Ice and snow cause headaches for Metro users

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SEATTLE -- Troopers in King County alone have responded to 577 calls for service since the snow and ice started Sunday. That includes spin outs, collisions and cars getting stuck.

It means a lot of people are taking public transportation, but that has meant a lot of people dealing with delayed buses, too.

Bus after bus went by at the #40 bus stop in Seattle, which heads to Northgate through Fremont and Ballard without stopping to pick riders up because they were at capacity.

“I had hoped to be on it at 5:15 p.m. but it’s now almost 6 o’clock,” said Kathy Belt, who says this morning’s commute was smooth but going home has been unpredictable.

“You try to rely on public transportation cause I don’t want to drive on icy roads too, but it’s kind of odd that they can’t get more buses out,” said Belt.

Metro listed on their website they had 11 stuck coaches this morning as road conditions improved throughout the day. That's compared to 200 that were stuck Monday during icy and snowy conditions.

“The delays can vary greatly, some people were seeing a half hour to an hour late,” said Jeff Switzer with Metro.

He says Metro runs 13,000 bus trips daily serving about 400,000 people. He says with snow and ice it means bus trips will be impacted.

Switzer says the Metro website is the best way for people to plan for inclement weather. The Metro app is best used in normal conditions. He says Metro does update the website and alert riders in real time.

“We’re real timing this as fast as we can,” said Switzer.

With phones out at bus stops, people like Belt are trying to sort through those alerts.

“There’s another one coming in six minutes that’s supposedly on time, there’s another one coming in 6 minutes that’s 10 minutes late. There’s another one coming in 8 minutes that’s on time,” said Belt looking at her phone.

Annoyed and frustrated, she decided 45 minutes was long enough to wait here.

“Now I think I’m going to go across the street, go downtown and take another bus into Ballad otherwise I’m going to be here all night,” said Belt.

About 20 minutes later, a #40 bus did show up with some room for a few more riders.

Metro says check the website for bus routes, plan ahead as more snow is likely in the forecast. 

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