King County Metro

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King County Metro
King County Metro logo.svg
Slogan We'll Get You There
Parent King County Department of Transportation
Founded January 1, 1973
42 years ago
Headquarters 201 S. Jackson St., Seattle
Locale King County, Washington
Service area King County, Washington
Service type Transit bus
Alliance Sound Transit
Routes 209[1] (September 2014)
Stops 8,521[2] (year-end 2012)
Hubs 13 transit centers
Fleet 1,835[3] (September 2014)
Daily ridership 400,457[4]
Fuel type Diesel, Diesel-electric hybrid, Electric trolleybus
Chief executive Kevin Desmond, General Manager
Website Metro Online

King County Metro, or Metro for short, is the public transit authority of King County, Washington, a division of the King County Department of Transportation. It began operations on January 1, 1973, but can trace its roots to Seattle Transit, founded in 1939, and Overlake Transit Service, founded in 1927. As of 2014, it operated 1,835 buses[3] on 209 routes.[1] Its annual ridership in 2012 was over 114 million[2] making it the 8th largest agency in the nation.[5] Metro employs 2,716 full- and part-time operators (year-end 2012).[2]


The Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle or Seattle Metro, was created by a local referendum in 1958 authorized to manage regional wastewater and water quality issues in King County.[6] After two failed attempts to enable it to build a regional rapid transit system, it was authorized to operate a regional bus system in 1972. The bus system was known as Metro Transit and began operations in 1973. Its operations subsumed the Seattle Transit System, formerly under the purview of the City of Seattle and the Metropolitan Transit Corporation, a private company serving suburban cities in King County. In the early 1970s, the private Metropolitan faced bankruptcy because of low ridership. King County voters authorized Metro to buy Metropolitan and operate the county's mass transit bus system.

The Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle was overseen by a federated board of elected officials, composed of elected officials from cities throughout the region. Its representation structure was ruled unconstitutional in 1990.[7][8] In 1992, after gaining approval by popular vote, the municipality's roles and authorities were assumed by the government of King County.[6] After completion of the downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel project, attention was drawn again to developing a regional rail system. This interest led to the formation of the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority, also known as Sound Transit, which holds primary responsibility for planning and building high capacity transit in the counties of King, Pierce and Snohomish, in western Washington state.[9] Metro Transit continues to provide local and regional transit service connections, primarily within its jurisdictional boundaries. Besides its own transit operations, Metro operates ST Express bus and Central Link light rail service for Sound Transit.[10]

Ride Free Area[edit]

For almost 40 years, until 2012,[11] most of downtown Seattle was designated as a zero-fare zone, an area in which all rides on Metro vehicles were free, known as the "Ride Free" Area. Intended to encourage transit usage, improve accessibility and encourage downtown shopping, the zone was created in September 1973 and was originally called the "Magic Carpet" zone.[12][13] It was later renamed the Ride Free Area (RFA). The RFA extended from the north at Battery St. to S. Jackson St. on the south and east at 6th Avenue to the waterfront on the west.[14] Until 1987, the zone was in effect 24 hours a day, but in October of that year Metro began requiring fare payment within the zone during night-time hours, between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m., to reduce fare-related conflicts that sometimes led to assaults on drivers;[15] in February 1994, the RFA's hours were reduced further, with fare payment required between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.[16]

A King County Auditor’s Office report released in September 2009 found that Metro “can neither fully explain nor provide backup documentation for the operating cost savings that offset the fare revenues in the calculation of the annual charges to the City of Seattle for the city’s Ride Free Area” and that some assumptions in the methodology Metro used to calculate the amount of lost fares were “questionable” and have not been updated to reflect changes to the fare structure and fare collection methods.[17]

A 1975 study found that while the Ride Free Area generally reduced bus travel times within the RFA itself, buses that traveled through the Ride Free Area to other destinations generally did not benefit. It also found that unloading outbound coaches once outside the RFA took additional time, though not entirely quantified vis-à-vis time saved within the RFA.[citation needed]

On September 29, 2012, the Ride Free Area was eliminated. All riders boarding in downtown must now pay as they board.[11]


Metro Buses in Seattle, Washington


Metro combines service patterns typical of city and suburban bus networks. The city network, descended in large part from the Seattle Transit system of converted streetcar routes, is arranged in a hub-and-spoke pattern centered on downtown Seattle, with lesser amounts of crosstown service. Routes in the city network are numbered from 1 to 77, with special late-night "Owl" routes numbered in the 80s. Because of the scattershot evolution of the system, there is no easily discernible pattern to the route numbers, although there are clusters in certain neighborhoods.

