From King County Metro: According to the National Weather Service, transportation in Seattle and King County could be affected by snow, ice or wind during the next several days.
Our website, MetroWinter.com, was recently updated to better provide riders with the information they need to prepare before a storm and understand the travel options in the event that snow affects roadway and travel conditions.
This alert provides information about how transit riders can prepare to use Metro and other transit services in the snow, and what to expect during unpredictable conditions.
The challenges Weather and impact forecasts and predictions about the possibility of snow are constantly being updated.
It is not possible to predict the exact timing or locations of potential transit service impacts due to the weather.
While Metro utilizes all available resources to operate service as normally as possible during adverse weather conditions, the safety of everyone is the highest priority.
Buses may be delayed or rerouted, and Metro staff cannot predict affected areas or tell riders exactly when a specific bus might get to a stop.
Metro operation during snow or ice If Metro service is significantly affected by snow or other weather-related events, Metro could respond in different ways, depending on various factors and considerations.
Snow reroutes Some or all Metro routes could be directed to use their designated snow reroutes.
Designated snow routes are shown on the map in the timetable for each route.
It’s possible that some routes could remain on their regular route.
Some routes do not have designated snow reroutes.
It’s possible that reroutes could change during the day, and that unplanned reroutes could be implemented.
When Metro operates on snow reroutes, it’s possible that some individual trips could be canceled, and that service could be delayed due to weather or road conditions.
Riders are encouraged to be aware of conditions in their areas and prepare and dress accordingly; know the planned snow route(s) of the routes they ride; use regularly posted timetables to plan their travel, and allow plenty of time, then expect possible delays.
Emergency Snow Network (ESN) Depending on the severity of weather, road conditions and available resources, Metro could implement its Emergency Snow Network (ESN).
The ESN is a separate type of snow operation that reduces Metro service to about 65 bus routes and chained shuttles serving major plowed corridors.
ESN routes are regular Metro routes that can probably be operated during the worse conditions.
During ESN operation, there are many areas in King County that may not have nearby transit service. Visit the ESN information page and make an advance plan.
The ESN operates for one or more full service days. Except for unexpected disruptions, once implemented at the start of the day, it is not likely to change much during the day. It will not start or end part way through a service day.
Metro will notify customers of the plan to operate the ESN on the day prior to its operation.
ESN service will be operated as frequently as resources and conditions allow, usually on a schedule that is close to that route’s regular schedule.
When Metro operates its ESN, it’s possible that some individual trips could be canceled, and that service could be delayed due to weather or road conditions.
If an ESN route also has a planned snow route (shown on its timetable map), it will use that route during ESN operation.
Riders are encouraged to be aware of conditions in their areas and prepare and dress accordingly; know the planned snow route(s) of the ESN routes they ride; use regularly posted timetables to plan their travel, and allow plenty of time, then expect possible delays.
Know before you go Metro riders can prepare ahead by visiting Metro’s website and familiarizing themselves with information about how Metro operates in the snow, as well as the snow routing for the routes they ride. Snow route maps are shown in timetables.
When streets are snowy or icy, be aware of conditions in your immediate area, check media reports, check for transit reroutes, then wait for buses at posted bus stops on the flat portions of arterial streets that have been cleared or treated, or at major transfer points such as transit centers or park and ride lots.
Be prepared for the weather, longer than usual waits at bus stops and more crowded buses.
Visit Metro’s website for complete transit information.
Visit the MetroWinter.com website.
Visit the King County Water Taxi site for information about Water Taxi operation. Metro’s trip planner & transit apps
Metro’s online trip planner and other transit apps provide trip planning and other information using data based on regular transit schedules. Temporary service disruptions, such as those due to weather are not reflected in regular route itineraries or schedules.
While “real time” – or predicted – information in transit apps may be less reliable during major service disruptions, it may be possible to get more specific information by visiting the Next Departures feature in Metro’s Puget Sound Trip Planner or mobile apps, or by checking Text for Departures on your smart phone. It is not possible to know exactly when a bus will be at a specific location. Partner agencies Visit the Community Transit, Pierce Transit, Sound Transit or Washington State Ferries websites for information about services provided by Metro’s regional transit partners.
For non-transit traffic or other local updates, check media sources, follow @seattledot or visit
(Editors note: For Bellevue-specific information, follow @BvueTrans.)
Everyone's preparedness and patience during snow or other adverse conditions is appreciated.