Metro Transit activates Emergency Snow Network, announces service updates


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King County Metro Transit released the following update on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019:

Due to heavy overnight snowfall and dangerous roadway conditions across the region, King County Metro will operate only routes on its Emergency Snow Network Sunday, Feb. 10, with service on just 60 core routes and shuttles that the City of Seattle and other jurisdictions prioritized for snow and ice removal.

Service on Metro’s Emergency Snow Network (ESN) began 4 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, and will continue until further notice. Freezing temperatures are expected to persist and Metro has chained up its bus fleet to operate on these core routes, which primarily serve key arterials and transit centers in many parts of King County. Dozens of buses became stuck overnight due to roadway conditions, signaling ongoing challenges with roadway conditions. The forecast calls for difficult weather conditions in the days ahead.

The ESN service prioritizes service on high-ridership routes and avoids areas with steep hills. The routes were developed in coordination and collaboration with jurisdictions and take advantage of designated snow plow plans, including the City of Seattle.

Routes served
Routes operating as part of the ESN will serve core centers around King County, via routes 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 21, 24, 24 shuttle, 31, 32, 36, 40, 41, 44, 45, 48, 62, 62 shuttle, 65, 70, 75, 90 shuttle, 101, 102 shuttle, 106, 106 shuttle, 120, 124, 128, 150, 166, 168, 169, 180, 181, 235, 245, 248, 252/255 shuttle, 255, 255 shuttle, 271, 331, 345, 348, 348 shuttle, 372 Woodinville and 372 Lake City, ST 522, ST 545, ST 550, ST 554, ST 554 shuttle, RapidRide A, B, C, D, E and F lines.

Metro will be monitoring performance of this network and make adjustments as needed to improve operations. Customers in outlying areas and neighborhoods should prepare for reduced or temporarily unavailable bus service on Saturday and for several days due to inclement weather, difficult travel conditions and topography.

The agency is working to repair and prepare its fleet to be ready to ramp up service once road conditions improve.

Executive Constantine will review travel and weather conditions with Metro operations at approximately 10 a.m. each day to determine whether transit service should be restored for the following day. 

Emergency Snow Network- Access
Access Services will also move to the ESN to mirror fixed route services. Access’ main objective under the ESN will be 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 will also be working closely with fixed route services to help support customers that are stranded due to breakdowns or weather conditions.

What Riders Should Know
Metro encourages people to avoid traveling if at all possible.

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. Metro’s Customer Information Office will be open special hours to assist customers from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9.

Posted timetables on Metro’s Schedules and Maps page are a good point of reference for the 60 ESN routes that are operating, but unforeseen roadway 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 intending 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. “Next Departure” and Text for Departure services also may function smoothly for customers when roadway and travel conditions are reliable upstream on the route.

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