We took that photo along Alki Avenue SW after a reader tip that those yellow bags had appeared on multiple bus stops that served Route 37, suspended since March. Do they represent a permanent shroud for the route? We asked Metro. Spokesperson Jeff Switzer says sign-covering started last weekend and is part of a bigger project:
Countywide, we have 7,800 bus stops. Beginning with the September service change we planned a several-fold approach for handling stop level information for suspended routes.
*At suspended stops with bus stop information holders, we have replaced the stop schedule strips with a suspended route information strip.
*At large information kiosks with suspended routes, we have installed a large information strip with suspended route information.
*At suspended stops without information holders, but with more than one route, but only one suspended route, we have installed a decal on the post indicating one or more routes at this stop are suspended (this work is about 85% complete.
*At suspended route stops serving only one route, we have begun covering the flag with a “suspended” cover. Facilities crews began to install them over the past weekend. As of Tuesday morning 200 have been installed out of about 800 planned locations. The work will be ongoing.
While we realize most customers were able to figure out their route was suspended using other tools and information between March and September 2020, we decided to take this additional step to inform customers under the assumption that we potentially would see rider demand grow back over time.
So if you see these at other stops solely serving suspended routes, that’s why. The suspended routes’ ultimate future has yet to be determined. (Here’s a September recap of which routes countywide remain shelved.)