King County Metro’s battery-electric bus. Photo courtesy of kingcounty.gov

King County Metro’s battery-electric bus. Photo courtesy of kingcounty.gov

King County Metro bus fleet will be electrified by 2035

Future base in South King County would house hundreds of the zero-emission vehicles.

The electrification of King County Metro’s buses will be sped up, meaning there will be more electric buses on the roads sooner.

The King County Council voted Feb. 4 to adopt an ordinance doing just that. It requires King County Executive Dow Constantine to speed up Metro’s transition. By 2035, the Metro bus fleet must be zero-emission, five years sooner than the previous target.

“We have to do this, we’re facing a crisis,” said council member Jeanne Kohl-Welles. “We’re facing a crisis that’s only worsening as time goes by.”

An amendment to the ordinance allows county staff to examine whether expanding bus service could yield even greater emissions reductions aside from just electrifying its fleet. If more diesel buses and service means more people choose transit instead of driving, for example, the county would study whether that could further reduce emissions. However, this amendment does not impact the 2035 deadline.

The $60 million fleet electrification program would be used to buy 120 buses, build needed charging infrastructure, and continue the planning process. The county’s goal is to have more than half of the Metro bus fleet running off electricity by 2030.

A further 250 electric buses will be bought by 2025, and a new Metro base in South King County would house hundreds of the zero-emission vehicles. In total, the county plans to put about 2,200 battery- or electric-powered buses and trolleys on streets over the next two decades.

Transportation accounts for nearly half of all emissions in the state, according to reports, and it’s one of the top sources of emissions in the county. While existing buses are more efficient than personal vehicles, Metro uses about 10 million gallons of diesel annually. This accounts for roughly 80 percent of the county government’s emissions.

If all buses in the state were electrified, some 90,000 tons of pollution could be eliminated annually.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

file photo
Department of Health announces QR code verification program to prove vaccination status

WA Verify is intended to make vaccine verification simpler and more efficient.

Mid-afternoon traffic on northbound Interstate 5 on Nov. 22 near Everett. Dan Bates/The Herald
Thanksgiving traffic forecast is heavier than pre-pandemic

Drivers and ferry riders could be in for long waits, depending on when they go.

Patti Cole-Trindall
King County Executive appoints Patti Cole-Tindall as interim sheriff

Cole-Tindall has a background in the sheriff’s office and county government.

Comparison map between current district map and proposed draft. (Screenshot from King County’s website)
King County proposes redistricting map, asks for feedback from public

Public invited to comment at November 30 public hearing.

Elaine Simons, former foster mother of Jesse Sarey, addresses a crowd outside the Maleng Regional Justice Center on Aug. 24, 2020, moments after Auburn Police Officer Jeff Nelson was formally charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault in the May 31, 2019, shooting death of 26-year-old Sarey in front of a north Auburn convenience store. File photo
Jesse Sarey’s family wants people to know who the real Jesse was

He was killed by Auburn police officer Jeffrey Nelson in 2019.

A Snoqualmie Officer was involved in a shooting Tuesday night, Nov. 16. Photo courtesy of the Bellevue Police Department.
Man killed by Snoqualmie Police was homeless, living in car

The 33-year-old man who was killed by a Snoqualmie police officer late… Continue reading

The Washington State Redistricting Commission held a public meeting over Zoom on Monday night to draw the final legislative and congressional district boundaries. Most of the five-hour session was spent in "caucus meetings" which were unavailable to the viewing public. (Washington State Redistricting Commission)
Bipartisan commission fails to draw new political boundaries

For the first time in state history, the Supreme Court will define new congressional and legislative districts.

courtesy of PropertyShark
State’s richest zip codes are all in East King County, according to home value study

Medina zip code ranks among top 10 most affluent in the nation.

file photo
One-car collision on I-5 near Southcenter kills two 19-year-olds

According to the incident report, neither the passenger or driver were wearing seatbelts.

Most Read