March 26, 2020 – With ridership on trains and buses down by an estimated 83 percent, Sound Transit will introduce service reductions on additional ST Express routes starting Monday, March 30. With these further responses to the COVID-19 outbreak riders need to anticipate reduced service on almost all ST Express routes as well as on Link and Sounder trains.
“We are committed to continue serving riders who need transportation on critical trips, and our reductions will still maintain room for social distancing,” said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff. “We thank our riders for their patience and observance of social distancing and other health precautions. We also thank our operators, who are displaying a heroic commitment to ensuring that service remains available to anyone who needs to travel.”
The reductions that start Monday of ST Express services operated by Community Transit and Pierce Transit follow reductions announced last week of ST Express routes operated by King County Metro Transit, as well as previous reductions to Link light rail and Sounder train service. In addition to much lower ridership, the reductions take into account current and potential future reductions in available staffing.
Work with the partner agencies to identify the reductions put priority on maintaining needs of transit-dependent riders as well as services for low-income, minority and limited-English-proficiency populations. We will continue to run trains and buses at our earliest and latest service hours. At this time normal service will continue on Tacoma Link.
Reductions to ST Express routes operated by Community Transit
Routes 510, 511, 512, 513, 532 and 535 will run on a reduced weekday schedule that will preserve the overall span of service but at a reduced frequency for select trips.
Reductions to ST Express routes operated by Pierce Transit
Routes 544, 560, 566, 574, 578, 580, 590, 594, 595 and 596 will run at reduced frequency similar to typical Saturday schedules, with some enhancements. Due to continuing availability of service on other similar routes there will be no service on Routes 567, 586, and 592.
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.
Last week Sound Transit 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 other than riders using mobility devices or the boarding ramp will board and exit buses through rear doors whenever possible. Front areas of buses will be limited to these passengers, increasing separation from operators whose dedication enables Sound Transit to continue service.
Previously announced service reductions
Link light rail
Trains are running every 14 minutes.
Sounder South weekday service is reduced from 13 round trips to eight round trips. The northbound trips being canceled are the 1502, 1506 and 1508 departures from Lakewood, and the 1516 and 1522 departures from Tacoma. The canceled southbound trips are the 1503, 1509, 1517, 1519, and 1523 departures from Seattle. Sounder North weekday service is 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.
ST Express routes operated by King County Metro
Routes 522, 541, 542, 545, 550, 554, 555 and 556 are operating with less frequent service. Riders should sign up for rider alerts to ensure that they receive up-to-date information about service changes, or visit www.soundtransit.org.