Snow in Seattle 002

Update: Track which buses are under re-routes on the Metro website.

Cold weather and snow are likely coming, and it is very likely to effect commutes tomorrow. Alerts and advice below the fold.

Metro has the following warning about the cold weather:

King County Metro Transit is planning on chaining most of its buses for the Wednesday morning commute, and warns bus riders that service could be delayed by the weather conditions throughout the day – particularly in outlying areas of East and Southeast King County.

Many buses may be on snow routing, if not for the morning commute then by midday and late afternoon. Metro may have to switch to snow routes in some locations with little notice. So, the best way to stay on top of the reroutes is to check the adverse weather information on Metro Online at, or call the Customer Information Office at (206) 553-3000.

Bus riders are reminded to:

Be patient. Buses are not always on schedule in snowy or icy conditions. And, increased ridership during bad weather can result in crowded buses and a longer-than-usual wait on the phone for the Customer Information Office;

  • Dress warmly for the walk to the bus stop, expect delays, and wear appropriate footwear for the weather;
  • Head for bus stops on main arterials or at major transfer points such as park-and-ride lots, transit centers, or shopping centers; and
  • Riders should wait at bus stops at the very top or very bottom of hills, because buses are often unable to stop for passengers on inclines.

Here’s Metro’s adverse weather page.

Community Transit alerts can be found here, Sound Transit here, Pierce Transit here, Ferries here, Everett Transit here and Island Transit here.

I urge you to be careful when you go out. If you do drive, go slowly, stock snow tires, make sure you have enough gas to last a long wait in your car, and be safe. Don’t be like these guys:

14 Replies to “Bad Winter Weather”

  1. Wonder how SOUNDER will handle the snow? I mean other than the alerts put out. I know the locomotives have a small plow on the front, but if the off-chance it turns out to be several feet, wonder if BNSF has a Jordan Spreader around? Now, I doubt we will be seeing storm events like this more frequently, but as SOUNDER expands North, might be worth adding some of the improvements the UTA has done to keep TRAX running. The areas north of Seattle tend to get more snow than Seattle.

  2. Don’t be like these guys?

    “These guys” sliding down the hill in $50k yuppie assault vehicles (probably yakking away on their cell phones) ARE Seattle area drivers personified. People are addicted to their cars here – thanks, in large part to an immature mass transit system – but they still haven’t figured out how to drive ’em.

    That sound of crunching metal and plastic…that’s the sound of your insurance rates going up. Gridlock is about the only thing keeping Seattle drivers from harming themselves and others. How many peds have been killed by self-centered Seattle drivers in the past two years? Isn’t it up to 23 now?

    My bus was almost an hour late recently because some idiot ran out of gas on 520. How long will it take for the government to start cracking down on drivers who can’t figure out the ABC’s of driving? A sprinkle of rain here causes mass panic, and reduces highway merging speeds to 35 mph. Amazing what snow and gravity can do to the shallow end of the driving gene pool.

    1. I wonder what is up with the idiots who get out on 520 and have their cars break down. When I commuted to the Eastside there was at least one moron every week who’d screw up the commute. I used to think we should re-name the bridge “stalled car mid-span”.

      I have some empathy for those with shitty cars they can’t afford to maintain properly, but WTF is up with the $50,000 SUVs running out of gas on the bridge?

      The good news is the tow trucks have cut down on the traffic delays from breakdowns.

  3. I wonder if BC has the same problem with bad weather drivers, they are well advanced in their evolving rapid transit system. Not sure how SkyTrain handles the snow, but the buses have a problem. I saw some video podcasts of Global BC(wished King 5 had some) news, showing some jack-knifed articulated buses caught in the snow.

    TriMet learned the hard way that it is best to run a few MAX Trains all night then pull them in during a snow event. The trains running keeps the track clear of snow and ice off the overhead wires. It also has a bonus with the street trackage in Downtown, those lanes are clear.

  4. Sounder had to deal with a few frozen switches in Tacoma but other than that, they have been running all on-time when arriving into Seattle. I heard the same for the Seattle Streetcar, a lot of arching!

    Yeah Tri-Met did learn the hard way and have relief operators come in at night and run the entire line. The new Type 4’s have been doing excellent in the snow and ice so far from what I have heard.

    1. Yeah, my friend who takes the Streetcar was definitely on-time this morning.

      Me? Almost an hour late. So much for buses being flexible and reliable!

    1. Yesterday evening around 6:30 pm, a pick-up truck was stalled on eastbound 520 reducing it to only one lane through! I picked the last express bus of the day to avoid the mess and this is what I get? I thought there were WSDOT Incident Response Team trucks stationed at the ends of the bridge to tow these guys out immediately.

      When our car stalled at the Mercer exit there was a truck to push us out of traffic in 10 minutes and that was during the morning rush hour.

  5. Anecdotally, were buses more packed today or what? My 8 had to pass up a stop (unfortunately). The bus after that comes 30 minutes later :(

  6. I’m lucky I live on a flat portion of the 230 and my stop is a safe place to stop – it was fun though since I’m in a wheelchair (my neighbor, who knows I take the bus all the time, cleared the bus stop for me)

  7. Actually that video was taken in Portland, Goose Hollow neighborhood. My friend actually lives across the street from where it was shot…

    the streets are at a significant grade there. Only way you’d be able to make it uphill on that ice is with chains on a 4×4.

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