King County announced that it would decrease services starting March 23 in response to a drop in ridership after the coronavirus outbreak.
According to the King County Metro blog, the reduced ridership will mean less frequent bus service and some routes will start later in the morning or end earlier in the evening. In addition, some routes may be fully cut, including many of the “Community Ride” routes.
Jeff Switzer, a public information officer with Metro, said the “reduction in service is until further notice, with ongoing monitoring as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve.”
According to Metro, when comparing March 18, 2019 and the same date in 2020, ridership was down 60 percent.
“The Reduced Schedule is in response to a drop in ridership since the emergence of COVID-19,” according to the post. “These service reductions are also designed to maintain a resilient and sustainable transit system that’s able to keep our region moving every day and to ramp back up when this chapter closes.”
The county warned that third-party maps and transit schedule applications may be increasingly inaccurate regarding the coronavirus-related reduction.
“While these tools will be updated to the Spring Service Change schedule, they will not reflect Metro’s temporary Reduced Schedule or Sound Transit’s reductions,” according to the post.
The decision was announced on March 19. King County residents can find full information on the reduced schedule at tinyurl.com/wplknra.