If you are subscribed to Metro alerts, and/or follow Metro on Twitter, you probably noticed a dramatic uptick in the number of trip alerts today – 80 via Twitter, for example, from throughout the service area, including some on West Seattle-serving routes such as the 120, 131, 128, and C Line. So we asked Metro what happened. Here’s the reply from spokesperson Jeff Switzer:
We saw a higher number of canceled trips today due to operator availability, which reflects more drivers who are out on leave. This can be due to sick calls or caring for family members or as a precaution.
Our backup drivers are filling trips as usual and some drivers also filled in when they completed their regular driving assignment. For trips we couldn’t fill in time and had to cancel, we are now sending more transit alerts and tweets than we did in the past (which used to focus on less frequent routes) to better notify riders so they can consider using alternative trips.
We are monitoring the situation and folks are doing all they can to provide service each day. We schedule nearly 11,000 bus trips per weekday across King County and staff in a way that aims to deliver well more than 99% of them, and we apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate riders’ patience.
If you’re not already signed up for Metro alerts, you can do that here.
P.S. This isn’t a real-time tool, but Metro launched a new data dashboard with lots of other info today.