The in-city routes with the highest ridership are the 7, traveling from downtown through the International District to the Rainier Valley; the 36, traveling from downtown through the International District to Beacon Hill; the 43 and 49, traveling from downtown through Capitol Hill to the University District; the 44, a crosstown route connecting the University District and Ballard; the 48, a long crosstown route connecting north Seattle and the University District to the Central District; and the 3 and 4, connecting downtown to Queen Anne, First Hill, the Central District and Madrona.

The Metro-operated Seattle Streetcar routes are numbered in the 90s, with the South Lake Union Streetcar numbered 98 and the bus replacement for the Waterfront Streetcar numbered 99.

The suburban system is more numerically organized. Roughly speaking, areas in South King County (from Burien and Des Moines through Renton and Maple Valley) are served by routes numbered in the 100s, areas in East King County (from Renton to Bothell) are served by routes numbered in the 200s, areas in North King County (from Bothell to Shoreline) are served by routes numbered in the 300s.

Major all-day Metro routes in the suburbs include the 120, connecting Seattle and Burien; the 124 connecting downtown Seattle and Tukwila; the 150, connecting Seattle, Southcenter and Kent; the 101 and 106 between Seattle and Renton; the 255, connecting Seattle and Kirkland; the 240, connecting Renton and Bellevue; the 271, connecting Issaquah, Bellevue, and the University District; and the 347 and 348, connecting Northgate and North City.

Route numbers in the lower 900s (901–931) are used for Dial-a-Ride services, while shuttles connecting to the King County Water Taxi are numbered in the 700s.

Metro is contracted to operate special "custom" buses. Custom routes that serve schools in Bellevue and on Mercer Island are numbered in the 800s (823, 824, 886–892) and routes serving the private Lakeside School and University Prep numbered in the higher 900s (980–995). Metro also operates custom routes to major employment sites (like Group Health Cooperative in Tukwila and the Boeing Everett Factory). Custom routes are also occasionally established to serve as shuttles for large local events, including Seattle Seahawks and Washington Huskies football games.


Main article: RapidRide
RapidRide bus running on the C Line in West Seattle

King County Metro operates RapidRide, a network of limited-stop bus lines with some bus rapid transit features. All RapidRide routes have frequent service with frequencies of 10 minutes or less during peak commuting hours and 15 minutes during most off-peak hours and on weekends. Most lines (except the B and F lines) have late night and early morning service. Stops are placed farther apart than typical Metro service to increase speed and reliability. Stops with heavier ridership have "stations" with an awning, seating, lighting, real time information signs to communicate estimate arrival times of RapidRide buses. Most stations and some stops in Downtown Seattle have ORCA card readers that allow passengers to pay before the bus arrives and board at any of the buses three doors.[18] All lines use new, low-floor, articulated buses that are painted with a distinct red and yellow livery and have onboard Wi-Fi.

The RapidRide corridors are:

Freeway express services[edit]

Metro operates many peak-hour commuter routes serving park and rides that use 244.52 miles of the region's network of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes.[19] This practice was pioneered at Seattle Transit as the Blue Streak express bus service running between Northgate Park & Ride and Downtown Seattle. Special stops called "freeway flyers" or freeway stations were constructed to allow efficient transfer between local and express buses.[20] The first "freeway flyer" stop opened in 1975 at Montlake Boulevard and State Route 520.[21] Metro also takes advantage of new HOV direct-access ramps and freeway stations constructed by Sound Transit to improve speed and reliability of its commuter routes.[22][23]

Skip-stop spacing[edit]

Metro uses skip-stop spacing on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Avenues in Downtown Seattle, whereby buses skip every other bus stop. On 3rd Avenue, each bus route is assigned to Blue, Yellow, Red or Green stop groups and each bus stop has two color designations; in the northbound direction, every other bus stop is a Red/Yellow or Green/Blue stop, while in the southbound direction they are Green/Yellow and Red/Blue. On 2nd and 4th Avenues, routes are grouped into Orange and White stops. The bus stop color groupings are identified by a colored plate installed above or on the side of the bus stop sign. On 3rd Avenue only, there are additional colored markers one block ahead of each bus stop on the trolley overhead wires, to help bus drivers identify the colors of the upcoming bus stop.[24]

Operating costs[edit]

The cost per boarding for Metro was $4.10 in 2005, compared to $2.50 among the 15 largest national agencies and $2.97, the national average. Metro's cost per boarding is 38% above the national average.[25]

