[UPDATE 6:10am: No change to Community Transit’s service this morning.]

[UPDATE 7:53pm: ST Routes 545 and 560 also will miss some stops in Seattle.]

Here’s Metro’s full press release on the subject. Money quote:

“We decided Sunday night to be proactive, even though we know how unpredictable snowfall can be in King County,” said Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond. “We would rather be over prepared than have buses stuck on regular routes during the middle of a snowy commute in the morning or afternoon.”]

In a pre-emptive move, Metro just announced that all routes will use their snow routing on Monday morning. Take a moment to re-familiarize yourself with your route’s snow route.

Updates will be at Metro’s adverse weather page. We’re told that more information will follow, so check back here.

47 Replies to “ALERT: Snow Routing Monday Morning”

  1. Are we expecting more (make that, any) snow tonight?

    Here on Queen Anne the only snow I’ve seen today has been scattered flurries that melt instantly on the ground. Snow routes will really mess up the 2/13. Since the 3 doesn’t have a snow route, is it cancelled?

    Sounds like a CYA overreaction to me…

    1. National Weather Service is now calling for 1-3 inches of accumulation. Cliff Mass (local UW weather guru) is leaning towards there not being enough moisture to lead to anything significant. After Snowpocalypse I can sympathize with a CYA overreaction if the NWS is calling it, though. At the least I’m betting the head of SDOT isn’t starting Thanksgiving vacation early :)

    2. There are three alerts for #3. No First Hill, no north of Boston, and something about Taylor. It looks like the bus goes north to Valley, then no service up the hill, then a shuttle at the top. If I’m reading it right you’d have to take the 1/2/13 down the hill.

    3. It takes a long time to chain up over 1000 buses, you know. If Metro waited until they actually saw snow, the buses would already be out on the road, and maintenance trucks would need to drive out an chain the buses in the field.

  2. There’s going to be some angry missed passengers if there’s no snow on some of those snow routes. People passed up in the cold on a dry day tend to get cranky.

    1. There will also be a lot of angry people waiting at bus stops along the snow route who’s bus will never come because Metro, sometime during the day, switched back to regular route.

      1. That’s been one of the major challenges I’ve seen in the past – the bus will switch back to the regular route without any kind of notice.

      2. No, they’ll be waiting at bus stops along the snow route because they didn’t check to see whether their bus was still on the snow route before heading for their bus stop.

        At any rate – most snow routes are also part of the regular route. It’s the people waiting along stretches of the regular route that get bypassed due to snow routing that will be left at the curb.

  3. Why haven’t I received an email alert from Metro about this? It looks like this announcement was made at 5pm at the latest. It is now 2 1/2 hours later…

    1. Nothing on their website, nothing via email… the only announcement I’ve seen has been on Twitter.

      KC Metro, get your messaging act together!

      1. kyle…you got the message, right?! You’ve heard of a budget problem, right? At what point do YOU have the responsibility to find out the information? Metro doesn’t have the staffing on weekends that manages this information. Those folks are available during the high peak periods Monday through Friday. Obviously Metro isn’t holding your hand long enough or tight enough are they?!

      2. I also received an email from metro (I’m subscribed to alerts) at 7:38pm yesterday notifying me that all service would be operating snow routes. If they send out another notice when they return to normal routing, I’ll consider myself satisfied.

    2. I got a media advisory at 5 pm, followed by a Transit Alert at 5:48, then at 7:39 pm a Metro email.

      The first two was for the media. The last one was my personal Metro alert subscription.

      Their website already had the alert up almost an hour ago.

      And they had the “Chance of Snow Predicted. Sign up for Transit Alerts” banner up for a few days prior.

  4. Actually i think it’s a good call for them as most of the time the snow routing is little diffrent from the regular routing. Better than buses stuck in the snow. I will say that Metro’s Marketing/Graphics department needs to work on the maps some though. While its nice they indicate the snow reroute on the map, having 2 sets of lines can make the map difficult to read (Especally, if the snow route is identical to the non snow route, or has minor variences). Online in color isnt as bad but i can only imangine the print version probally leaves some to be desired.

  5. I take the 24 out of Magnolia and Metro’s site has “snow shuttle” and “snow” routes for this bus. The snow shuttle route route follows the normal route. This may be a dumb question but does anyone know if there will be a bus running on the “snow shuttle” route on extreme weather days?

  6. …plus, everything that I’ve read or heard about tomorrow’s bus service says “morning.” When will Metro decide that there isn’t enough snow on a certain route and put that route back onto its regular routing?

  7. Prediction:
    There will be no significant snowfall that accumulates. Then Mr. Desmond gets tagged with being ‘chicken little’ during tomorrows Non-Snowpocalypse fiasco.
    There’s nothing worse than a bunch of service cancelled, pissed off riders, and lousy press when it’s not snowing and there’s nothing on the ground.

  8. Mon. 4:20am, Kiro news interviewing Linda Theilke, of Metro, saying all buses on snow routes. She said to check the Metro website for the latest info, and the snow map, which she said was all red (reroutes). The website shows all green (regular routes). So much for clear, concise information right out of the blocks.
    Let the fun begin!

