ST riders urged to increase “snow-how” as region gets a taste of winter

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Signing up for rider alerts, checking for service disruptions ahead of time, dressing warmly are ways riders can increase their preparedness

Today's snow gives transit riders a reminder that weather forecasters predict a tough winter. Sound Transit riders can prepare by taking proactive steps to increase their "snow-how" for riding Link light rail, Sounder commuter rail, and ST Express regional buses.

The best way for Sound Transit riders to plan ahead for snow is by signing up to receive rider alert e-mails and/or text messages. Rider alerts offer a great way to stay informed since weather impacts vary by transit service and riders have the option of choosing what updates they want to receive, including alerts for specific bus routes, Sounder north line, Sounder south line, or Link light rail. Sound Transit posts updates as information becomes available. To sign up, visit and go to the Rider Alerts section at the top right of the page.

During snow events, Sound Transit keeps current rider alerts posted at at the top right of the page. Riders without internet access can get up-to-date information by calling 1.888.889.6368.

It is important to note that snow reroutes and service cancellations are not reflected in itineraries generated by the trip planners found on transit agency websites. Riders should check rider alerts and make necessary adjustments to their travel plans.

During adverse weather it is important to dress warmly, wear sensible shoes and be prepared for delays. Riders should allow plenty of time to get to stops, stations and transit centers, and use caution when walking in wet or icy areas.

Tips for specific Sound Transit services include:

ST Express buses

Sound Transit operates 26 regional express bus routes in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. Traffic conditions affect buses, and chained buses travel much slower. Buses will likely be running off of their schedules, so riders should bundle up and be patient. Buses will follow their normal routes as long as the streets are safe for travel. Some buses may be placed on snow routes and others may be canceled.

Sounder commuter rail

Sounder commuter rail offers a great track record for getting riders between their destinations during snow. For crews in the field, the main operational challenge is to keep snow or ice from affecting track switches. Track maintenance crews are trained and ready to be deployed to the field should the need arise.

A major potential winter impact to Sounder riders is on the north line serving Everett, Mukilteo, Edmonds and Seattle, where heavy rain or melting snow can cause mudslides that block te Burlington Northwest Santa Fe tracks Sounder operates on and cause cancellations of service.

• During significant service disruptions, riders will be directed to use bus routes serving their area.

• For safety reasons, cancellations due to mudslides will remain in effect for 48 hours to allow crews to clear tracks and secure affected surface areas.

Central Link and Tacoma Link light rail

Sound Transit works to maintain normal Central Link and Tacoma Link light rail service during inclement weather, although minor delays can occur. When necessary, the agency operates trains through the night after the systems close to passenger service in order to keep tracks open and to prevent ice from forming on the overhead power lines.