Bus Service When it Snows in Snohomish County | Community Transit
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Service When it Snows

How to Prepare, What to Expect

A Route 119 bus picks up a customer on a snowy February 2019 day.When there's a hint of snow in the forecast, we prepare so we can plan to provide as much service as possible before any snow hits the ground.

We want you to be prepared, too! Here are some tips and links to resources to help you keep informed about our service when snow and ice threaten to delay, reroute or cause service cancellations.

Know Before You Go

✔ Sign Up for Rider Alerts. Email, text or both, you can sign up to receive alerts for the routes that are important to your commute.

Bookmark these links:

‣ Snow Service Alerts (Inactive until next Snow Event). These alerts are updated hourly 5 a.m. - 7 p.m., during inclement weather conditions.

‣ Snow Routes

‣ @MyCommTransBus on Twitter: For real-time service alerts

‣ @MyCommTrans on Twitter: For general agency updates

    What's a Snow Route?

    Snow routes let drivers and passengers know the safest routing a bus may take during a snow event. In addition to hills, there may be other areas along a route that are not served during a snow event. These stops will not be served when a bus is on snow route. Please use the snow route map to determine the portion of the route that will not be served.

    On Snow Route maps, a solid line indicates segment of route being served, a dotted line indicates portion not served. 

    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.

    Also, it is possible a bus may be on a partial snow route, or a slightly different snow route than shown on the map. Rider alerts will indicate if the snow route your bus is traveling is different than shown on the snow route map.

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

    • When it snows, regular bus schedules don’t apply—buses may come less frequently.
    • Icy road conditions mean buses will take longer to get to each destination. Rider alerts will tell you how often a bus may arrive.

    If your bus stop has a snowflake symbol on the bus stop sign and there is snow or ice on the ground that is impacting service, please wait at another stop. 


    Snowflake Sign

    Snow, Schedules, and BusFinder

    When it snows, regular bus schedules may not apply:

    • Buses may come less frequently
    • Articulated buses are generally not used and may be kept on base.
    • Double Decker and 40-foot buses are used when there is snow and ice on the road.
    • It will take longer to get to each destination; if buses are chained, they can only travel 25 miles per hour.
    • Rider alerts (on the home page of the website, via Rider Alerts and/or on Twitter @MyCommTransBus), will indicate how often a bus may arrive.

    BusFinder is our real-time bus information web application.

    During snow events, BusFinder's departure time predictions may not be accurate because buses:

    • Will likely be on re-route
    • Are traveling at slower speeds due to icy road conditions

    You can use the map feature in BusFinder to see where the bus is on your route to help predict when the bus may arrive at your stop.

    Be PreparedMan catches Swift Bus during snowstorm

    • Dress for the elements—wear sturdy shoes and dress for warmth. You may need to wait longer or walk more when weather conditions are poor.
    • Get to a park & ride or other major hub for the best service options.
    • Make sure the bus driver can see you. Carry a flashlight, a cellphone to flag the bus. Wear something bright, light-colored or reflective to be easily seen.
    • Make sure your mobile device is fully charged and have a portable charger at the ready so you can use BusFinder, receive Rider Alerts and visit our website for updates. You may also need your phone to call someone if you need assistance.
    • 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 time predictions may not be accurate. 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. Use the map feature to see where the bus is on your route to help predict when the bus may arrive at your stop.