King County Metro will continue to operate the Emergency Snow Network (ESN) Saturday, Jan. 1, due to ongoing freezing temperatures and difficult road conditions in parts of King County. Service remains focused on about 60 core bus routes and shuttles to serve riders equitably and operate on roads prioritized for snow and ice removal. These bus routes will operate on a Saturday schedule.
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. Please note that most routes in the ESN are operating on their snow routing and masks are required on all public transportation. King County Metro and several regional transit agencies are operating fare-free on New Year’s Eve, from 4 a.m. Friday, Dec. 31, to 4 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 1.
The National Weather Service continues to forecast winter weather, though it is trending toward milder temperatures and less snow accumulations across the greater Puget Sound area. Metro is committed to providing transit service even in inclement weather. Customers should be prepared for possible travel disruptions and are encouraged to monitor weather reports.
During this period of adverse weather, we encourage people to avoid traveling if possible. Metro reassesses daily whether snow clearing efforts have adequately improved road conditions and also if there is sufficient staffing and buses to restore service and operate the broader all-day transit network.
Translated links to MetroWinter.com
አማርኛ (Amharic) | 中文 (Chinese) | ភាសាខ្មែរ (Khmer) | 한국어 (Korean) | ਪੰਜਾਬੀ (Punjabi) | Русский (Russian) | af Soomaali (Somali) | Español (Spanish) | Українська (Ukrainian) | Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
Water taxi, Access and on-demand services
- Water taxi: the West Seattle and Vashon routes will not sail on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.
- Access paratransit currently provides only lifesaving and emergency trips depending on conditions and availability.Access continues to provide life-sustaining medical transportation. During this time, customers who are not certified to use Access that need to connect to life-sustaining medical services can call 206-205-5000 to request services between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Access is working closely with bus service to meet the needs of all of our customers.
- On-demand services: Via to Transitin south Seattle and south King County, Ride Pingo to Transit in Kent, and Community Ride in Sammamish and Juanita are temporarily not operating due to road conditions.
Customer Service updates
- The Customer Service phone lines will open with limited staffing from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 31, for assistance planning for the New Year’s weekend. Phones are not staffed on the weekend.
- Metro’s Pass Sales Office and Lost & Found offices are closed Friday, Dec. 31, in observance of the holiday, and are closed on the weekend.
- Options to Pay for your transit trips include:
- To load value to your ORCA card, call Customer Service (206-553-3000) or visit com. Funds will be available 24-48 hours after your purchase.
- To add funds immediately, visit an ORCA Retail Outletclose to home or at a Ticket Vending Machine located at Link Light Rail stations and several regional transit centers.
- Purchase a mobile ticket through the Transit GO ticket app to use it right away.
- Use cash. Please have the exact fare ready; drivers do not carry change. If you are transferring, ask the driver for a paper transfer at the time you pay.
- Enroll in reduced fare programs from home:
- Apply for ORCA LIFT, Subsidized Annual Pass, Senior and Disabled Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP), and ORCA Youth cards online with Metro’s Reduced Fare Portal: kingcounty.gov.
- Call Public Health to enroll in ORCA LIFT and Subsidized Annual Pass or renew your card: (800) 756-5437.
Tips and tricks for riders
- Visit MetroWinter.com and click on the regional map to access status updates on your route.
- 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 conditions.
- 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. Metro’s real-time departure information can become less accurate during a storm and rough road conditions.
- “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.
- Follow @kcmetrobus on Twitter to see the latest travel tips and service information.
- Riders who intend to use Metro’s services Saturday, Jan. 1, should visit the Emergency Snow Network webpage to view details about routes in operation and to identify their options.
- Posted timetables on Metro’s Schedules and Maps page are a good point of reference for the roughly 60 ESN routes operating, but unforeseen road 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 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.
- Traveling around Puget Sound? Our partner transit agencies have details about service during snow in their areas
I appreciate the remaining routes during this snow event greatly, and am grateful I live on them and most of my needs lie on them. It was awkward, however, that on friday, I purposefully went downtown to get my Orca renewed in the Westlake transit tunnels. All automatic Orca purchase stations were closed due to the free NYE travel period. Can those units perhaps be programmed to accomodate pass sales but not sell individual tickets? At 73 and partially impaired, it took effort on my part to be a good transit user and supporter and attempt to reload my card. Thanks.
I appreciate Metro’s heroic effort to keep buses running, even on an emergency snow schedule. I used #75 on the evening of December 30 to ride from Sand Point toward Northgate. However, the bus did not follow the snow route on the map or on the emergency page. Running west on NE 125th Street, instead of continuing west to 5th Avenue NE, it turned south on 15th Avenue NE, then Pinehurst to NE Northgate Wy and on its regular route. To go back to Sand Point, the bus returned on this route, not the one shown on the maps. I made this inference and was able to return home. I don’t know if Metro placed signs at the missed stops, but I suggest that they amend the map in the emergency site to show the correct route.
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