« Back to Snow, Ice & Flood Alerts

Metro & Snow

Are you ready for winter?

Each year, Metro prepares for winter weather by planning alternate bus routes for snowy conditions, maintaining communication tools to keep riders informed about weather-related service changes, and having an Emergency Service Network (ESN) that operates during the most severe conditions. This guide will help you learn how you can get the most out of Metro’s winter weather preparations. We want to get you where you’re going safely!

Find your planned Snow Route

When streets are snowy or icy, Metro may reroute buses away from hills onto less-steep roads, or shift buses from neighborhood streets onto arterials that are more likely to be plowed.

Find a route map

To find the planned snow route for your bus, see the map printed in your route timetable or look up your route map using the search box provided.

The timetable maps show regular routes along with a dashed line indicating snow routes.

Expect the unexpected

When it snows, it is not always possible to predict how service could be affected or which Metro routes or trips may be revised or canceled. Metro works closely with local jurisdictions to make clearing roads needed for transit a priority; however, unpredictable delays and other service disruptions may occur and Metro may not be able to adhere to published schedule times. Safety is Metro's primary concern, and we may make unplanned changes in service to keep you and our drivers safe during adverse driving conditions.

The best approach to winter travel is to be prepared, stay informed, and have a backup plan.

Snow checklists

Before snow season

  • Sign up for Metro Transit Alerts. Metro will e-mail or text you about any changes in service for the bus routes you select.
  • Visit and bookmark the Metro Online Alerts & Updates section. Here you will find changes to bus service due to snow or other disruptions; a color coded Service Area map; a list of rerouted buses; links to descriptions of snow routes; and Metro's Emergency Service Network (ESN).
  • Pick up a printed timetable for your route early in the season when they're most likely to be available. These timetables show snow routes, in addition to regular routes.
  • Locate other bus routes or stops that would work for you if your regular service is delayed or rerouted. There may be more bus service available on cleared arterials, at major transit hubs, and at park-and-ride lots.
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Familiarize yourself with your school, daycare and employer's snow policies.
  • Save the Metro Customer Information number, 206-553-3000, in your phonebook.

When it snows or there is a threat of snow

  • Before traveling, check the weather reports.
  • Check the Snow, Ice & Flood Alerts page to see what areas are affected and which routes are rerouted. Some routes may be delayed or otherwise affected due to conditions in other areas.
  • Find the planned snow route for your bus in your printed timetable or on Metro Online.
  • Expect unpredictable delays in bus service caused by traffic, street or weather conditions. Prepare to wait longer at your bus stop. Travel times may take longer than normal.
  • Remember that the Metro Online Trip Planner does not show service revisions, delays or cancellations. This also applies to other trip planning programs not provided by King County.
  • The Metro Online Tracker program may not be accurate when buses go on snow routes. This also applies to other programs not provided by King County.
  • When streets and sidewalks are slick, avoid steep hills; wait for buses at posted bus stops on flat portions of arterial streets, or at park-and-ride lots, transit centers or major transfer points.
  • At times Metro may also operate shuttles along the hilly portions of some routes to help connect riders to rerouted service.
  • More people ride Metro during snow and bad weather conditions, so your Metro buses may be more crowded than usual.

For employers and employees

Even on a typical day in the Puget Sound region, getting to work might be affected by traffic, schedule changes or construction.

But what if snow, a flood or another emergency creates serious delays or safety risks? What's your back- up plan to stay safe and still do your job? Can you work from home? Do you know other ways to travel? Do you know how to get the latest news?

Checklists for employers and employees.

Service Area Map:

  • Central Seattle
  • East King County
  • North King County
  • North Seattle
  • South Seattle
  • Southeast King County
  • Southwest King County

The King County Department of Transportation is providing this information as a service to the general public. While every attempt is made to provide accurate and timely information, estimates of the nature and duration of any particular route change or other event are subject to conditions beyond the control of King County and are difficult to predict. Those relying on this information should do so at their own risk, and neither King County nor any of its employees or agents shall be liable for the accuracy of this information or any actions taken as a result.