COVID-19: Further Metro and Sound Transit service reductions begin Monday, April 6, to support essential travel and transit workforce

Editor’s note: This blog post is cross-posted from the Metro Matters blog.

As the effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt across our community, King County Metro will further reduce bus service on Monday, April 6, to focus operations on a core 115 Metro and Sound Transit routes, and reduced water taxi and Link light rail service.

The revised Reduced Schedule identifies routes that will operate with fewer trips and hours. This updated schedule will maintain vital lifelines for access to critical supplies, services, and worksites across the region.

Overall, Metro will operate with approximately 37% fewer buses, 30% fewer transit operators, and 19% fewer service trips than typical weekday service. Water taxi and Link light rail service reductions also will be made.

“For those who do not have the option of staying at home, we continue to do all that we can to support you and the region with reliable public transportation,” said King County Metro General Manager Rob Gannon. “Transit is a critical lifeline for people to make essential trips to access food, medicine, and key facilities. Our operators and front-line staff are among the region’s true heroes for the ongoing service they provide.”

The upcoming April 6 Reduced Schedule is among the latest steps in Metro’s response to COVID-19. On March 23, Metro reduced service operate with approximately 20-25% of its typical weekday coaches and operators. That first service reduction helped maintain a sustainable transit agency amid ridership that had already dropped by more than half, with residents heeding the counsel of leaders and public health officials. Ridership has fallen further since then and is now more than 70% lower than a year ago.

Based on preliminary analysis, these further service reductions beginning April 6 will serve more than 90% of current riders who continue to make essential trips on transit in King County during COVID-19.

Supporting our workforce

Metro’s service adjustments are designed to provide a viable transit network and service level in the face of lower ridership, and to prepare Metro for the potential workforce availability challenges.

An estimated 75% of Metro’s operations employees are available to report to work in support of bus service, which represents a slight decrease compared to before COVID-19’s emergence. Some drivers, mechanics and front-line staff are temporarily not available to work either due to their own health reasons or to support that of their families. King County has paid leave resources in place to support employees who are not available to work at this time.

In early March, Metro started to daily sanitization of buses, and later took further steps to support social distancing by implementing rear-door boarding, suspending fare collections, and installing “safety straps” to reserve the front of the bus for passengers requiring priority seating. Metro also is moving to obtain and distribute masks for all frontline staff in the coming days.

UPDATED REDUCED WEEKDAY SCHEDULE
(Saturday and Sunday schedules remain unchanged. Service is provided in partnership with the City of Seattle.)

Routes with most or all trips operating (34 routes with 2 or fewer trips cut)

RapidRide A Line, 22, 60, 63, 64, 71, 73, 105, 106, 118, 119, 128, 131, 148, 164, 166, 168, 193, 221, 269, 303, 309, 331, 345, 348, 554, 628 (Snoqualmie Community Shuttle), 631 (Burien Community Shuttle), 901, 903, 906, 908, 914, 916

Routes with fewer trips and/or reduced hours of operation (81 routes and services)

RapidRide B, C, D, E and F lines, and routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 21, 24, 26, 27, 28, 31, 32, 33, 36, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 48, 49, 50, 62, 65, 67, 70, 75, 101, 107, 120, 124, 132, 150, 153, 156, 169, 180, 181, 182, 183, 187, 204, 225, 226, 230, 231, 239, 240, 241, 245, 249, 250, 255, 271, 346, 347, 372, 373, ST Express routes 522, 542, 545, 550, route 635 (Des Moines Community Shuttle), 915, 917, Water Taxi West Seattle and Vashon routes, First Hill Streetcar, Link light rail

Routes, services, and programs fully cut (103 routes and services)

  • 5X, 9, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21X, 29, 37, 47, 55, 56, 57, 74, 76, 77, 78, 102, 111, 113, 114, 116, 121, 122, 123, 125, 143, 154, 157, 158, 159, 167, 177, 178, 179, 186, 190, 192, 200, 208, 212, 214, 216, 217, 218, 219, 224, 232, 237, 246, 252, 257, 268, 301, 304, 308, 311, 312, 316, 330, 342, 355, 541, 555, 556, 630 (Mercer Island Community Shuttle), 773, 775, 823, 824, 886, 887, 888, 889, 891, 892, 893, 894, 895, 907, 910, 913, 930, 931, 952, 980, 981, 982, 984, 986, 987, 988, 989, 994, 995
  • Black Diamond/Enumclaw Community Ride, Shoreline/Lake Forest Park Community Ride, Normandy Park Community Ride, Sammamish Community Ride, Juanita Area Community Ride, Bothell/Woodinville Community Ride, Via to Transit, South Lake Union Streetcar

Other service updates starting April 6

Link light rail trips will adjust to 20-minute headways from previous 14-minute headways on Monday.

Water taxi crews will operate one vessel for six roundtrip sailings per weekday; service on shuttles 773 and 775 are discontinued.

Revised King County Metro Water Taxi weekday sailing schedule
Effective April 6, 2020
Pier 50 West Seattle Pier 50 Vashon Island
5:55 a.m. 6:15 a.m. 6:38 a.m. 7:10 a.m.
8:50 a.m. 9:10 a.m.    
       
4:45 p.m. 5:05 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 5:58 p.m.
6:45 p.m. 7:05 p.m.    

Seattle Streetcar operates on a reduced schedule

  • First Hill Streetcar operates with 15-minute headways Monday to Saturday during reduced service hours, 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. There are no changes to service hours on Sundays and holidays: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • South Lake Union Streetcar discontinued service beginning March 23 and until further notice.

Community Van trips for essential needs such as foodbank runs will continue as long as it is feasible and there are volunteer drivers available and willing to drive in the following communities:

  • Bothell / Woodinville / UW Bothell
  • Duvall
  • Kenmore / Kirkland
  • Lake Forest Park / Shoreline
  • Sammamish
  • Vashon

Access paratransit program continues normal operations and follows its enhanced daily sanitization procedures.

Relevant links

2 thoughts on “COVID-19: Further Metro and Sound Transit service reductions begin Monday, April 6, to support essential travel and transit workforce

  1. request please.
    The commute is a bear from West Seattle to downtown Seattle now worse than ever.
    I am a Kaiser Permanente employee who doesn’t need to clock in until 8:00 a.m. Will you consider adding a 7:00 a.m. water taxi so we can sleep in a bit?

    Thank you for considering.

  2. Also, I am a healthcare worker, why are you making our day even more stressful by making it 11 hours? This doesn’t even make any sense. Out lives are already stressful.

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