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When winter weather hits, Metro keeps the public transit system running so you can safely get where you need to go. This guide provides information to help you better use Metro services during snow.

Prepare & stay informed

How do I know if my bus route is affected by the weather?

The snow, ice and flood map shows how weather is affecting bus routes in seven areas of King County. At a glance, you can see how weather conditions affect routes in your area based on each area’s color.

Snow, ice & flood map

What the map colors mean

  • Green means buses are operating on their regular schedules.
  • Yellow means some buses are running on snow routes.
  • Red means all buses are operating on snow routes; some routes may be canceled or delayed.
  • Blue means the Emergency Snow Network is in effect.

How can I stay informed?

Please note

Metro's online Trip Planner and third-party apps, such as One Bus Away or Google Maps, provide results that are based on scheduled data for regular service. They do not reflect planned or unplanned snow reroutes or the Emergency Snow Network.

What happens to my bus route when it snows?

Depending on how bad the weather is, three things can happen to your bus:

  • Your bus runs on its regular schedule

    You can find route information listed on the Schedule & Maps page.

    Schedules & Maps
  • Your bus runs on its snow route

    You should plan ahead by learning the snow route of your bus.

    Snow Routes
  • ESN may go in effect

    During the worst weather, Metro may enact its Emergency Snow Network (ESN). Your bus may be canceled.

    About the ESN

How can I find out if my bus is on time or canceled?

  • Check our Service Advisories page.
  • Use Metro’s Text for Departures tool to quickly find the next departures at your bus stop. Text your transit stop ID (on the sign at your bus stop) to this number: 62550, and you will receive a message a few seconds later with up-to-date schedule information. More info…
  • Please note: When buses are not operating along their regular routes or serving their normal stops, “real-time” departure predictions at specific stops may not be reliable.

Will my bus stop change if buses are operating on snow routes or the Emergency Snow Network?

If your bus is running its snow route or if the Emergency Snow Network has been activated, it’s possible your bus stop may change. Check our Service Advisories page for the latest transit alerts, which includes temporary bus stops and relocations, before heading to your stop.

Emergency Snow Network

During severe winter weather, Metro may activate its Emergency Snow Network (ESN), a reduced network of about 66 bus routes and chained shuttles designed to serve the most riders in the safest way possible. Metro’s ESN focuses bus service on main roadways that will be plowed and de-iced and avoids steep hills.

Metro will announce its intended activation of the ESN one day in advance. The ESN remains in effect for an entire service day, even if conditions improve.

ESN bus routes

Each route that is part of the Emergency Snow Network follows its regular or snow route as described in its timetable.

Special snow service

Route 90: Downtown Seattle, First Hill and Capitol Hill

When all Metro buses are running on snow routes or the Emergency Snow Network, Metro’s special Route 90 is activated to serve downtown Seattle and area hospitals. The Route 90 number will not be on the bus stop signs. However, Route 90 will serve all bus stops shown on the map. Route 90 provides about three trips per hour on weekdays between approximately 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Other Metro services

Access Paratransit Service

Call 206-205-5000, WA Relay 711 or 1-866-205-5001.

Access riders should contact the call center on days with snow or icy conditions. The call center’s phone system will provide special announcements when service is either disrupted or suspended. Access vehicles may still be available for emergency services such as life sustaining trips.

King County Water Taxi

May be delayed or canceled due to winter weather conditions. Check our Water Taxi page for current schedules.

Via to Transit and other Metro services

May be delayed or canceled due to snow or icy weather conditions.

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