Metro's higher-than-average cost per boarding can be at least partially attributed to its high percentage of "commuter" routes, which run at peak hours only, and often only in one direction at a time. As of 2011, 100 of Metro's 223 routes are peak-only. These routes require significant deadheading (particularly on the one-way routes), as well as a very large part-time labor force, both of which drive up costs.[26]

Metro's lowest cost route overall, route 4 (East Queen Anne to Judkins Park), had a cost per boarding of only $0.46 during peak hours in 2009. By way of contrast, Metro's peak-only route with the lowest cost per boarding was route 206 (Newport Hills to International School), at $2.04. Metro's highest cost route by this measure, route 149 (Renton Transit Center to Black Diamond), had a peak time cost of $34.47 per boarding. Route 149 serves the rural southeastern corner of King County.[27]

In 2007 it cost $3.64 per boarding to deliver service in the West (Seattle) subarea, $4.79 in the South subarea and $7.27 in the East subarea of King County.[25] At the end of 2008, the systemwide cost per boarding was $3.70.[28]


King County Metro has two fare zones, the city of Seattle city limits being one zone and all other areas of King County being the other. Peak hour fares are in effect from 6-9 am and 3-6 pm Monday-Friday.

The King County Metro fares as of March 1, 2015 are:[29]

Fare type Off-peak
All zones
1 zone
2 zones
Adult $2.50 $2.75 $3.25
Senior (64+) / Disabled / Medicare
(Regional Reduced Fare Permit required)
$1.00 $1.00 $1.00
(income qualified)
$1.50 $1.50 $1.50
(6–18 years)
$1.50 $1.50 $1.50
(0–5 years)
Up to 4 free with paid Adult fare

Fare history[edit]

One-way fare (Peak, 1 Zone), with year of rate change

  • 2015: $2.75  
  • 2012:   2.50
  • 2010:   2.25
  • 2009:   2.00
  • 2008:   1.75
  • 2001:   1.50
  • 1998:   1.25
  • 1993:   1.10
  • 1991: $1.00
  • 1989:   0.75
  • 1985:   0.65
  • 1982:   0.60   (peak fares introduced)
  • 1980:   0.50
  • 1979:   0.40
  • 1977:   0.30
  • 1973:   0.20



Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel[edit]

University Street Station

A major Metro operations facility is the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel or DSTT. The DSTT, a 1.3-mile-long, five-station tunnel through the center of downtown Seattle, was completed in 1990 at a cost of $455 million.[31] Planned from the outset to be convertible to light rail operation, the tunnel was outfitted with rails and overhead trolley wire. A fleet of 236 dual-propulsion buses were produced by Breda of Italy, powered by electric traction in the tunnel, and diesel on city streets. Mode changes occurred at the north and south portals.

The tunnel suffered some significant problems in operation, as the Breda buses proved overweight and unreliable. The original plan to have up to 489 dual-powered buses using the tunnel by the mid-1990s never materialized; the 236 Breda buses were the primary buses to use the tunnel until Metro acquired its hybrid fleet in 2004.[31][32]

The tunnel was closed in 2005[33] to replace the rails, lower the track bed for Central Link's modern ADA-compliant light rail vehicles, and complete a stub tunnel for the University Link extension to the north. The tunnel finished its retrofit and returned to service on September 24, 2007.[33]

In addition to Central Link Light Rail, the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel currently serves the following bus routes during tunnel operating hours: King County Metro 41 (Northgate, Lake City), 71 (U-District, Wedgwood), 72 (U-District, Lake City), 73 (U-District, Jackson Park), 74 (U-District, Sand Point), 76 (Green Lake P&R, Wedgwood), 77 Express (Maple Leaf, Jackson Park, North City), 101 (Renton), 102 (South Renton, Fairwood), 106 (Rainier Beach, Renton), 150 (Southcenter, Kent), 216 (Sammamish, Bear Creek P&R), 218 (Eastgate Freeway Station, Issaquah Highlands P&R), 255 (Kirkland, Brickyard P&R), 316 (Green Lake P&R, NSCC, Meridian Park) and Sound Transit Express 550 (Bellevue).[34]

Transit centers[edit]

While Downtown Seattle is Metro's main transit hub, the transit centers act as smaller regional hubs and are served by many bus routes. Some transit centers also offer a park-and-ride facility. Metro operates out of several transit centers located throughout King County:[35]

