As first noted early today, Metro is cutting service starting Monday. The next wave of details just went public, including one West Seattle route being dropped entirely, the 125:
Metro continues to prioritize the safety of its passengers, employees, and community members with the implementation of its new Reduced Schedule starting March 23. Under this temporary Reduced Schedule, buses will run less frequently throughout the day. Bus service may also start later in the morning and end earlier in the evening. Some routes will not operate and nearly all routes will see individual trip cancelations.
There will be additional changes to routes and times that take effect on Saturday, March 21 as part of Metro’s regular Spring Service Change. The Spring Service Change brings Eastside riders better bus connections, and improved access to Seattle via transfer between buses and Link light rail at UW Station.
The Reduced Schedule is in response to reduced ridership since the emergence of COVID-19. These service reductions are also designed to maintain a resilient and sustainable transit system that’s able to keep our region moving every day and to ramp back up when this chapter closes.
The Reduced Schedule means that online customer information planning tools and third-party apps may be increasingly inaccurate for Metro and Sound Transit services. While these tools will be updated to the Spring Service Change schedule, they will not reflect Metro’s temporary Reduced Schedule or Sound Transit’s reductions.
Many of Metro’s riders have heeded the steps advised by leaders and public health officials in recent weeks to limit the spread of novel coronavirus by teleworking and avoiding traveling. Bus ridership on Wednesday, March 18, for example, was 60% less than a comparable day in 2019—a reduction of 250,000 passengers.
While many of Metro’s passengers may have other transportation options and choose transit, many others rely more heavily—or exclusively—upon transit, so decisions on where and when to reduce service were not made lightly. Metro has designed reductions to maintain some service on as many routes as possible, acknowledging that people rely on these routes to access medical care, grocery stores, and other vital services. Metro is actively talking with community groups who represent populations more likely to depend on transit, including those that represent customers with accessibility challenges. Metro will remain engaged with those groups to understand their mobility needs and determine how best to serve them during this time.
This move follows Metro’s earlier public safety actions of transitioning to daily sanitization of coaches and transit vehicles/vessels, setting up a Department Operations Center to guide fast response, and temporarily closing in-person customer service offices in favor of phone and online options.
Temporary changes to service under Reduced Schedule (which goes into effect on Monday, March 23)
Under the Reduced Schedule, most Metro routes will see individual trip cancellations. Some routes will not operate, primarily during commute times and when options on other routes exist.
Routes without changes: 22, 105, 118, 119, 154
Routes with fewer bus trips and/or reduced hours of operation: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 24, 26, 27, 28, 31, 32, 33, 36, 37, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 48, 49, 50, 55, 56, 57, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65, 67, 70, 71, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 101, 102, 106, 107, 111, 113, 114, 116, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 128, 131, 132, 143, 148, 150, 153, 156, 157, 158, 159, 164, 166, 167, 168, 169, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 186, 187, 190, 192, 193, 197, 212, 214, 216, 217, 218, 219, 221, 225, 226, 230, 231, 232, 239, 240, 241, 245, 246, 249, 252, 250, 255, 257, 268, 269, 271, 301, 303, 304, 311, 312, 316, 331, 342, 345, 346, 347, 348, 355, 372, 373, A Line, B Line, C Line, D Line, E Line, F Line, ST 522, ST 541, ST 542, ST 545, ST 550, ST 554, ST 555, ST 556, 907, 913, 931, 952, Des Moines Community Shuttle (635)
Routes fully cut: 9, 29, 47, 78, 125, 200, 208, 237, 308, 309, 330, 541, Black Diamond/Enumclaw Community Ride, Shoreline/Lake Forest Park Community Ride, Normandy Park Community Ride, Sammamish Community Ride, Juanita Community Ride, Bothell/Woodinville Community Ride, Mercer Island Community Shuttle (630).
Additionally, the following services and programs will not operate during Reduced Schedule (which goes into effect on Monday, March 23):
Via to Transit
At this time, the Access paratransit program will continue normal operations and will continue to follow its enhanced daily sanitization procedures.
Water Taxi and its two shuttles, routes 773 and 775, will continue to operate on their winter schedule through at least April 20, 2020.
Seattle Streetcar will operate on a reduced schedule starting on Monday, March 23.
First Hill Streetcar will operate with 15-minute headways Monday to Saturday during reduced service hours, 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. There are no changes to service hours on Sundays and holidays: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
South Lake Union Streetcar will not operate beginning March 23 and until further notice.
Most of the rest of the release involves non-Seattle service, followed by this info for all:
The Reduced Schedule means that online customer information planning tools and third-party apps may be increasingly inaccurate. While these tools will be updated to the Spring Service Change schedule, they may not reflect all temporary schedule changes in the Reduced Schedule. These systems may still provide useful information, such as maps and bus stop information.
First, riders should visit Metro’s Reduced Schedule page (starting Saturday, March 21) to confirm that their route is operating and view other details, then check to see if their desired trip is coming by using “Next Departures” in Metro’s online trip planner, or Text for Departures by texting your stop ID to 62550.
Information about Reduced Schedule changes can be viewed at kingcounty.gov/metro/ReducedSchedule including suggestions for alternate routes riders may want to consider.
Riders can also contact Metro Customer Information at 206-553-3000 Monday through Friday between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. or reach us on the web using our comment form for assistance.
Sound Transit’s Link and Sounder services and some ST Express bus routes are also reduced. Transferring riders should check soundtransit.org/ride-with-us/service-alerts.
Got questions? We’ll be on a media conference call tomorrow to follow up.