An Independent School • Grades 5-12

Transportation

Lakeside wants to help students and employees get to and from school safely and conveniently.

Metro Custom Bus Program

Lakeside School, University Prep, and The Evergreen School contract with King County Metro to provide specially designed routes that our students can use traveling to and from school.

Students in the Metro custom bus program receive a special unlimited-use ORCA card. It can be used on the custom bus and anywhere else ORCA is accepted – including Metro, Sound Transit (including Link Light Rail), Community Transit, and passenger-only ferries – any day of the week including weekends and holidays. These cards must be purchased through the Lakeside business office.

General Information

This program is available to all Lakeside School students. Students must be enrolled in the Metro custom bus program in order to take a bus; the program does not allow for intermittent or occasional riders.

Lakeside students riding custom buses must use a special ORCA card issued by Lakeside. A normal ORCA pass is not sufficient. (See “Custom ORCA cards” below for more information.)

Families can enroll their student in the program for the full year or a half year.

  • Full school-year service: Cards are active from when students receive cards in August through the end of school in June.
  • Fall service: Cards are active when students receive them in August through Jan. 15.
  • Spring service: Cards are active from Jan. 15 through the end of school in June. Cards are sent to families in late December.

 

Summer Benefit: Students with a Lakeside ORCA card may use it during the summer (June-September) at no additional cost, if they renew the service for the full following year. Those cards can be used for the Lakeside Summer School Programs custom bus (register through the Summer School office), and anywhere else ORCA cards are accepted.

 

Costs

For the 2019-2020 school year, the cost of the Metro custom bus program is:

  • Full school-year service: $1,090 (10 months – $109 a month)
  • Fall or spring service: $545 (5 months – $109 a month)

Families can choose to pay the full amount (billed in August) or be billed monthly, beginning in August or January. Cards are nontransferable and nonrefundable.

Routes

The custom bus routes are commuter-style, running on major arterials with occasional stops, and serving the greatest number of families in the shortest amount of time. Families generally drive or carpool to the stops.

We currently have eight morning routes, seven afternoon routes, and two evening activity buses. Families may sign up for up to three routes.

We do not anticipate major changes for the 2019-2020 school year. However, routes and stops are dependent upon ridership; if a route is undersubscribed, it may be cancelled the following year. Once a route is set, changes are not made during the school year. Requests for changes are reviewed each December for implementation in the following academic year. Route-specific information and maps are located below.

Bus Stops

Students should be waiting at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to depart. Riders must be at the stop, not sitting in cars where the driver cannot see them.

Students should not ask drivers for special stops. To request an unscheduled stop, please contact the business office.

What are the buses like to ride?

The buses are regular King County Metro buses designed to meet the needs of commuters. If a student has never ridden a Metro bus before, we encourage parents and guardians to take a trip on a Metro bus with their student before the beginning of the school year and discuss expectations and respectful and safe behavior on public transit.

While the special routes are used primarily by our students and employees, non-students looking for transportation along these routes can find them on Metro’s website and use these buses if they pay the custom fare. This does not happen often.

Buses’ timetables are constructed to take traffic into account. However, traffic and weather are not under our control, and buses can sometimes run late. As on all Metro buses, there are occasions where students may need to stand.

Custom ORCA cards

Students in the program receive a special unlimited-use ORCA card. These cards must be purchased through the Lakeside business office.

The card must be tapped on a card reader to show proof of payment (sometimes in both directions depending on the mode of transportation). Failure to tap the card may result in a citation. Lakeside School is not responsible for this citation.

Registering for the Custom Bus Program

Registration for Lakeside’s custom bus program runs from May 15 to July 15. A link to the Veracross registration page is emailed to all families (new and returning). Families may sign up for up to three routes. Students must be enrolled in the Metro custom bus program in order to take a bus; the program does not allow for intermittent or occasional riders.

In August, students enrolled in the program for the full-year or fall (August – Jan. 31) receive their special ORCA card, loaded with an ORCA Passport pass, along with additional information about taking the bus. Cards for students enrolled for spring service only (Jan. 1-June 10) are sent to families in late December.

Late or changed registration

Late registration may be possible if room on the desired route is available. Please contact the business office at 206-368-3610 to learn about availability and receive a link for late registration.

To switch from half-year to full-year service, please contact the business office. 

Cancelling a bus service contract

We release families from their bus service contracts only when we have another family to take their place. A family’s cost would then be prorated based on usage. We are unable to offer refunds for students who begin to drive later in the year.

Contacts, Tracking, and Alerts

General service questions or concerns: Call Lakeside’s custom bus program phone line at 206-440-2801, between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Billing: Contact the business office at 206-440-2763 or billing@lakesideschool.org.

Issues with ORCA cards: Contact the business office at 206-368-3610 or custombusprogram@lakesideschool.org.

Lost or damaged card: Contact the business office at 206-368-3610 or custombusprogram@lakesideschool.org. If a student needs a replacement card, contact the business office immediately. Families will be charged $50 for a replacement card.

Route-specific questions or concerns: Bus route parent/guardian representatives:

*Contact custombusprogram@lakesideschool.org if you have questions about or are interested in this volunteer position.

Tracking and Alerts

There are several ways to track the status of Metro buses and receive alerts.

