May Day: Expect major transit service disruptions Monday, May 1

(Editor’s note: UPDATED at 5:50 p.m. to show 11 bus routes will be rerouted, many others could face delays or short reroutes. Information will be sent to customers and posted online Friday afternoon, April 28, regarding expected transit service disruptions.)

Transit riders should prepare for significant traffic delays and rerouted buses in downtown Seattle on Monday, May 1, especially during the afternoon and evening commute, as dozens of Metro and Sound Transit routes will be temporarily rerouted or intermittently delayed during May Day events. Seattle First Hill and South Lake Union streetcar service also will be affected on May 1 as a result of planned marches.

As city streets temporarily close as a result of planned May Day activities, certain Metro Transit buses will be rerouted; others will face delays starting midday and likely well into the evening.

  • Bus reroutes are planned around the Immigration March (Judkins Park to Seattle Center) around 1 p.m., rerouting 11 Metro routes (7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 36, 43, 47, 49 & 106) and delaying ST Express Routes 522, 545, 554 and all other transit service traveling downtown Seattle streets.

    Seattle DOT map of planned marches (click for details)

  • Bus rolling slowdowns or temporary short-term reroutes will be implemented as needed for all other expected and unexpected demonstrations, marches and rallies, managed by transit chiefs using information from Seattle Police Department, Seattle Emergency Operations Center and the Metro Transit Control Center.
  • First Hill Streetcar service is expected to be disrupted during the day, and part of the route will not be served while marchers are on the street.
  • South Lake Union Streetcar service might be disrupted by a march expected to occur between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. As a result, streetcar service will be halted at 9 a.m. after the end of the morning peak service, with cars tentatively scheduled to return to the base yard until supervisors determine service can be reliably restored.
  • Link light rail service will operate more three-car trains during the day.

What do riders need to know?

  • All bus service that travels near or through the downtown Seattle area might be subject to delays during and after Monday afternoon’s events. Bus riders are advised to plan ahead for longer trips, revise travel plans if necessary and allow plenty of travel time.
  • Though we’ll try to keep bus service moving, if demonstrations temporarily block a street, buses will have to wait until traffic begins moving again. Safety is Metro’s top priority.
  • If gridlock happens, predicted arrival times on apps and real-time signs will not be accurate in estimating when buses will be at stops.

Tools for riders



Join us May 6 to learn more about the Transit Oriented Development planned at Northgate

King County and the City of Seattle are working together to redevelop King County’s property near the Northgate Mall and future Northgate Link Light Rail Station.

The four-block area bounded by First Avenue NE, Third Ave NE, NE 100th Street, and NE 103rd Street currently consists of a bus transit facility and surface parking.

This redevelopment will create affordable housing, as well as retail, and commercial space. The project will also provide an opportunity to develop public amenities, such as open space, in this area.

A portion of the redevelopment is planned to open as soon as 2021 when the new bus and light rail station opens.

County and City staff invite people to attend the project’s public open house on May 6 for an opportunity to learn more about the project and provide input on the future redevelopment.

May 6, 2017
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Hampton Inn & Suites
9550 First Ave NE, Seattle

Bus options: Take Metro bus routes 26, 40, 345, or 346 to First Avenue NE and NE 95th Street or routes 41, 67, 75, 347, and 348 to the Northgate Transit Center and go south a quarter mile on First Avenue NE. Plan your specific trip by visiting Metro’s Trip Planner.

To learn more, visit King County’s Northgate Transit Oriented Development website.

Plan ahead: Overlake Transit Center and South Bellevue Park-and-Rides to close

hero_riderguide_overlakeTCThe Overlake Transit Center Park-and- Ride closes for up to six years on Monday, May 1, and Metro and Sound Transit are ready with options and resources to help customers plan an alternate commute.

The park-and-ride will close for construction of the new East Link light rail extension from Seattle to Redmond. Metro and Sound Transit customers are encouraged to plan ahead and take advantage of trip-planning resources that are available.

East Link construction also will cause the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride to close May 30. Customers who use that park & ride also are encouraged to start planning ahead.

Sound Transit has leased several park & ride lots from property owners nearby and there are other existing lots with spaces available. More information on those locations is available via this map on Sound Transit’s website.

For commuters who want to try something new, Metro’s has information on alternatives to driving such as carpooling, vanpooling and biking and walking connections; or where they can fill out a form to request a custom trip plan. Customers also can call (206) 553-3000 to speak with a customer service representative who can help plan a route.

