David Rosen
We have hills in West Seattle and it does snow here. That combination means everything slows down, and your bus may run late. Metro wants you to be ready and they have online tools to keep you informed.

Metro urges riders to get on board with Transit Alerts before bad weather

Checklist will help you be prepared


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King County Metro Transit is urging riders to plan ahead for getting around during winter weather and this year, due to the many changes in bus routes that might be especially challenging.

They want riders to sign up for Transit Alerts and be aware of online tools available to them to stay informed.

In a press release on Nov. 30 Metro said:

“We have our plans in place, and now we need riders to prepare,” said Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond.

By signing up for the alerts, riders can receive an email or text message warning about known significant disruptions to Metro bus service. Riders also can preview specific snow routes, and review tips for winter travel online.

When snowy, icy conditions affect travel, Metro buses will go to snow routing as necessary, depending on road conditions in a broad geographic area. All bus routes are assigned into one or more of seven geographic areas within King County. The service status of each area is color coded and displayed on an online snow map. The pre-planned snow routing for individual bus routes is displayed in the print and online timetables.

“Our customers need to prepare for buses traveling at slower speeds when they shift to snow routes, and expect traffic delays along the way,” said Desmond.

Winter-travel tips for Metro customers

  • Sign up to receive Transit Alerts for the routes you use.
  • Check the print and online timetables for snow route maps.
  • Pick up the new Metro Snow & Ice Guide on buses and at Metro literature stands for general tips.
  • If the weather is bad, check the color-coded status map on Metro Online before you travel.
  • Be patient. Buses are not always on schedule in snowy or icy conditions. And, increased ridership during bad weather can result in crowded buses and a longer-than-usual wait on the phone for the Customer Information 206-553-3000.
  • Your favorite smartphone apps and online trackers may not be reliable when buses are rerouted or significantly delayed.
  • Dress warmly for the walk to the bus stop, 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.
  • Riders should wait at bus stops at the very top or very bottom of hills, because buses are often unable to stop for passengers on inclines.

Tools for bus riders

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