Name Location Year Opened Notes
Auburn-Sounder-station-3592.jpg Auburn Station A St SW & 2nd St SW, Auburn 2000[36]
Aurora Village Transit Center 1524 N 200th St, Shoreline 1985[37]
Bellevue Transit Center.jpg Bellevue Transit Center 10850 NE 6th St, Bellevue 1985[37] Owned 51% by Sound Transit, 49% by Metro[35]
Burien Transit Center.jpg Burien Transit Center 14900 4th Avenue SW, Burien 2009[38][39] 5 electric vehicle recharging stations[40]
Eastgate P&R.JPG Eastgate Park & Ride 14200 SE Eastgate Way, Eastgate 2004[41] 3 electric vehicle recharging stations[42]
Federal Way Transit Center.jpg Federal Way Transit Center 31621 23rd Ave S, Federal Way 2006[43]
Issaquah Transit Center.JPG Issaquah Transit Center 1050 17th Ave NW, Issaquah 2008[44]
Bilevel commuter train in SoundTransit livery -b.jpg Kent Station Transit Center 301 Railroad Ave N, Kent 2001
Kirkland Transit Center 3rd Street & Park Lane, Kirkland 1986[45] Renovated 2011[45][46]
Route 14 Trolley at Mount Baker TC.jpg Mount Baker Transit Center 2824 Rainier Ave S, Mount Baker, Seattle 2009[47] Connection to Mount Baker Station
Northgate Transit Center Sign.jpg Northgate Transit Center 10200 1st Ave NE, Northgate, Seattle 1992[48]
Overlake Transit Center.jpg Overlake Transit Center 15590 NE 36th St, Overlake 2002[49]
Sound Transit 545 at Redmond TC.jpg Redmond Transit Center 16160 NE 83rd St, Redmond 2008[35]
Renton Transit Center.jpg Renton Transit Center S 2nd St & Burnett Ave S, Renton 2001[50]
Totem Lake Transit Center.jpg Totem Lake Transit Center 120th Ave NE & NE 128th St, Kirkland 2008[51] At Evergreen Medical Center

Park-and-ride lots[edit]

In King County, Metro has 132[28] park-and-ride facilities containing a total of 24,524[28] parking stalls. Half of the lots are leased from other property owners such as churches.[35]

Operations bases and facilities[edit]

Metro stores and maintains buses at seven bases (garages), spread throughout its 2,134-square-mile (5,530 km2) operating area. In addition to the bases, maintenance of the fleet and operation of the system are supported by several other facilities.

Funding measures[edit]

Transit Now[edit]

In April 2006, King County Executive Ron Sims announced a program entitled "Transit Now" that, once approved by voters, would provide for a 20 percent increase in transit service by the end of 2016 over 2006 service levels, measured in annual operating hours. In order to realize this growth, Transit Now proposed an increase in the local option sales tax for transit of one-tenth of one percent. The Transit Now ordinance,[52] passed by the King County Council on 5 September 2006 and signed by Executive Sims on 11 September 2006, forwarded the tax proposition to the voters and identified the programs to which operating revenue generated from the sales tax increase could be appropriated. The measure was approved by 56.62% of King County voters in the November 2007 general election. The service programs identified in the ordinance are as follows:

  1. Implementation of RapidRide routes in five arterial corridors.
  2. Increase service on high ridership routes that provide frequent, two-way connections throughout the agency's service area.
  3. Service for growing areas in outlying sububuran/[exurban] areas.
  4. Partnerships with cities and major employers to provide more service than could otherwise be provided through typical resources.
  5. Additional improvements such as expanded ride-share and paratransit services in King County.

Proposition 1[edit]

In November 2014, Seattle voters passed Proposition 1 with 59% support. It uses $45 million in new annual funds from a 0.1% sales tax raise and a $60 annual car-tab fee to add King County Metro bus service within the City of Seattle.[53]

Intelligent transportation systems (ITS)[edit]

Collaborating with several local jurisdictions, Metro was an early adopter of Transit Signal Priority (TSP), a system that can extend green lights to allow buses to get through. The system can boost average speeds as much as 8% and is in use on several of the city's busiest corridors, including Aurora Avenue North, Rainier Avenue S and Lake City Way NE.[54] The system uses RFID tags that are read as buses approach a TSP equipped intersection. In 1998, the fleet was updated with an Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) system that utilizes battery-powered beacons that read the RFID tags and communicate the buses location to Metro.

In 2010, the AVL system was replaced with a GPS-based system as part of a system-wide radio update.[55] As a part of the radio update Metro also added automated next stop signs and announcements to all buses.[56]

In 2010, Metro rolled out a new IP network based ITS infrastructure for its RapidRide service. Buses will communicate with roadside equipment using 802.11 wireless technology on the 4.9 GHz public safety band. A fiber optic backhaul connects access points and roadside equipment together to Metro's Communication Center. The system will extend the legacy RFID-based TSP system. It will also be used in conjunction with GPS technology to provide frequent and accurate location updates for next bus arrival signs at RapidRide stations.