Metro and Sound Transit buses and Microsoft shuttles will continue to serve the Overlake Transit Center while the park & ride is closed. Routes that serve the Overlake Transit Center include Metro routes 232, 243, 244, 245, 249, 268, 269, and the RapidRide B Line, and ST routes 541, 542, 545, 566 and 567.

For more information on Overlake Transit Center Park & Ride closure May 1:

Plan ahead, transit riders! Service disruptions, delays expected Monday, May 1 (May Day)

Now is a good time to start planning for May Day, when severe traffic and transit disruptions are expected in downtown Seattle throughout the day due to a series of rallies, demonstrations and marches.

If you plan to ride transit to the demonstrations and events, or for your commute into and out of Seattle, please plan lots of time for travel and expect severe service delays, especially following the marches and events.

While more complete information will be posted on Metro’s website later this week, commuters are encouraged to consider options and alternate travel plans, watch for media updates and sign up for Transit Alerts.

The Seattle Department of Transportation has a summary of key events on their blog.

Plan for service delays/reroutes during March for Science and weekend events

It’s going to be a busy weekend in the Seattle area, with big runs, walks and a March for Science that is expected to draw tens of thousands  downtown.

Transit riders should plan for reroutes and significant service delays due to traffic, crowds and congestion associated with these events. Riders are urged to sign up for transit alerts to get the latest information.


March for Science — Earth Day:  Buses serving Pine Street and Fourth Avenue will be rerouted as thousands are expected to march from Cal Anderson Park to Seattle Center to show support for science and celebrate Earth Day. The march is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to  3 p.m. See all the affected routes on Metro’s Service Advisories page.

Customers should plan for significant delays.eventLogo_MarchForScience_banner

The Tenacious Ten Run: From 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., routes 40 and 70 will be rerouted as follows:

  • Route 40: Heading toward Northgate, Route 40 will be rerouted off of Westlake Avenue N between Thomas Street and Fourth Avenue North, and will travel via Dexter Avenue North instead.
  • Routes  70: Heading toward downtown Seattle, route 70 will be rerouted off of Northeast Campus Parkway between Brooklyn Avenue Northeast and the southbound ramp to the University Bridge.  The 40 and 70 will serve all regular and temporary posted bus stops along their reroutes.
  • Route 40 to downtown Seattle, and route 70 to the University District: These buses will operate via their regular routes and stops, but may experience delays.

Nalamasu Baraat Processional: From 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., route 125 will be rerouted off First Avenue in downtown Seattle and will not serve the stop on First Avenue at University Street.  It will travel instead via Third Avenue.


All in for Autism Run/Walk in Bellevue: From 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Routes 240, 241, 249 and Sound Transit’s ST 550 will be rerouted off Northeast Fourth Street, Bellevue Way Northeast/Southeast and 112th Avenue Northeast/Southeast.

Earth: ‘Thank you for riding transit!’

If you ride Metro regularly, you know how easy it is to climb on and zone out with a good book, tunes, games or TV shows on your phone (and the occasional power nap).

Behind the scenes, you’ve left your car behind, and that is one of the single best things you’ve done for the environment.

By the numbers

According to the Earth (and science), transportation is a huge contributor to pollution, and riding Metro buses and vanpools is the best way to travel and reduce pollution. Our electric trolley buses, hybrid buses and the growing fleet of battery electric buses (120 by 2020, baby!) show King County means business when it comes to climate change.

We’re not done, and we need your help. As our transit network grows, and more frequent buses and light rail expands, you might not know how that new network can work even better for you.

Make a plan to give it a try, maybe even this Saturday (hint-hint, Earth Day), by using our online trip planner or Puget Sound Trip Planner app to find a way to climb aboard!

If you don’t want to pay cash, you can test drive our Transit Go Tickets on mobile, or buy an ORCA day pass at a ticket vending machine

Have a say on simpler bus fares

King County Metro wants to hear from riders as we work to simplify our bus fares. This month, Metro launched the second round of our fare review process, with an online survey for people to tell us which of two potential options they prefer.

Adult fare riders currently pay $2.50, $2.75 or $3.25, depending on time of day and whether they travel across zone boundaries. It’s a complex fare structure that can confuse riders, and consequently, slow down boarding.fare_image

Metro presented two options this week for simplifying fares:

  • Option 1: A $2.75 flat fare with no surcharges for traveling during peak commute hours or across zones.
  • Option 2: A $3 peak/$2.50 off-peak fare. Riders would no longer pay extra for crossing zones but would still pay a higher rate during peak hours (6–9 a.m. and 3 – 6 p.m. weekdays).

