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Transportation

Feb. 23, 2011

Noon

Metro Transit warns bus riders to expect crowded buses, snow routing, and delays during Wednesday evening commute

King County Metro Transit is chaining up its buses and expects to be moving to snow routing during this evening’s commute. Bus riders should plan for rapidly changing travel conditions later today and into tomorrow.

Metro buses will move to snow routing as travel conditions change. When buses move to snow routes, it will be announced through Transit Alerts and on the Metro Online website at www.kingcounty.gov/metro/snow. Check the status for your route before you travel.

Metro is using an online color-coded map to keep riders informed of the status of its bus service. All bus routes are assigned into one or more of seven geographic areas within King County. When there is snow or ice on the roads, the service status of each area will be color coded and displayed on the online map. Green indicates buses are operating on normal routes; yellow that some – but not all – routes in the area are on snow routes (primarily in higher elevation areas); and red tells you that all bus routes in the entire geographic area are on snow routing.

People without online access can call the Customer Information Office at (206) 553-3000. General information about service will also be sent out via the kcmetrobus Twitter account.

Expect buses to be crowded and significantly delayed when on snow routes and travel is difficult. Also, many people may leave work early today, so take that into consideration in deciding when to travel. Metro encourages people to limit travel if possible if roads become snowy and icy.

Metro fact

Metro managers are often asked why they don’t take all of the 60-foot articulated buses off the road when it snows. They cannot park all the articulated buses because they make up about 50 percent of Metro’s entire fleet and provide more than 50 percent of the seated capacity on Metro buses. Demand for bus service is even higher in the afternoon than in the morning. Here's a slide from Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond's presentation to the Seattle City Council a few months ago that illustrates how important the articulated buses are in meeting that demand.

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