Because of fluctuating staffing availability to operate service, Sound Transit announced that it will introduce additional service reductions on Link starting on Monday, April 20, 2020, and on certain ST Express routes operated by King County Metro starting Saturday, April 18.
The further service reductions also reflect an 87 percent system-wide reduction in ridership, with Link and almost all ST Express routes, as well as Sounder service, already operating at reduced levels. Trains will operate with the maximum length of four cars to increase space for social distancing.
Sound Transit is reminding customers that they should limit travel to essential trips and follow social distancing and other critical health guidelines to protect the community. Consistent with recent health guidance the agency recommends that riders wear protective face masks.
Reductions to Link light rail
Trains will run every 30 minutes instead of the previous service level of every 20 minutes. A revised schedule is posted online at https://www.soundtransit.org/ride-with-us/changes-affect-my-ride/reduced-service.
Sound Transit security officers and law enforcement officers are working to respond to an increase in vandalism and unsanitary conditions that has occurred since Sound Transit suspended fares in response to COVID-19. Riders who encounter conditions that they consider unsafe should contact Sound Transit Security by calling or texting 206-398-5268.
Reductions to ST Express routes 542 and 550 operated by King County Metro
Starting this Saturday, April 18, 2020, service will be reduced on ST Express routes 542 and 550. Route 542 will have 17 fewer trips, and route 550 will have 12 fewer trips.
Previously announced service reductions include:
ST Express routes operated by King County Metro
Routes 522 and 545 are operating on a reduced schedule with cuts to some trips. Route 554 is operating with close to full service with only two trips reduced. Routes 541, 555 and 556 have been temporarily canceled.
ST Express routes operated by Pierce Transit
Routes, 560, 566, 574, 577, 578, 590, and 594 are running at reduced frequency similar to typical Sunday schedules, with some enhancements. In order to preserve service on more heavily traveled routes, Routes 544, 567, 580/596 (Sounder connectors), 586, 592, and 595 have been temporarily canceled.
ST Express routes operated by Community Transit
Routes 510, 511, 512, 513, 532 and 535 are running on a reduced weekday schedule that preserves the overall span of service but at a reduced frequency for select trips.
Sounder South weekday service remains reduced to seven round trips. The northbound trips previously canceled are the 1502, 1506, 1508 and 1518 departures from Lakewood, and the 1516 and 1522 departures from Tacoma. The canceled southbound trips are the 1503, 1505, 1509, 1517, 1519, and 1523 departures from Seattle.
Sounder North weekday service remains reduced from four round trips to two round trips, with cancellation of the 1701 and 1705 departures from Everett and the 1700 and 1704 departures from Seattle.
Riders will find more information on the specific trips cancelled at https://www.soundtransit.org/ride-with-us/changes-affect-my-ride/reduced-service and via rider alerts, which they can sign up to receive electronically.
During the COVID-19 response riders should take into account that electronic resources such as Google maps, One Bus Away and other applications and websites may not have accurate information for all trips, including service reductions affecting other agencies.
Sound Transit remains committed to working closely with its partners to continue serving the public. Efforts will continue to prioritize serving riders who depend on Sound Transit’s services, including seniors, people with disabilities, Title VI protected populations (race, color, national origin), low-income and limited-English-proficiency populations. To the greatest extent possible, we will continue to run trains and buses at our earliest and latest normal weekday hours. At this time normal service will continue on Tacoma Link.
Sound Transit has suspended fare requirements on all buses and trains until further notice to help protect transit employees and riders through social distancing. In addition, ST Express passengers will board and exit buses through rear doors whenever possible, increasing separation from operators whose dedication enables Sound Transit to continue service. People with disabilities who need to use the boarding ramp or the lowering feature of the bus may still board via the front door and use the priority seating area.
Riders should sign up for rider alerts to ensure that they receive up-to-date information about service changes, or visit www.soundtransit.org. The language line 1-800-823-9230 is available to provide translation assistance for limited English proficiency persons.