King County Metro plans to incrementally increase passenger limits during the next six months. The approach comes as the number of vaccinated residents continues to increase, eligibility for vaccines expands to everyone 16 and older on April 15, and King County entered Phase 3 of the “Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery” plan on March 22.
On April 17, we will modify our passenger limits to 40% of pre-COVID capacity (50% of seated capacity). This means the passenger limit will move from 12 to 20 customers on our 40-foot buses, and from 18 to 30 customers on our 60-foot buses. We also will make similar passenger limit updates on our other modes. This increase in load limits is in step with other transit agencies and in line with Gov. Inslee’s guidance for public transit agencies.
We will continue to maintain and strengthen our safety protocols, and to carefully monitor public health guidance and other safety measures in the weeks and months ahead. If conditions allow, our intent is to increase our capacity limits to 70% of pre-COVID levels in early July, or earlier if our county enters Phase 4 sooner. We would then aim to retire reduced capacity levels prior to the service change on October 2.
Metro also encourages those who are already eligible and everyone else who will become eligible on April 15 to get their vaccination. Learn more at Public Health – Seattle & King County’s “Getting Vaccinated in King County.”
After you make a reservation, please read Metro’s “Take Transit to Take Your Shot: Here are ways to get to your vaccination appointment.”
Metro is also coordinating a vaccination clinic this month for King County government essential workers. We remain hugely grateful to essential workers for serving our communities and keeping our region moving.
Editor’s note: The date of the fall 2021 service change was updated.