Erica Barnett is already all over this, but Metro’s decided to operate on a “partial holiday” schedule from December 29-31st, as well as January 2.   Check your route schedule; if it says it doesn’t run December 26, there’s no service any of these four days either;  if certain trips are marked with “H”, those won’t run till January 5.

Apparently, sometime between the time they printed the schedules and now, Metro decided to just declare the whole New Year’s week as a partial holiday.

This is probably either related to Metro’s budget problems or a maintenance backlog after the storm, but last-minute service changes for no self-evident reason are going to leave a fair number of customers standing around wondering where their bus is.

Worse yet, we’re usually on the distribution list for news releases from Metro, but we certainly didn’t receive any notice of this decision.  If the dailies heard about it, they certainly didn’t print it, and indeed, as late as yesterday it wasn’t prominently displayed on the Metro website.  This is a pretty crummy way for Metro to do business, and one of the better reasons to make sure you own a car or bike when living in the Puget Sound.

UPDATE: In fairness, I should point out that ST is deviating slightly from their printed Sounder holiday plans by moving Dec. 31 to a holiday schedule.  However, they managed to get the information out more than a day beforehand.

ST Express buses and Tacoma LINK are unaffected by all of this.

26 Replies to “Metro: Screw it, we’re not running this week”

  1. Not an excuse for the notification failures otherwise, but I did hear mention of Metro operating on holiday/limited schedules for many routes due to maintenance backlogs on the radio this morning. (KIRO FM, around 7am)

  2. (considers only putting $1 in the fare box, then saying I’m on a holiday fare schedule)

    1. Thanks for the idea (too bad I have a Microsoft ID)

      This made a wonderful laugh at work when I showed it to my fellow bus riders

  3. WTF?? Once again, the #7 and all of Rainier Valley get screwed. Thanks for nothing, Metro, and thanks for not letting me know.

  4. maintenance backlogs? Are you f*cking kidding? Half of the fleet didn’t even run this past week.

  5. My number 2 was running, though I did walk a good deal since everyone was still set in “drive like an idiot” mode when my bus got downtown.

    No plans to change my habit of never riding the bus home from work.

  6. I think I read from the P-I on Christmas that Metro service “might” be reduced for the remainder of the year and I thought what the?? Really?

    On Saturday my driver was kind enough to announce it on the PA. I also saw the RIDER ALERT in the buses.

    Have they even considered doing the periodic broadcast message over the bus radio?

  7. I would like to know when the Rider Alert papers changed. I never saw the updated holiday through the end of the year Rider Alert until this morning when I finally got on a crowded bus. Wondered if it had snowed up in Shoreline it was so busy. I had memorized the previous one that only stated that the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and MLK day would be these partial holiday schedules. That made sense since most of those days fell on that orphan Friday between the holiday and the weekend and all the public workers have MLK day off. I made plans for THOSE days. Not this entire week! I was an hour late from the Northgate TC today. I even sat by someone who’s tardiness was holding up court from starting.

    Thanks for not getting me there again Metro.

    A simple phone call from Mrs. Thielke to KOMO, KING, and KIRO would have solved the problem.

  8. So, where’s the Streetcar in all of this? I only ever hear of it when something bad happens. No news is good news, then?

  9. Many of Metro’s coaches were decimated these last two weeks. Maintenance has a backlog of coaches they have to inspect and repair before they are fit to return to service. Thus, the unforeseen Dec 29th-31st, and Jan 2nd partial holiday.

  10. A lot of coaches were damaged during the storm. Furthermore many that were running during the past two weeks need inspection due to the rough road conditions. I don’t believe Metro could operate a full weekday schedule at the moment even if they wanted to.

    1. The reasons might be reasonable, but the communication certainly wasn’t. A lot of people are heading back to work. The news should have been communicated much better. The Metro website and this blog, for example, are good ways to get out the appropiate information.

  11. So is Metro going to sue the City of Seattle for recovery of maintenance fees? Afterall it was the City’s responsibility to provide safe driving surfaces ?

  12. I hate to say it, but I think the past two weeks have done more to damage the reputation of bus-based transit in this town then any campaign…

  13. Oh, THAT’S why my express 32 bus never came this morning. The local 36 pulled up, I asked the driver if they were running regular schedules, and he said YES. So I waited for the express, which was due a minute later, but didn’t show. Luckily, we have frequent service on Beacon Hill, and there was another 36 within 10 minutes. But it sure would be nice to get the right answer when you ask the right question!

  14. Hopefully ST is in contact with Portland TriMet to see how their after-snow report goes. In the first days of the storm, MAX performed flawlessly, looking like they had switch heaters, but by the first weekend, switches at Gateway, Rose Quarter, and Ruby Junction had failed. The odd thing was, TriMet was running sweeper trains to keep the tracks and wires clear of ice. By the end of last week, they had the Red and Yellow Lines fully restored. Also, they should look into how the UTA keeps Salt Lake City’s TRAX Light Rail system operational during their snow periods.

  15. I also wish Metro would give at least some reason. If a lot of buses need maintenance, I can understand, but the website just says “in accordance with Metro’s ‘reduced weekday’ service levels during this holiday period.” The schedule pages also desperately need fixing. If I look at the online timetable of the effected routes like 372 or 373, as of 4:58 PM on Monday, Dec 29 it still says it WILL be operating!

  16. These so-called ‘holiday schedules’ are a marketing pain for those of us who try to drum up support for public transit! It didn’t used to be thus and ST has made its holiday scheduling a major plank of its service to the public as if it is doing us a favor and they almost speak of it as if it is an ‘add-on’ rather than a diminution of service levels. I wouldn’t be proud of this at all if I were Metro or ST and it brings me back to my point in other posts of public transit has to be easily predictable – customers do not want to have to be always consulting timetables and websites to check for updates

  17. Wonder how much snow fell on Metro’s bases? That is one thing STA does not need to worry about, their entire main maintenance base is indoors.

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