3:02 PM: In the wake of the removal of 126 buses from service – as first reported here last night – Metro has just announced it’s suspending some routes for the rest of today. They’re not all in West Seattle, but we’re publishing the full list in case others affect you off-peninsula: 9, 15, 17, 18, 29, 55, 56, 57, 64, 111, 114, 121, 125, 162, 177, 214, 301, 304 & 330. However, Metro adds this caveat, “Due to the fluid nature of the situation, a small number of trips may run on routes that are temporarily suspended.” Meantime, we’re still awaiting answers to some follow-up questions about the bus-removal situation.
4 PM UPDATE: Just got some answers, from Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer. Regarding which buses specifically:
Out of 1,500 total buses, the New Flyer models affected include 39 of the Xcelsior 6200 articulated (60-ft) coaches in our fleet and 64 of the Xcelsior 8200 articulated (60-ft) coaches in our fleet. Those coaches have been temporarily pulled from service. We want to emphasize all of the coaches on the road have been inspected and confirmed safe. Additionally, there are a few other identified buses: two 3700 (35-ft) coaches, six 4300 trolleys, six 8000 articulated (60-ft) coaches, three 8100 articulated (60-ft) coaches and six 9600 articulated (60-ft) coaches.
Regarding how they’re deciding which trips to cancel/routes to suspend:
Per our usual practice, we’re prioritizing service on high-ridership trips, the first and last trips of the day, school trips and trips late at night. In some places peak commuter routes are being fully cancelled, and Metro is in process of developing information to provide on alternative routes for those customers.
Regarding how the repairs will be made:
This problem was only recently identified and we’re working closely with the manufacture to determine the best approach. The expectation is that some or all of the work will be done at our bases with the equipment supplied by New Flyer. There is no timeline yet for when the work will be completed.