  • Lakeside’s custom bus alerts (text message and email): Lakeside’s system alerts families about bus route delays. Our goal is to provide accurate, factual, and concise information that will help families and students plan travel to and from Lakeside.
  • King County Metro Alerts: Route-specific messages about Metro Transit service.
  • Metro Tracker: Real-time bus information and route maps. Morning routes are listed as Haller Lake, afternoon and evening routes are the last stop.
  • Metro mobile applications: This page lists apps and websites created by independent developers. One of our favorites is One Bus Away, which is a mobile-friendly program that provides real-time bus arrival information.
  • Eye on Your Metro Commute: A blog specifically for Metro issues. You can sign up for their RSS feed.

In cases of severe weather, please refer to the “Delays and Weather” listing below.

Delays and Weather

Reporting Delays or Problems

If the bus is more than 10 minutes late, call Metro customer service at 206-553-3000. This number is located on the back of Lakeside ID cards. By calling Metro directly, you help create data that will fast-track a response. Also call Lakeside’s custom bus program phone line, 206-440-2801. We will use our bus alert system to notify other families on the route that the bus is delayed.

See “Contacts” above for who to contact in other types of situations.

Adverse Weather or Snow

If Lakeside is in session, the buses will be running. When snow or ice are present, bus routes with hills will be affected, some stops may be eliminated, and there will likely be delays.

If you ride the bus during adverse weather or snow, choose a bus stop that is easily accessible and be prepared to wait. Before you leave home, check your route's map for typical snow deviations and the Metro Winter Weather website for additional information about how weather is affecting routes. You may also want to sign up for Metro Alerts; if any routes begin operating on snow routing, Metro will send an alert to Metro alert subscribers (this is different than the Lakeside text alerts).

Please refer to Metro’s snow guidelines and Seattle’s Department of Transportation Winter Weather webpage for more information.

Additional Information on Metro

Metro Service Beyond the Custom Bus

Students in the Metro custom bus program receive a special unlimited-use ORCA card. It can be used on the custom bus and anywhere else ORCA is accepted – including Metro, Sound Transit (including Link Light Rail), Community Transit, and passenger-only ferries – any day of the week including weekends and holidays. Please note that passes are not accepted on the vehicle ferries.

The card must be tapped on a card reader to show proof of payment (sometimes in both directions depending on the mode of transportation). Failure to tap the card may result in a citation. Lakeside School is not responsible for this citation.

Metro’s Trip Planner has detailed information on routes, stops, and schedules.

Complaints, Concerns, or Compliments

Please log Metro-specific complaints, concerns, or compliments on the Metro feedback website.

Lost and Found

If a student left something on the bus, use Metro's lost and found database to begin the search process. If you do not have access to email or the web, or if it has been 30 minutes or less since the item was lost, call Metro Lost and Found at 206-553-3000.

Route maps

2018-2019 Custom Bus Overview Map - All bus stops for current year. 
Metro Maps - Enter route number for specific route map
Metro Real Time Tracker - For additional route information

Custom Bus Program Downloads

Carpooling

It’s easy to form a carpool with other Lakeside families. Current Lakeside families can sign in to the Veracross family portal, click on “Directory” (with the @ symbol) at the top of the page, choose the "Nearby Families" tab, and a list of families living near you will be shown. There are designated carpool spots in all student parking lots on the Upper School campus.

Parking

Lakeside has limited car parking available on campus. For major events, signs will direct attendees to available parking. Please note that cars parked on campus without proper identification or inappropriately parked on campus or neighboring streets may be towed.

Accessible parking: The visitor parking lot, between Allen-Gates Hall and 1st Avenue NE, has four stalls reserved for accessible parking; The Paul G. Allen Athletics Center parking lot has two spots reserved. Cars must have a valid accessible parking permit to park in these spaces.

Street Parking: There is limited street parking in the area around Lakeside. Please be considerate of our neighbors; Seattle’s municipal code states that there is no parking within five feet of a driveway, mailbox, or alley.

Employees: Lakeside faculty and staff who register vehicles are assigned a parking lot at the beginning of the year.

Parents and guardians: Parents and guardians may park in any available spot in the Middle School lot (enter off NE 135th Street). Parents and guardians visiting the Upper School (who do not have a permit) should park on the street. The Wright Center parking lot (across 4th Avenue NE from the Wright Community Center) and parking along 4th Avenue NE between NE 145th Street and the book depot are for faculty/staff and parents/guardians by permit only.

Students: Student parking on the Upper School campus is on a first-come, first-served basis. Students who register their vehicles may park in lots next to Stimson field and The Paul G. Allen Athletics Center; there is also a lot reserved for seniors. There are designated carpool spots in all student lots.

Visitors: Visitors to the Middle School should park in the visitors’ lot outside the main entrance on NE 137th Street. Upper School visitors should park in the south parking lot between Allen-Gates Hall and NE 1st Avenue. All visitors to campus will be asked to sign-in and register their cars in the main office of either campus. Cars without a visitor parking permit will be towed.

Biking

Bike racks are available at the Middle School, between the gym and main building, and at the Upper School next to Pigott Memorial Library in Red Square and at the southeast corner of The Paul G. Allen Athletics Center parking lot.