded.

  • Riders can sign up for transit alerts in their community and find snow reroute information at the revamped page. Info also is available in printed bus route timetables and Metro’s Snow Brochure. Based on last year’s snow storms, Metro revised the web page to better serve riders with the up-to-date information they need to travel using public transportation, and to show which routes are on snow routes.
  • Regular fares are required to travel. Based on revised county policy, fare enforcement is only waived in the event of an extreme regional snow storm that requires Metro’s Emergency Snow Network to be activated.

New to the region?

  • For transit riders who are new to the region: take the first step of signing up for transit alerts for the routes in your community in order to receive information and options if weather and roadway conditions force buses onto snow routes or cancel trips.
  • Metro suggests that transit customers board at a bus stop or park-and-ride that also has service when buses are on snow routes, in case travel conditions deteriorate later.

 What’s different this year, what’s new?

  • Easier to find snow bus route information at
  • New printed snow brochures in English and Spanish
  • More bus routes added to the Emergency Snow Network, totaling about 65 core bus routes, DART routes and chained shuttles.

Background to help you study up before you travel

  • Sign up for Transit Alerts at 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(Monday through Friday), 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.