Responding to fluctuating ridership, King County Metro will restore and revise transit service March 20 as part of its regular spring service change. More trips will be added to 15 routes where ridership demand is strongest, while individual trips will be suspended on 10 peak weekday routes due to low ridership.
As the region continues to respond and recover from the pandemic, Metro is focusing service where demand is greatest, which is generally in south King County. As an indicator of increasing economic and social activity, the number of weekday scheduled bus trips will climb slightly to more than 11,000 after the March 20 service change.
"Our region’s recovery is built on reliable public transportation, and we are investing our resources where service is needed most," said King County Executive Dow Constantine. "By fine-tuning key routes, we are responding to the needs of our community and positioning our transit network to rebuild better than before."
Service change details are posted online, and include several highlights.
• Service additions and restorations: Metro will be adding or restoring some service on the following routes to address travel demand that at times exceeds COVID-19 passenger limits: RapidRide A Line and routes 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 11, 13, 36, 49, 50, 60, 106, 128, 132 and 193.
• New trip suspensions: In order to put bus service where demand is higher, Metro will suspend selected trips on the following peak commuter routes where ridership has not yet returned: Routes 21X, 55, 56, 57, 102, 111, 212, 218, 301 and 311.
• Peak and some all-day routes continue to be suspended due to lower ridership demand and available financial resources: Ongoing suspended routes include 5E, 9E, 15E, 17E, 18E, 19, 22, 29, 37, 47, 63, 71, 76, 77,78, 113, 114, 116, 118E & 119E (this Vashon service will provide only on-island service), 121, 122, 123, 143, 154, 157, 167, 177, 178, 179, 190, 197, 200, 214, 216, 217, 219, 232, 237, 246, 249, 252, 268, 308, 312, 316, 342, 355, 628, 630, 931 and Black Diamond-Enumclaw Community Ride. Sound Transit Express Routes 541, 544, 555, and 556 also remain suspended.
• Alternatives for suspended service: Transit planners have identified alternative routes that are available to riders in areas where service is suspended.
• Plan a trip: Riders are now able to use the updated online trip planner to make travel plans under the revised schedule by entering dates after March 20. Riders also can call customer service for assistance at 206-553-3000 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
• Transit service to access vaccination locations: Learn more about bus, on-demand, van and shuttle options.
Metro continues to operate reliable regional transit service across more than 120 bus routes, delivering 10,891 weekday bus trips carrying an estimated 125,000 riders each weekday. Thanks to voters, Metro continues to operate frequent and reliable bus service in Seattle, within COVID-19 safety protocols, with the support of Seattle Transportation Benefit District funds.
Safety is Metro’s top priority
Guided by public health expertise, Metro has a layered safety approach across our entire transit network -- including requiring masks, daily disinfecting, supporting physical distancing through passenger limits and closing off certain seats, installing safety partitions, and encouraging contact-free payment.
Additionally, Metro has issued more than 580,000 masks to riders since fall 2020, starting with our busiest transit routes and now via dispensers on more than 1,100 buses. Metro expects to complete outfitting its entire fleet with mask dispensers in the coming weeks.
“We continue to safely and reliably connect people with their destinations as the region responds and recovers,” said King County Metro General Manager Terry White. “Our focus is on prioritizing service where needs are greatest and demand remains strong, and further restored trips are on the horizon.”
Our region’s recovery is built on reliable public transportation, and we are investing our resources where service is needed most. By fine-tuning key routes, we are responding to the needs of our community and positioning our transit network to rebuild better than before.
We continue to safely and reliably connect people with their destinations as the region responds and recovers. Our focus is on prioritizing service where needs are greatest and demand remains strong, and further restored trips are on the horizon.