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Prepare for winter travel

 

If we have a severe winter storm, it's likely there will be bus and train disruptions. Service also can be interrupted by mudslides, accidents or other events.

Be prepared: take a few minutes to learn about the travel alternatives that will meet your needs, and review our tips for commuting in extreme weather.

Before the storm

Know before you go: Review your options ahead of time. Check bus and train schedules or use the Trip Planner.

Sign up for alerts: Find out about cancellations for your route by signing up for text messages or email alerts.

Have a backup plan.

During or after the storm

Get the information you need:

Give yourself plenty of time to get to the station or transit center

Use caution when walking on wet or icy station platforms. Please dress warmly and be prepared to wait; you may be outdoors longer than expected. Buses and trains are unlikely to stay on schedule. 

Sound Transit service in winter weather

Riding ST Express

Buses will follow normal routes as long as the streets are safe for travel. Some buses may be put on snow routes and others may be canceled. Snow routes may change depending on road conditions.

Be aware of at-risk bus stops:

  • In severe snow and ice, buses will often avoid hills or other safety hazards.
  • If there's no traffic going by your bus stop, walk to a stop on a busy street.
  • If your bus stop is in the middle of a hill, walk to the bottom where the operator can safely stop.
  • Stand back from the curb until the bus comes to a complete stop. Buses can slide sideways in slippery conditions.
  • Keep in mind your bus may not pull all the way over to the curb, to avoid getting stuck.

Stay informed

  • Subscribe to rider alerts for your route.
  • For recorded rider alerts, call 1-888-889-6368. Press 1 to select rider alert, then press 1 for up-to-date ST Express service information.
  • Transit tracking tools like OneBusAway may not be accurate during a major snow disruption, as stops may be missed.

Riding Sounder trains

Sounder trains will operate regular commuter service during cold and icy weather. Some emergencies, such as mudslides, can cause service to be cancelled. Plan ahead, and be aware of your alternatives in case your train is cancelled. You can use the trip planner to find options.

Stay informed

  • Subscribe to rider alerts for Sounder service.
  • For recorded rider alerts, call 1-888-889-6368. Press 1 to select rider alert, then press 2 for up-to-date Sounder service information.

Riding Link light rail

Link trains will operate regular commuter service during cold and icy weather. Some emergencies can cause service to be cancelled. Plan ahead, and be aware of your alternatives in case your train is cancelled. You can use the trip planner to find options.

Stay informed

  • Subscribe to rider alerts for Central Link or Tacoma Link service.
  • For recorded rider alerts, call 1-888-889-6368. Press 1 to select rider alert, then press 3 for up-to-date Central Link or Tacoma Link service information.

More information:

 In an emergency, your local bus service provider may have additional alerts:

Community Transit

King County Metro Transit

Pierce Transit

The Regional Public Information Network (RPIN) is a  source for regional emergency updates.