Before today’s news of King County Water Taxi trip cancellations, we had asked Metro for an update on bus-service staffing, since we’ve noticed the deluge of missed-trip notifications most weekdays. In particular, we asked if anything specific was planned to boost reliability for the impending school year, since middle- and high-school students in particular rely on Metro service. Here’s the reply, via spokesperson Elaine Porterfield:
We continue to recruit and train part-time drivers, and train and promote drivers to full-time work, but still are working to stabilize our workforce, which we expect to continue for the next several months.
Fortunately, many routes that serve schools are frequent all-day routes and riders benefit from an additional bus arriving in the event that a canceled trip occurs. We encourage customers to use our real-time tools to see when the next bus is expected at their stop, and subscribe to receive emails or texts for routes they rely on most.
Overall, we are providing about 11,000 bus trips daily across the system, and the transition into the school year also marks the typical end of vacation, and potentially can boost transit operator availability for covering additional trips when needed.