Now it’s your turn to tell us what you think by participating in an online questionnaire by May 5 or by attending a public meeting on April 25 or 27. The April 27 meeting will be held online.

Details are available at

Metro and the six other regional transit agencies that make up the ORCA smart-card system are looking at simplifying fares across all agencies in preparation for modernization of the ORCA system.

The two options listed above would not include changes to ORCA Lift, youth, senior, disabled or Access fares. ORCA_cards

In addition to seeking broad public input, Metro has convened an advisory group to consider various fare options and advise on additional work Metro needs to do to decrease barriers for fare payment. The group, which has already met twice and will meet a third time in May, represents employers, human service organizations, advocacy groups and others. They provide advice on the near and long-term fare options. Meetings are open to the public for observation.

Metro will incorporate the recommendations in a final proposal, which is expected to be transmitted to the King County Council this summer.

More than 4,500 people participated in a Metro survey earlier this month that asked customers to list their priorities for a simpler bus fare. Faster boarding, promoting safety for operators and passengers by reducing fare disputes, and keeping fares affordable for people with low incomes were top priorities. Metro has heard from customers, including many who pay with cash, that fares can be difficult to understand. Simpler fares promote the safety of operators and customers by reducing the potential for fare disputes, and can lead to faster boarding.

Metro encourages all transit riders to participate, including youth, older adults, students, ORCA LIFT riders, riders with disabilities, as well as schools, employers and community-based organizations. Metro also is contracting with community organizations to hear from harder-to-reach populations so their input is considered as Metro assesses options and develops programs to address affordability and access to transit.


Metro’s Anita Whitfield: Paving the way for equity in public transit

0317AnitaWhitfieldWTSaward175As Metro’s EEO/Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Anita Whitfield has been breaking down barriers and instilling a shared sense of responsibility for promoting equity and social justice.

Whitfield has worked to create a culture where employees feel safe to have difficult discussions about historical and current inequities. She’s led training for many employees (which she calls “shared learning opportunities”), and played an instrumental role in shaping a vision for making Metro and King County government more equitable for all employees and residents.

Whitfield recently was honored by the Puget Sound chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar with the Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award. The award recognizes outstanding efforts in promoting opportunities for women and minorities in the transportation industry.

“Mobility is a civil right,” said Whitfield, who currently doubles as interim general manager for employee services. “I accept this award on behalf of the managers and employees at King County Metro Transit who are stepping authentically into this work and striving together to equitably serve all King County residents — especially those who are transit dependent.”

In nominating Whitfield for the award, Metro General Manager Rob Gannon said she is at the forefront of a cultural change at Metro.

“She is leading trainings, acting as a confidant and liaison, and paving the way for change,” he said.

Gannon wrote:

 “When we had the unfortunate experience of having our Martin Luther King Jr. Logo defaced in combination with a racial slur, Anita used this experience as a teachable moment to bring together staff, talk about what happened, and address the issue head-on. In another example, when women wearing traditional attire were harassed on a bus, Anita took the initiative to use that negative and harmful experience to partner with the Council on American-Islamic Relations and host them at Metro for a Lunch and Learn.

“Anita practices what she preaches and confronts difficult situations head on with grace and humility, taking a stand against racism and hate, while providing a space for conversation, dialogue and the opportunity to move forward.

Whitfield says her goal is for everyone to see they are in this together, and to understand that the harm done to some actually hurts us all.

She credits Gannon for his leadership on this work in public transit and “who himself is traveling his own journey to understand his own privilege.” She also credits Director of Transportation Harold Taniguchi, as well as County Executive Dow Constantine for his courage in leading King County’s first Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan.

Whitfield returned to the Department of Transportation three years ago to help shape the agency’s execution of its commitment to Equity and Social Justice.  Ultimately, she joined Metro and became part of the PACE (Partnership to Achieve Comprehensive Equity) leadership team. PACE, a partnership between employees, management and unions, was formed to address longstanding inequities in the workplace, and resulted in numerous recommendations on how to make Metro a more equitable organization for all employees.  Those recommendations and others are being implemented across Metro.

Under her guidance, Metro is moving forward to reach the PACE goal of building and sustaining an inclusive, fair and equitable workplace for everyone.

Whitfield’s first stop at Metro was 30 years ago before the merger of Metro and King County. She worked as a clerk typist at Metro’s East Base in Bellevue.  The job listing said applicants were required to have a car to commute from Seattle. She was coming from Seattle’s South End, but didn’t own a car.