    1. Don’t know what you’re looking at but as of 4:57 a.m. everything on the website is red, shows all of the reroutes. Below the map is a place where you can input your specific route to find out its snow route.

      1. 5:08 Map is all Green, even when you roll over the different sub-areas.
        I know this is nit picky, but shutting down essential services on the threat of snow is not right, IMHO.
        If Metro has to reroute, do it based on real info, not just being pro-active to CYA.
        Let the drivers carry some traction devices that they are ‘allowed’ to put on and take off- they used to do it. The huge tire chains are a pain, tear up vehicles and require a few maint. crews to service the entire fleet on short notice. That’s just a start.
        What happened to sanders on transit vehicles. Trying to pull out of a slippery bus zone ‘traps’ a lot of buses on slippery days.
        This one size fits all culture we live in is not very efficient.

      2. The Metro site showed all areas green until I refreshed the page – then it all turned red. 6:24am. Maybe folks who visited last night have to refresh (clearly not idea)?

  9. I’m on the 556 right now, which to my surprise is operating a snow route — I have not received any alerts from ST and as of 06:32 the only ones posted on their website are those for the 545/560 I noted 11 hours ago. I sure am glad I board this bus at Issy TC and not the Highlands, which isn’t being served.

    Still some communication issues to be worked out, it seems…

      1. So it is; thanks for pointing me to that. I guess it was too much to expect that the agency whose name is plastered all over the bus, regardless of ownership, would mirror those alerts on their on website.

      2. As a follow-up, a coworker who rides the 556 out of Issaquah Highlands reported that “there were lots of people lined up and no buses, so I decided to drive in.”

  10. No/minimal snow on the streets of Queen Anne, yet Metro apparently does not know if the 3/4 are running up Taylor/5th N or not.

  11. North Seattle some snow sticking to the roads and still falling. Imagine a lot of black ice out there. It’s a hard call for Metro. Two years ago they tried to keep things running too long and a one week weather event became a two week bus crisis. I’m OK with their being careful.

  12. I take the 26. The express didn’t show (or at least hadn’t by the time the local show up) and the local took the regular route through Fremont then the snow route from Fremont to Downtown (Westlake instead of Dexter). So everybody who followed the Metro alert north of Fremont (to NE 45th) were screwed, as was anyone south of Fremont who didn’t.

    My consistent experience with Metro during snow events (or non-events as this one seems to be) is that you can’t rely on whether the individual drivers are going to follow the snow route or not – independent of what the web site says.

    1. Kevin, you are right. Some drivers during snow events won’t follow the snow route, preferring to improvise their own routing. For example, on my scanner, I just heard the control center give permission to a driver to go regular route for part of his route in order to get the people on the bus closer to some hospital. Sucks to be the people waiting on the snow route for his bus, huh? But this is a rare exception of a driver actually asking permission. Most will just freestyle it on their own, knowing they’re unlikely to get caught because of the chaos throughout the system.

      But a much more likely reason for a bus not showing up is it throwing a chain and the driver deciding not to continue.

  13. For those who think there are no homeless in Bellevue, the city has opened a severe weather shelter at the Crossroads Community Center.

  14. I feel badly for those at metro who have to make these types of calls. No matter what happens (snowpocalypse or bare, dry roads), 50% will think they made the right call and 50% will think they made the wrong one. Then there is the vocal portion of each side who hurl unnecessary criticism and strong opinions about how *they* would have done things.

    Incompetence is unacceptable and I call it out when I see it. That said, mistakes and bad calls based on poor (or the complete lack of) information happen because human beings are involved in the decision-making process, and a poor decision isn’t necessarily indicative of incompetence. More often bad decisions are made because the right information wasn’t available to those making the call.

    I get frustrated when all these people pop up and say (after the fact) “look, there isn’t much snow, what a bunch of incompetent fools!” Recall the mayor! Sack the Metro chief! It is so reactionary.

  15. Did they really have to cut off OneBusAway? Wouldn’t it still have worked for non-affected parts of the routes (or at least of routes truncated at the end but with unaffected middle sections)?

    It’s going to make the 1st half of my trip to the airport really unpleasant.

      1. Wow, did you really just log into a transit blog and then tell me to spend $60 on a town car for what should be a $2.50 trip?

        Glad I didn’t take your advice. Getting downtown was a nightmare, but then my Link train zipped to the airport, giving a nice view of the I-5 parking lot I would have been stuck in had done what you suggest.

        Then, after sitting on the tarmac for 4 hours while the incompetent flight crew and the incompetent ground crew ruined my Thanksgiving (most airlines that weren’t United did just fine yesterday), I got to take link back downtown — and witness the I-5 parking lot that persisted at 12:20 in the morning. I still would have been stuck in your precious town car.

    1. Unfortunately it would not have worked because of “the odometer problem”, except for the few routes whose snow route is identical to normal:

      The problem comes with buses on adverse weather reroute, or any type of temporary reroute. When a bus goes on reroute, the physical route changes and the odometry calculation based on the original route used above is no longer accurate. In a perfect world, we would know when a bus is on reroute and adjust to its new route. Unfortunately, there is currently no automated way for handling this situation.


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