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@vashonbeachcomber.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Vashon Emergency Operations Center COVID-19 Pandemic Situation Reports

Here’s what you need to know about July 20 to July 27.

Vashon superintendent announces online start for schools

All district schools will have weekly schedules, assigned work and attendance requirements.

Local services director pays visit to island community council

The Vashon-Maury Island Community Council will meet next at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, on Webex.

More people are experiencing homelessness in the county

Report finds 5% increase compared to last year. On Vashon, many are working to keep people housed.

Vashon Emergency Operations Center COVID-19 Pandemic Situation Reports

Here’s what you need to know about July 14 to July 20.

UPDATED: Bank employees newest island COVID cases

The bank was first locked and dark last Friday afternoon.

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference on Aug. 5, 2020.
Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

King County among high-risk counties; several school districts will have remote learning in the fall.

Democrats dominate King County legislative races | Election results

Here are the latest results for King County legislative candidates in the… Continue reading

Primary election 2020: Who will emerge as Inslee’s challenger?

Voting ends Tuesday in an election without big rallies and fund-raisers and face-to-face debates

Most Read