Transit Alert – Metro is operating its Emergency Service Network on Sunday, February 10, with 49 routes plus chained shuttles serving main arterials, and delays expected

Metro is continuing operation of its Emergency Snow Network (ESN) on Sunday, February 10, and possibly beyond.

Emergency Service Network (ESN)

ESN operation means that, due to severe weather and road conditions, Metro service is significantly reduced to 49 bus routes and associated chained shuttles that serve only designated major cleared arterials in more densely populated areas.

This reduced network of transit operation means that many King County neighborhoods do not have the service or levels of service to which they are accustomed.

The ESN itself is not incorporated into Metro’s trip planner, however other trip planner features and tools, such as maps and bus stops along ESN routes, may still be helpful to riders.

The ESN includes only routes that Metro believes it can operate with a reasonable degree of safety and reliability in severe conditions.

During ESN operation, no other routes operate, and some King County neighborhoods and areas have no bus service because of difficult travel conditions or geography.

ESN Routes

ESN operation includes a designated set of already-established Metro and ST bus routes, however there may be revisions to the usual routes, and in some cases a portion of the route may not be served.  Please review ESN routes carefully.

The ESN includes: Metro routes 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 21, 24, 24 shuttle, 31, 32, 36, 40, 41, 44, 45, 48, 62, the 62 shuttle, 65, 70, 75, the 90 shuttle, 101, the 102 shuttle, 106, 106 shuttle, 120, 124, 128, 150, 166, 168, 169, 180, 181, 235, 245, 248, the 252/255 shuttle, 255, the 255 shuttle, 271, 331, 345, 348, the 348 shuttle, 372 Woodinville and 372 Lake City, RapidRide A, B, C, D, E and F lines, and Metro-operated Sound Transit Express routes ST 522, ST 545, ST 550, ST 554 and the ST 554 shuttle.

Using the ESN

Review ESN routing for your area and determine where your ESN route operates.

There may be differences from the usual operation of some of the routes in the ESN.

Board or exit ESN service at regularly posted bus stops along the designated routes.  If these routes normally have snow reroutes, those reroutes will also be in effect and can be found in the ESN table.

Frequency of service

ESN service along the designated routes operates about as frequently as normal service on those same routes.  While there is no published schedule, the regular timetables can be used as guides. 

Metro encourages intending riders to dress for the weather, be at the bus stop a few minutes ahead of the normally scheduled time for that route, then be prepared for delays.

The ESN is operated on a day to day basis and, once ordered to be activated, is announced during the afternoon prior to the day of operation. It then remains in effect for the entire day.

Getting information about the ESN operation

When the ESN is activated the Metro Snow, Ice & Flood map is blue and the ESN table is posted and updated.

Riders who intend to use Metro’s services should visit the Emergency Snow Network webpage to view details about the routes in operation and to identify their options.

Regularly published timetables on Metro’s Schedules and Maps page are a good point of reference for the ESN routes that are operating, but unforeseen roadway and weather conditions may result in delays or unplanned reroutes.

Customers should be aware that the Puget Sound Trip Planner and third-party apps will not reflect ESN service or operation, and will not be accurate for planning itineraries on ESN days.  However, once intending riders know which ESN route they want to use, other Metro trip planner features and tools, such as maps, bus stop locations and timetables for ESN routes are valid.  Metro’s trip planner and other apps are still accurate for planning trips or getting schedules or other information for regular service days.

Sunday and beyond

Weather forecast

The National Weather Service is forecasting continuing snowfall and very cold temperatures for the next couple of days.

Check for updates on Sunday afternoon about what to expect regarding Metro service on Monday.

Plan ahead

Metro encourages people to avoid traveling in severe conditions if possible, or to make alternate travel plans. If you plan to ride transit, plan ahead; be aware of ESN operation, be prepared and anticipate delays, cancelations, extremely cold weather and slick streets and sidewalks.

Transit customers should check the Metro Winter, and ESN and pages for information about planned ESN service and reroutes for the routes they ride. The table is updated as revisions occur.

Descriptions of planned reroutes include the specific stops that are both missed and served while buses are rerouted, as well as the streets they use along the reroute.

