Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winter Weather Riding Tips

Conditions can change quickly. Before you leave, get the latest updates on snow routes, delays and cancellations:

· Check the Service Alerts page on this website

· Call 503-238-RIDE (7433) and press "2" for Service Alerts

· Check local TV and radio stations

Using TransitTracker

TriMet's TransitTracker™ estimates the next arrivals for buses and trains in real time, based on each vehicle's location and average speed. But when many vehicles are off-route or significantly delayed, it cannot make accurate arrival predictions. TransitTracker can, however, tell you if your line is canceled, or, in some cases, how far away the next vehicle is.

Riding the bus: What to expect

Buses will follow their normal routes as long as the streets are safe for travel. We work with city and state road crews to help make sure bus routes get plowed first.

Snow routes

If there is a significant accumulation of snow, ice or freezing rain, some buses will be put on snow routes and others may be canceled. (Buses won't be able to serve parts of the route that are hilly or too dangerous to drive on.)

To plan ahead, find the typical snow route for your bus line(s). Snow routes may change depending on road conditions, so always check the Service Alerts page or call 503-238-RIDE for details.

Dress warmly and expect delays

Road conditions affect all traffic, so buses may experience significant delays. Chained buses cannot travel more than 25 mph. They won't be on schedule, but buses should still arrive at regular intervals. To be safe, please dress warmly.

Some bus lines may be canceled

If a route has many hills or other potential dangers, the bus line may be canceled until the roads have been cleared. We'll make announcements on trimet.org and 503-238-RIDE.

In extreme conditions, when snow or ice causes many buses to become stuck, we may cancel bus service on all but the most heavily used routes that serve the majority of riders. This allows us to better serve major population centers and dedicate buses where they can be most useful.

Riding tips

· If there's no traffic going by your bus stop, walk to a stop on a busy street.

· If your bus stop is in the middle of a hill, walk to the bottom where the operator can safely stop.

· Stand back from the curb until the bus comes to a complete stop. Buses can slide sideways in slippery conditions.

· Keep in mind your bus may not pull all the way over to the curb, to avoid getting stuck.

Riding MAX, WES or Streetcar: What to expect

MAX Light Rail, WES Commuter Rail and Portland Streetcar will operate normally unless there is a problem with the tracks, switches or the overhead wires. Still, we recommend you dress warmly and expect minor delays. When there is a major disruption, service updates are posted on the reader boards at MAX and WES stations, in addition to alerts via web and phone.

During a major disruption, we use shuttle buses

If we expect MAX, WES or Streetcar service will be interrupted for a significant period of time, we'll send out shuttle buses to carry riders between stations. That means you'll go to the station like you normally would, but you'll board a shuttle bus instead. (It will pull up near the station, with a sign that says "Shuttle.") Unless otherwise indicated, the buses will stop at all stations your train would serve during its normal hours of operation.

At times, MAX may continue running overnight in order to prevent ice from building up on the overhead wires. If this is the case, MAX will be in service and carrying passengers all night long.

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