FOLLOWUP: Metro says it had to pull more buses out of service for repairs. Here’s how many have been fixed

We’ve been asking Metro for a week about updated numbers regarding how many buses have been returned to service, one month after a reader tip led us to first word that a steering “defect” had required them to pull 126 from service. We finally just got that information: First, Metro says that after additional repair, it actually needed to make the repairs to 208 buses. As of this past Tuesday, 147 of those have been returned to service, and 61 are still waiting for repairs. The work is expected to “continue through the end of February unless [manufacturer] New Flyer experiences a supply chain delay.” The buses’ removal from service has helped exacerbate the ongoing situation with trip cancellations and route suspensions.

12 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Metro says it had to pull more buses out of service for repairs. Here's how many have been fixed"

  • Busless in Seattle January 12, 2023 (12:54 pm)

    Did they say anything about driver shortages? A very nice Metro customer rep told me that some route disruptions in West Seattle were more likely due to staffing deficits than bus repairs. Any word on how long it will take to right-size their driver pool? The 56 and 57 through Admiral contribute little-to-nothing toward the County’s equity priorities, so I wonder if restoring those routes still falls lower in the queue, as WSB found earlier? Sure wish they’d get more buses running those routes than one at 7:20 a.m. and the other at 7:30 a.m., and equally as preposterous times in the afternoon. I wish they’d give all of West Seattle a little more love, considering our continuous transportation problems for going on three years now. 

    • WSB January 12, 2023 (1:56 pm)

      That’s the other half of my week-old inquiry, which I have renewed yet again.

    • Question Authority January 12, 2023 (2:15 pm)

      I certainly can’t fault any bus driver who quit instead of having to deal with the harassment, violence and drug use.  If Metro instituted or actually enfored safely procedures for the driver/passengers they wouldn’t be so short handed and the ridership would increase as well.

      • neighbor January 12, 2023 (3:45 pm)

        Not disagreeing, but how would they enforce anything without more of the staffing they’re already short on?

      • Roms January 12, 2023 (3:48 pm)

        Some drivers are at fault on safety too: A few weeks ago, when boarding the bus, I notified the operator that the person behind me was in mental crisis and was going to burst, like they did while waiting for the bus. The operator dismissed me and let that person in. I chose to exit that bus and take the next one. Good thing: Not 4 stops later, the previous bus was stopped and you could see that they were dealing with the person in crisis. It is in my opinion entirely on the operator’s shoulders since they chose to dismiss concerns brought to them. However, that’s the only example I have on that.

        • WestSeattleBadTakes January 13, 2023 (8:36 am)

          Just to be clear, you think denying a person in a mental crisis access to the bus is the best way to handle the situation?

          • Roms January 13, 2023 (11:09 am)

            I don’t see how you get to this “you think denying a person in a mental crisis access to the bus is the best way to handle the situation” from what I wrote, but food for thoughts: A person in crisis puts the safety of everyone in a bus at risk; What if the person decides to attack the operator while they’re driving? Think about the number of times there have been bus crashes with injured people (a recent example is on the WS high bridge).

          • WestSeattleBadTakes January 13, 2023 (12:08 pm)

            Quoted. The implication is that the driver should have done something else, presumably not let them on the bus.

            I am well aware of the risk, I was simply asking a clarifying question so I could understand how the driver would be at fault. If the driver had denied the individual (one option) there could be a safety issue then as well.

            So please tell me how the driver was at fault in this instance as you claimed. These are challenging situations, assigning blame to drivers is too simplistic.

             The operator dismissed me and let that person in.

          • Roms January 13, 2023 (6:23 pm)

            Enlighten me. What were the other options in that specific case? Call the police? I feel you would claim this is not the right way, police is bad, blablabla; Anyway they don’t have the resources for that. Call 911 to get someone else to come over? They would likely have not; Otherwise we would not have these people in the streets, they would be taken care of somewhere (before you jump on this: taken care of as in helped, not as in locked away). Ask for someone in the bus if they are working in the mental health domain and would like to engage with the person? Highly unlikely this is the case. What else, apart from the obvious which is refusing access to the person to ensure the safety of all? The operator was at fault because they let that person in despite a crisp warning and visible signs. Yes, visible signs, I dare say it: A person displaying convulsing gestures heavily hinting at a recent drug usage. And I was right in my warning since the bus was then clearly dealing with this. Now, do you take the bus every day? Have you experienced that? What would you have done?

          • PDiddy January 13, 2023 (2:34 pm)

            I like how being in mental crisis absolves you of responsibility for being a threat. Hell yeah I think they can deny a person in crisis if its going to put others in danger.

  • Sparky January 12, 2023 (3:19 pm)

    Thanks for chasing this.  Metro has not been transparent at all about their schedule chaos and their day-to-day will it run will it not, maybe we’ll send the text alert if we feel like it approach to schedule management has left riders completely lost. I get they have challenges, but if a specific run is going to be suspended for the foreseeable future, tell me that.  Then I can plan around it, and simply tell me when service is restored.  That is how to provide customer service when things are going wrong.  

  • bus user February 2, 2023 (7:22 am)

    Try getting from Kirkland to downtown Seattle … You got more chances winning the lottery than busses showing up on time or at all. Contacted Metro month ago about schedule and route service of the 257 – never got a reply. This whole week the bus did not show at all. The 255 is unreliable and so is the 311. The bus app is useless cause it does not reflect real time services. Aren’t we supposed to be this environmentally friendly city? 

Sorry, comment time is over.