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King County Metro to restore at least 23 bus routes starting Monday

King County Metro announced it will restore service on dozens of bus routes starting June 22 following months of reduced service due to the coronavirus pandemic.

SEATTLE — King County Metro announced Wednesday it plans to restore service on dozens of bus routes and increase water taxi service starting Monday, June 22, following months of reduced ridership due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It will also partially restore the Via to Transit pilot.

The change will restore 23 bus routes that were canceled in March and April due to the pandemic and will also add trips to other routes, according to a blog post from King County Metro. 

Metro said it will operate more than 11,000-weekday bus trips, or 85% of its pre-COVID-19 service level. Weekend trips will also be increased. Saturday service will be 8,200 trips (99%) and Sunday service will be 7,000 trips (99%). 

Starting Monday, June 22, the transit agency will increase the number of bus operators from 64% to about 80% of pre-COVID-19 levels, said Metro.

Ridership remains about 70% lower than this time last year, according to Metro. However, as counties continue to reopen and demand increases, Metro said it will add extra trips where possible through the summer and fall. 

RELATED: King County Metro ends out-of-service bus transportation for law enforcement

Fares are still not being collected on Metro services, so riders should continue to board at the middle or back doors and maintain six feet of distance from other riders when possible. Riders are also still required to wear face masks. 

Below is a list of some of the changes starting June 22, for a full list of changes and updates, click here: 

BUS:

  • Restored routes: 21 Express, 74, 102, 111, 118, 119, 125, 208, 212, 217, 218, 221, 224, 226, 257, 301, 304, 311, 330, 773, 775, 907, 930
  • All Metro bus routes operating on weekends (including DART) will resume full service on Saturdays and Sundays. Routes 22, 47, 249, and 910 remain suspended on weekends.

STREETCAR:

  • South Lake Union Streetcar remains suspended
  • First Hill Streetcar will continue to operate with 15-minute headways Monday through Saturday during reduced service hours, 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. There are no changes to service hours on Sunday and holidays: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

TRAILHEAD DIRECT:

  • Trailhead Direct remains suspended until further notice.

VIA TO TRANSIT:

WATER TAXI:

  • Water taxi routes to Vashon and West Seattle will see restoration of some service and will operate on commuter (formerly “winter”) schedules.

Riders can learn more on King County Metro's reduced schedule page and also the canceled trips page. 

Metro said it plans to adjust service further and add additional weekday peak routes in September. 

RELATED: Complaints of overcrowding, homeless on Metro Transit buses