King County Metro is ready for whatever Mother Nature may throw at us later this weekend and we want riders to be ready too. Metro staff have been coordinating with Seattle and cities across King County so snow-clearing efforts can support transit service to the greatest extent possible.
At the moment, the National Weather Service forecasts the possibility of snow accumulation for the greater Puget Sound area on Sunday. Metro is committed to providing transit service even in the face of inclement weather. Customers should be prepared for possible travel disruptions and are encouraged to monitor weather reports and sign up for alerts available from King County Metro.
- Access paratransit riders should be prepared for possible travel disruptions due to weather and are encouraged to monitor weather reports and connect to information available from King County, including travel alerts. Riders are also encouraged to monitor messages from the Access Transportation provider, MV Transit.
- Water taxi service is expected to continue on its regular schedule and will clear all docks, boarding ramps, and exterior decks as necessary for the safety of customers. Water taxi shuttles may be delayed or canceled depending on road conditions and riders should sign up to receive route alerts.
- Via to Transit, Ride Pingo to Transit and Community Ride: Riders of Metro’s on-demand services should prepare for potential service disruptions. There will be notifications available if any service disruptions occur.
Buses operate on snow routes when road conditions deteriorate, and our vehicle maintenance staff will chain up our bus fleet as needed in our service areas. Metro has 1,354 buses and three sets of chains for each vehicle.
Metro has tools to help riders plan winter trips.
- Visit MetroWinter.com for information on how to travel during snow and other difficult weather. If snow routes are implemented, riders can click on the regional map to access status updates on their routes.
- Transit Alerts: Riders should sign up or update route subscriptions to receive Transit Alerts via text and email for their bus routes. Routes can change quickly depending on snow accumulations.
- Real-time updates show whether a bus trip is operating, when it’s due to depart or if it’s been canceled.
- Text for Departures allows riders to text their bus stop number to 62550 and receive the next bus trips headed their way or a cancellation notice. Riders can save 62550 in their phones in advance. During a storm and rough road conditions, Metro’s real-time departure information can become less accurate.
- “Next departures” is available on both the Puget Sound Trip Planner webpage and the Puget Sound Trip Planner App. Riders can check these sites to see whether their trip is reporting its position and estimated arrival time.
- Masks are still required on public transportation, with the added benefit that they also keep your face warm in winter weather.
- Follow @kcmetrobus on Twitter to see the latest travel tips and service information.
Travel advice during winter weather
- Whenever there’s a chance of snow, we ask riders to bundle up, pack their patience, and have a plan for traveling during adverse weather. This is important because sometimes routes get changed or modified as we respond to conditions.
- If a rider’s usual bus route moves to a snow route, it may not serve stops on hills and generally will serve stops at main arterials, transit centers and shopping centers.
- We also urge riders to monitor news media during severe weather for announcements or information from counties, cities and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
- Be prepared with weather-appropriate clothing and footwear when traveling during storms. Remember, visibility is vital when the weather’s bad and when it’s dark. Riders can use a flashlight or a phone to signal buses while waiting at a bus stop. They might also consider carrying water and snacks. And as always, we ask riders to use crosswalks.