An Independent School • Grades 5-12


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

Metro Custom Bus Program

Lakeside School partners with University Prep and Evergreen schools and contracts with King County Metro to provide specially designed custom bus routes that our students can use traveling to and from school. The routes are commuter-style, which means they run on major arterials with occasional stops, thereby serving the greatest number of families in the shortest amount of time. Families generally drive or carpool to the stops.

General Information

Custom ORCA Passes

Lakeside students must register for the custom bus program during enrollment or through the business office for the full year or a half year. After registering, students receive a Lakeside-issued unlimited use ORCA pass that can be used on custom bus routes and anywhere else ORCA is accepted – including Metro, Sound Transit (including Link Light Rail) or Community Transit – any day of the week. Lakeside has no program available for intermittent riders.

  • Full school-year passes are active from when students receive their passes in August through the end of school in June.
  • Fall passes are active when students receive their passes in August through January 31.
  • Spring passes are active January 1- June 10. Passes will be sent to families in late December.

Summer Benefit: Students with a Lakeside ORCA pass may keep it during the summer at no additional cost, if they renew the service for the full following year. Those passes can be used for the Lakeside Summer School Programs custom bus routes (register through the Summer School office), and anywhere else ORCA passes are accepted, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Click on Custom Bus Program Information in the download section below for 2018-2019 costs.


Our goal is to offer commuter style routes serving the most students as efficiently as possible. We currently have eight morning routes, seven afternoon routes, and two evening activity buses. However, routes and stops are dependent upon ridership; if a route is undersubscribed, it may be cancelled. 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 a stop, please contact your bus route representative (list below).

What are the buses like to ride?

The custom buses are regular King County Metro buses that are designed to meet the needs of commuters, including students. 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 proper behavior.

While the routes that serve Lakeside, University Prep, and the Evergreen School are used primarily by our students and employees, they are available to anyone. Non-students looking for transportation along these routes can find them on Metro’s website and use these buses as long as they have an ORCA pass and pay the custom fare. This does not happen often.

Buses run on major arterials, and timetables are constructed to take traffic into account. However, it is important to remember that traffic and weather are not under our control, and buses can sometimes run late. Like all Metro buses, there are occasions where students may need to stand.

Registering for the Custom Bus Program

Registration for Lakeside’s custom bus program runs from mid-May to mid-July. A link to the Veracross registration page is emailed to all families (new and returning). Families can sign up for the bus program after registration closes in mid-July if room on the desired route is available. Please contact the business office at 206-368-3610 to confirm route availability and receive a link for late online registration.

Custom passes are unlimited Passport passes and must be purchased through the Lakeside business office. If you signed up for a half-year pass but want to switch to a full-year pass, contact the business office.

Cancelling a bus service contract

We release families from bus service agreements 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

For general service questions or concerns, contact Lakeside’s custom bus service phone line, 206-440-2801, between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

For issues with ORCA cards, contact the business office at 206-440-2941 or email

For route-specific questions or concerns, contact your bus route parent/guardian representative:

*Contact if you have questions about or are interested in this volunteer position.

For billing questions, contact the business office at 206-440-2763 or

If the custom bus ORCA pass is damaged or lost, families will be charged $50 for a replacement pass. Students should use the lanyard and sleeve protector sent with the pass to help keep it from being damaged or lost. If a student needs a replacement pass, contact the business office at 206-368-3610 immediately.

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 service 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” listing for who to contact in other types of situations.

Adverse Weather or Snow

If Lakeside is in session, the buses will be running. However, when snow or ice creates a travel challenge, bus routes with hills will be affected, some stops may be eliminated, and there will likely be significant 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 as weather can often change quickly. 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 web page for more information.

Additional Information on Metro

Metro Service Beyond the Custom Bus

Students’ custom bus passes are unlimited passes that can be used on the Lakeside custom bus, as well as any Metro, Sound Transit (including Link Light Rail), or Community Transit routes, any day of the week. Drivers can issue transfers to other buses. The passes 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. Please note that passes are not accepted on the vehicle ferries.

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 determine if the item has been found. 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


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.


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.


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.