Use regularly published schedules as a guide, then expect delays. 

Watch Metro’s website for updates.

Riding transit in adverse conditions

In areas where streets are slick, transit customers are advised to wait for ESN buses on their designated routes at posted bus stops on flat portions of cleared arterials or at major transfer points, such as park-and-ride lots and transit centers.

It is not possible to know when a bus will arrive at a specific location. 

It is possible for buses to temporarily go on unplanned reroutes if streets they normally travel on are unexpectedly blocked. 

Temporary reroutes are not reflected in the Snow & Ice or ESN tables, or in Metro’s trip planner. 

When possible, a Transit Alert will be sent about an unexpected reroute, however we may not know about all of them.

Know before you go

What to expect

During bad weather and when road conditions are treacherous, be prepared for the existing conditions, longer than usual waits at bus stops and more crowded buses. 

There may also be longer waits on hold if you call Metro’s Customer Information line at 206-553-3000.  When the Customer Information line is open, Metro staff can help you with reroutes and other transit information, but cannot tell you when your bus will be at a specific stop. The Customer Information office will be closed on Sunday.

Get information

Metro riders can prepare ahead by visiting Metro’s website and familiarizing themselves with information about how Metro operates in the snow, as well as the snow routing for the routes they ride and the ESN.  Snow routes are shown in timetables.  The snow and ice and ESN pages link to them.

King County snow areas

Metro’s service area has seven snow regions.  It is possible for a bus to travel through more than one snow area and to be affected by conditions in one area and not in others.  Also, not all routes have designated snow routes in all areas through which they travel.  The table describes what to expect for each route in each area.

Using the snow & ice table

Each table entry is specific to one of the seven snow areas. Descriptions of planned reroutes include the specific bus stops that are both missed and served while buses are rerouted, as well as the streets they use.

When you travel

When streets are slick or blocked, be aware of conditions in your immediate area, check media reports, check for transit reroutes, then wait for buses at posted bus stops on the flat portions of arterial streets that have been cleared or treated, or at major transfer points such as transit centers or park and ride lots

Safety first

While Metro utilizes all available resources to operate service as normally as possible during adverse weather or other conditions, the safety of everyone is always our highest priority. Service may be reduced, buses may be delayed or rerouted, and Metro staff cannot predict affected locations or tell riders exactly when a bus might get to a specific bus stop.

Snow and ice operation

If Metro service is significantly affected by snow or other weather-related events, the Metro website will be updated and Transit Alerts will be sent to affected subscribers.

When Metro is not operating the ESN, if your bus does not have a pre-planned snow route, it will operate its regular route, however service may be delayed due to weather and road conditions.  Buses may temporarily go on unplanned reroutes if streets they normally travel on are unexpectedly blocked.  These temporary reroutes may not be reflected in the snow and ice or ESN tables.

Additional information

Visit Metro’s website for complete transit information.


If buses are operating along their normal routes, but delayed, it may be possible to get more specific information by visiting Metro’s Puget Sound Trip Planner and checking the ‘Next Departures & Stops’ or ‘Tracker’ features.  Real time information may be less reliable in adverse or unexpected conditions.  Metro’s real time features provide the scheduled times of service at stops, then the predicted time if they are able to do so, as well as known trip cancelations.  During adverse conditions, it is best to use the scheduled times, then expect delays.


Visit Metro’s Service Advisories page for complete information about revised bus service, routing and stops for planned events.


Visit Metro’s online or mobile Puget Sound Trip Planner to plan your travel using regularly scheduled service, and for bus stop, schedule and other information.  Snow reroutes and other service disruptions are not reflected in results derived in the trip planner feature.  When planning your trip, also check for service revisions that might affect it.  The ESN is not reflected in the trip planner.


Visit the King County Water Taxi site for information about Water Taxi operation.


Visit the Community TransitPierce TransitSound Transit or Washington State Ferries websites for information about services provided by Metro’s regional transit partners.


For non-transit traffic or other local updates, check media sources, follow @seattledot or visit




Everyone's preparedness and patience during snow or other adverse conditions is appreciated. Travel safely.