Thursday, December 8, 2016

Snow Fall and Snow Routes and Snowflakes at Bus Stops... a Few of Our Favorite Things

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but your commute can be delightful (okay, maybe less stressful) with a little preparation and relevant information.

Because snow or icy conditions can impact our bus service (traffic, accidents and delays) we've created snow routes for all of the routes we serve. We also have this snowflake symbol at some of our bus stops:
Snowflake Symbol as seen at Community Transit stops
If you see this snowflake at your bus stop,
it means that your bus will not stop there if there is measurable snow and/or ice on the ground.
We like snow-- just not at our stops! 
If you see this snowflake symbol at a bus stop, it means a bus will not stop at that location if there is measurable snow or ice on the ground.

What is measurable snow? Check out this picture below, taken in January 2012.

Route 201 in January 2012 on 134th St SW in Lynnwood.
It’s one of our Route 201 buses on westbound 134th St SW near Ash Way in Lynnwood. The stop is on a stretch of road with a 3-degree pitch. This slope, covered in snow and ice, makes this stop a perfect candidate for a snow route.

Our 48 snow routes help keep transit moving during wintry conditions. Maps of our snow routes are available here.

Snow Route for Route 201

Pictured to the right is the snow route for Route 201 which avoids side streets and remains on Smokey Point Blvd/State Ave in the north end, serving Smokey Point Transit Center, Everett Station, Mariner Park & Ride, Ash Way Park & Ride and Lynnwood Transit Center.

The lesson here is to find out if your route has a snow route—and get familiar with it before it snows!

What to Expect When It Snows
  • When it snows, not all buses will be on snow route. Depending on the road conditions, one route may be on snow route, another may not be.
  •  If your bus stop has a snowflake symbol and there is snow and ice on the ground, please wait at another stop along that route.
  • When it snows, regular bus schedules don’t apply—buses may come less frequently. Plus, it will take longer to get to each destination. Rider alerts will tell you how often a bus may arrive.

Be Prepared
  • Dress for the elements—wear sturdy shoes and dress for warmth. You may need to wait longer or walk more in poor conditions.
  • Get to a park & ride or other major hub for the best service options.
  • Make sure you are visible to the bus driver. Carry a flashlight, a cellphone or something bright or reflective to flag the bus. Also, wear light-colored or bright outerwear to be easily seen.
  • Have a charger at the ready to keep your mobile device up and running so you can use BusFinder, receive Rider Alerts and visit our website for updates.
  • Speaking of Rider Alerts, sign up for them here. You can select specific routes and can choose to receive them by email or text.
  • When weather conditions are bad, BusFinder may not be as accurate as usual. The real-time system behind BusFinder estimates departures based on the time it typically takes to get to a bus stop, so if traffic is moving slower, the countdown may appear to be stuck. BusFinder will let you know if there is a bus coming.

Where to Get Community Transit Service Information

Some Useful Links:

Whatever Mother Nature brings, be prepared, be safe and we'll do our best to get you home.

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