BUSES: Check before you go, Metro warns – trips canceled after ‘defect’ sidelines 126 buses

First Metro had to deal with a staffing shortage. Now it has to deal with a temporary equipment shortage. We learned about this after a tip from Ian, who reported the driver on his RapidRide C Line trip late today made an announcement about a safety concern taking some buses out of service. We asked Metro about it, and they subsequently published this post, which explains:

… After two Metro operators identified a manufacturing issue in the steering system in some vehicles, Metro proactively removed 126 buses from service out of its 1,500-vehicle fleet. The identified problem did not lead to any accidents or injuries. Metro inspected all its buses to ensure all vehicles in service continue to perform safely and within specifications. We apologize and ask for your patience as some bus trips are being canceled and we adjust plans to keep you moving. …

The agency is coordinating with New Flyer, the manufacturer of the affected buses, who has already been on site to work toward resolving the issue. There is not yet a timeline for when the work will be completed and supply chain challenges may introduce delays. The defect does not extend to all New Flyer buses and many remain in service.

Metro advises using its planning tools to see how this might affect your trips.

18 Replies to "BUSES: Check before you go, Metro warns - trips canceled after 'defect' sidelines 126 buses"

  • RickB December 6, 2022 (10:17 pm)

    Kudos to the operators who identified the problem before something tragic happened.

  • KM Lusignan December 7, 2022 (4:18 am)

    West Seattle Blog, thanks for reporting. Tried to get a response from television news last night with no luck. Also, no information could be found last night on Metro’s website or Facebook page.

    Riders, please be aware that these delays may be substantial and the signs are not updating accurately (of the five times I waited for my bus, all showed on the sign as coming, right up until the time they didn’t come), nor is the texting via bus stop number tool (only identified a few buses cancelled) or the email alerts (only identified two of the five cancelled rides). I ended up walking a couple miles to get home.

    I hope the local library employee got home OK!

    Thanks to the C driver for telling us what was going on. 

  • Bus rider December 7, 2022 (5:08 am)

    Thanks, I was wondering why there were so many cancellations on Tuesday.

  • Admiral Dad December 7, 2022 (6:17 am)

    Now I know why most of the 56,57 routes are being canceled this morning.

  • 937 December 7, 2022 (6:25 am)

    Didn’t we recently have an election approving Proposition 1?? Something about “King County Metro riders will begin to see increased service hours and reliability.

    Since this election I have seen nothing but service drops, full busses, filth ridden busses, missed stops and pickups, phantom busses, DECREASED reliability and now this.

    Is there to be ANY accounting as to where our funds are going?

    An apt Metro analogy is like buying a boat….A GIANT hole that one shovels money into.

  • KCrest December 7, 2022 (7:04 am)

    The One Bus Away app seems accurate. The app shows no 56 or 57 buses running today. Don’t rely on the “transit alert” texts, which so far only mentioned the cancelation of a single run of the 56. Special thank you to the drivers who are letting people know at each stop this morning. Word of mouth beats technology so far today.

  • Roms December 7, 2022 (7:15 am)

    It’s astonishing how Metro did not communicate earlier on this… There were basically no 21 for an hour between 5 and 6 PM going to WS, leading to many persons taking the few overcrowded C buses around (there were no 55 either) and having to “enjoy” the walk on poorly- or not-lit-, broken- and not-debris-clear sidewalks on 35th. Safety is paramount, but Metro’s comm is on the wrong path (I’d not be surprised if they used SDOT as the example to follow… They should not…).

    • Odd son December 7, 2022 (5:58 pm)

      They have failed to communicate before. Lots of consecutive cancellations pre pandemic with no communication. Alerts weren’t working or something like that. It was reported here of course.

  • FrustratedCommuter December 7, 2022 (8:08 am)

    WSB is there any way for Metro to let riders know which routes/trips will be impacted by this? I’ve found that riders aren’t notified of trip cancelations until moments before or well after the trip was supposed to occur making it incredibly challenging when trying to plan commutes, especially in areas that already have a limited number of trips a day. As a commuter from the North Admiral neighborhood it has been particularly challenging to get to and from downtown, as it seems like many of the routes servicing this area are routinely cancelled with limited notice. 

  • NW December 7, 2022 (8:32 am)

    The route 50 leaving its layover at Alki was running on normal schedule this morning and it’s a new flyer bus.

    • WSB December 7, 2022 (9:21 am)

      Metro’s announcement (full text linked above) notes that not all New Flyer buses are involved. This developed after-hours last night but I’m asking a few followups today including which models of bus.

  • Mario Andretti December 7, 2022 (9:23 am)

    Another reason why I drive my car.

    • Kathy December 7, 2022 (3:54 pm)

      Another reason why I ride my e-bike. Cars get stuck in traffic. Biking (or walking) is really the only type of transportation that is truly dependable.  Finding a parking spot is much easier with a bike. It also makes it easy to get to the Water Taxi for a quick trip downtown, and you can bring your bike on board so you have transportation on the other side.

      Metro is having so many reliability problems, they are going to lose ridership, which is a vicious cycle leading to reduced service.

  • Lucy December 7, 2022 (10:05 am)

    The Water Taxi is a viable option.

    • newnative December 7, 2022 (11:18 am)

      If you can get to it.

  • K Lusignan December 7, 2022 (10:29 am)

    All bus riders who are having these issues, please go on Metro’s Facebook page if you can, where comments are allowed and public, and urge them to get the notification problems corrected ASAP. Without this information, we cannot get to work on time or home safely, especially if it involves multiple bus trips

    I agree that last night, NONE of my cancelled buses were accurately shown on the illuminated sign. I monitored the text tool as I walked home, and it was only marginally better. As noted, I am already signed up for email alerts for my bus, and only two of the five cancellations were given an email alert.

    I agree the walk up the hill on 35th in the dark was no fun. Any of my fellow passengers waiting at that stop, I was the one who stood up and yelled out the information the driver had told us. Without this information by the driver, I don’t know when I would have given up and started walking. Hoping not to see any of you walking up that hill tonight!

  • WSCurmudgeon December 7, 2022 (11:02 am)

    8.4% of Metro’s fleet has been taken out of service by this defect (126 of 1,500 buses), and several routes in our small part of Metro’s area are substantially affected,  per the comments.  Why does the impact seem larger than one would expect?

    • WSB December 7, 2022 (12:26 pm)

      I get all the trip-cancellation notifications (not just for West Seattle) in email & text (you can also review them via Twitter), and recall there were still a significant number on many days before this. So this is compounding that …

Sorry, comment time is over.