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Saturday, May 21, 2022

King County Metro To Continue Operating Emergency Snow Network Wednesday, Dec. 29

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.

The National Weather Service continues to forecast freezing temperatures and possible snow accumulation intermittently during the next several days for 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 if there is sufficient staffing and buses to restore service and operate the broader all-day transit network.

Water taxi, Access and on-demand services

  • Water taxi continues to operate its scheduled service. Customers can receive service updates by subscribing to alerts.
  • 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 Transit in south Seattle and south King County, Ride Pingo to Transit in Kent, and Community Ride in Sammamish and the Juanita area are temporarily not operating due to road conditions.

Customer Service updates: Trip planning, ORCA, and Lost & Found

We want to encourage riders to stay safe and take advantage of online and phone tools.

  • King County Metro Customer Serviceis openat206-553-3000 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Dec. 30 for trip planning and Lost & Found calls, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for ORCA, fare questions and customer comments.  The Customer Service phone lines will also be open with limited staffing on Dec. 31 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for assistance on the New Year’s weekend.
  • Metro has shortened hours for our Pass Sales Office and Lost & Found from Tuesday to Thursday. Both will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during those days, although we encourage customers to stay home if at all possible due to extreme weather. These offices will be closed on Friday, Dec. 31, in observance of the holiday.
  • Note: For Lost & Found, customers can call Metro Customer Service at 206-553-3000. In-person service is by appointment only, so please call first.
  • Customers can 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: reducedfare.kingcounty.gov.
    • Call Public Health to enroll in ORCA LIFT and Subsidized Annual Pass or renew your card: (800) 756-5437.
  • Customers can also load value onto existing ORCA cards or purchase passes through the ORCA website, by calling Metro Customer Service (206-553-3000), or by visiting an ORCA Retail Outlet close to home. Please allow 24-48 hours for value to be available when loading via the ORCA website or through Metro Customer Service.
  • Or customers can purchase a mobile ticket through the Transit GO ticket app to use it right away.

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 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. 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 Wednesday, Dec. 29, 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 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

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