So her new boss stepped in.

“He would pick me up every day and bring me to work until I could save up enough money to buy a car,” she said.

In the years in between her current and former roles at Metro, Whitfield went on to become a lawyer, open a business, and serve as Human Resources director for King County among other things.

Whitfield says she is encouraged by the Rosa Parks award, but knows there is more work to do.

“I don’t accept this award for the achievement because there is still so much farther to go to reach our goal of true equity and inclusiveness, but I accept it for the encouragement,” she said.

“It is more important now than ever that we come together and stay true to who we want to be as a community.”

Expect demonstrations, events, heavy traffic & bus reroutes on Saturday, April 15

If you are attending downtown Seattle demonstrations, the Ms game or Sakura-Con on Saturday, April 15, be prepared for heavy traffic and rerouted buses. Photo of Route 70 bus in downtown Seattle

On Saturday, April 15, from approximately 10 a.m. until about 4 p.m., some Metro service will be rerouted and most transit service and traffic in Seattle will likely experience delays during daytime demonstrations and a 6:10 p.m. Mariners game.

Sign up for transit alerts, and follow Metro’s tweets, and those of Seattle DOT, Seattle Police and Sound Transit.

Planned reroutes during Saturday’s demonstrations
Metro routes 10, 11, 12, 47, 49 and 62, and Sound Transit routes 522, 545 and 554, will be rerouted in downtown Seattle due to civic events around the Federal Building, downtown streets and Westlake Park. The actual times of the reroutes vary based on the route and direction of travel, and are further subject to change without notice.

During the daytime civic events,

  • routes 10, 11, 47 and 49 will not operate on either Pine or Pike streets west of 7th Av, and
  • routes 12, ST 522, ST 545 and ST 554 will be rerouted off of streets near the Federal Building and off of 4th and 5th avenues. Expect possible additional service delays in the afternoon due to a 6:10 p.m. Mariners game at Safeco Field.

All transit customers should use the regularly published schedules for their transit service, determine the alternate bus stop due to reroutes or events as necessary, allow plenty of time for transit trips, and expect possible significant delays.

Planned event information
Visit Metro’s Service Advisories page for complete information about revised bus service, routing and stops for planned events.  The start and end times and other details for planned reroutes are subject to change.

Civic and other large event information

In areas where there are crowds, traffic or unscheduled events disrupting normal travel patterns or activities, transit riders are advised to be aware of conditions in their immediate vicinity – such as street closures, detours, police directions, etc. – and be prepared for delays or to make revisions to travel plans – such as using a different bus stop or a different route – based on specific circumstances.

During these kinds of events, be prepared for unexpectedly revised traffic or routing and for delays in transit service. Use the regularly published timetable for your route, allow plenty of time, then be prepared for possible schedule delays.  It may not be possible for Metro to provide real time updates.

Transit riders are encouraged to know what alternate stops or routes may be in the vicinity of their starting points and destinations. Depending on the time and the nature of such events, Metro may not be able to provide real time information or service updates via email or text. Reroute start and end times and other details may be subject to change.

Additional information

Metro wants your input on ways to simplify fare payment – another week to tell us what you think

We want to hear from you as our planning begins to make paying fares faster, easier, and simpler for everyone

Transit riders in King County and the greater region struggle with the complexity of Metro’s fare structure. It includes a peak-time surcharge and two zones with an adult-fare surcharge on trips crossing the zone boundary during peak.

Metro and the six other regional transit agencies that represent the ORCA (One Regional Card for All) smart-card system have committed to looking at simplifying fares across all agencies as they prepare for improvements and modernization of the ORCA system. As part of that process, we are considering options that would allow for speedier boarding, improve safety for drivers, help increase ridership and further reduce barriers for vulnerable populations.

You are invited to provide direction on fare change options and longer-term work on fare-related issues by participating in an online questionnaire. Later this spring, the public will have additional opportunities to provide feedback on fare change options via a second online survey and open houses.

We encourage all transit riders to participate, including youth, older adults, students, ORCA Lift riders, riders with disabilities, as well as schools, employers and community-based organizations. We are also contracting with community organizations to hear from harder-to-reach populations so their input is considered as Metro assesses options and develops programs to address affordability and access to transit. Feedback during the outreach process will be used to draft proposals. We anticipate a final proposal will be submitted to the King County Council for consideration in June.

Learn more and have a say by April 7