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December 29, 1997

Local News

Metro to modify bus service for snow, ice

  When snow or ice poses driving hazards this fall and winter, Metro will reroute service, if necessary, on 117 bus routes to bypass hazardous, hilly streets. Snow reroute information is available in timetables with the snowflake symbol on the front. Customers can also get reroute information through the Internet at http://transit.metrokc.gov or by calling Metro's 24-hour rider information number, (206) 553-3000. Whenever possible, Metro's public information staff will announce to the news media which routes or areas are affected. Many radio stations announce changes in Metro service caused by snow or icy conditions. Depending on road conditions, Metro may operate chained shuttles along hilly portions of some routes to connect with buses that can continue the routes. The shuttles, which follow regular routing, carry the designation "shuttle."
  
   If the Washington State Department of Transportation closes the Interstate 5 express lanes to general traffic, Metro may use one lane for transit only, depending on its ability to maintain the lane safety. All Metro coaches will carry chains on board when snow is predicted.
   When snow or ice conditions prevail, Metro will implement reroutes any time, day or night. Metro will return buses to regular routing on a route-by-route basis as conditions improve.
   Metro riders should wait at bus stops at the very top or very bottom of hills because buses are often unable to stop for passengers on inclines. Also, it's best to head for a bus stop on a main arterial.
  
   Metro will do its best to provide wheelchair-lift service during snow or icy conditions, but those conditions sometimes may prevent us from using our lifts. In those cases, the bus driver will immediately arrange for alternate service for the customer and tell the customer about the arrangements before leaving the bus stop.
  
   Buses will continue to stop in park-and-ride lots and make regular stops even if the snow has not been cleared. If conditions in a park-and-ride lot are hazardous, buses will pick up passengers on the street in front of the lot.
  
   Carpool and vanpool riders should check with their drivers to discuss snow plans before it snows or roads become icy. Custom Bus riders should check their timetables for snow route information, then call 684-1743 to find out if their buses will operate on revised routes.
  
   Many new riders may be trying to get information about bus routes when it snows. Riders calling Metro's 24-hour rider information number, 553-3000, may have to try several times to get through. Extra operators will be on duty when it snows. Keep trying and then stay on the line until the next available information operator answers.
   Metro timetables are available at local libraries, community colleges, major shopping malls and many work sites throughout King County.