The extent of Metro's application of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) for transit information available for customers has been limited to a few projects:

  • An early project called MyBus by the University of Washington (UW) utilized the tracking data to provide real-time bus information. This is now hosted by Metro under the name Tracker. An improved version of MyBus called OneBusAway, developed by a UW graduate student, combines Tracker information with Google Maps. The Android version of OneBusAway was developed by Paul Watts, a Seattle entrepreneur and programmer.
  • Transit Watch displays, like those found in airports and major train stations, are installed at some transit centers and transfer points to show real-time bus arrival information.
  • A pilot project provided bus information displays along a city arterial. Metro discontinued the project in 2005, citing the cost of maintenance and technical problems.[57]
  • Metro has a regional trip planner that provides itineraries for transit trips within King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, including those on Sound Transit services, Washington State Ferries, the Seattle Center Monorail, and the Seattle Streetcar. Google Maps also provides trip planning using schedule data as part of their Google Transit service.

ORCA Card[edit]

Main article: ORCA card

Metro is a participating agency in the regional smart card program called ORCA (One Regional Card for All). It was launched for public use on April 20, 2009, along with six other transit agencies in the region.[58][59]

Bus stop technology[edit]

RapidRide stations as well as major bus stops in Downtown Seattle are also receiving what Metro calls a "Tech Pylon", a free standing wireless-capable kiosk, that has next bus arrival signs and an ORCA validator for off-board fare payment.[60][61]


As of 2014, King County Metro operates the 8th largest fleet of buses in the United States, with a total of 1,835 buses.[3]

The agency has pioneered technologies in widespread use today. In 1978, Metro was the first large transit agency to order high-capacity articulated buses (buses with a rotating joint).[62] Today, King County Metro has one of the largest articulated fleets in North America (second only to MTA New York City Transit) and articulated buses account for about 42% of the agencies fleet.[2] In 1979, the agency ordered Flyer coaches with some of the first wheelchair lifts in the nation,[63][64] promising a completely new level of independence for disabled residents. Early lifts were severely flawed, but by the mid-1980s the lifts were generally reliable and were ordered on all new buses. With the retirement of the MAN SG-220 buses in 1999, the entire fleet became wheelchair-accessible.

Metro was reluctant to adopt low-floor buses, not buying any until 2003. Low-floor coaches have slightly reduced seating capacity (because the wheelwells intrude further into the passenger compartment) which may have been a concern. Whatever the reason for the delay, Metro has now embraced low-floor buses and all new fleet additions since 2003 have been low-floor.


A Gillig Phantom trolley on route 4
Prototype New Flyer Xcelsior XT40 trolleybus #4301 on display at King County Metro headquarters.

Metro maintains a fleet of 159 electric trolley buses (ETBs) that serve 14 routes[65] along almost 70 miles[28] of two-direction overhead wire. This is the second largest ETB system (by ridership,[66] number of routes and fleet size) in the country.[67] The ETBs are valued by Metro both as zero-emission vehicles,[68] and as vehicles well adapted to Seattle's hilly terrain. In Seattle, ETBs are traditionally referred to simply as "trolleys".

Occasionally Metro will use diesel or diesel-electric hybrid coaches on trolley routes. Reasons for doing this include construction (weekends only[69]), overhead wire maintenance or events that require coaches to go off-route (Metro's ETBs do not have auxiliary power units), "coach changes" (replacing a bus in service that has developed a problem) or to add temporary additional capacity. The latter two cases sometimes lead to diesel buses being used, in order to get the replacement or supplementary vehicle into service as quickly as possible; diesel buses can reach the point of entry into service faster, as they do not need to follow the overhead wires when deadheading.

In July 2013, Metro placed an order with New Flyer Industries for 141 new Xcelsior low-floor trolley buses in. Of the total, 86 will be 40-foot (12 m) vehicles (model XT40) and 55 will be 60-foot (18 m), articulated buses (model XT60).[70] The buses will include a auxiliary power unit, to allow them to operate off-wire for up to 3 miles. When all the trolley buses are delivered (expected by late 2015) and accepted for service, the current fleet of Gillig and Breda trolleys will be retired.

Diesel-electric hybrids[edit]

New Flyer DE60LF diesel-electric parallel hybrid bus operated by King County Metro

Metro operates the largest fleet of articulated hybrid buses in the country. The first New Flyer DE60LF hybrid buses were purchased in 2004 for use with routes that operated in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel.[71] The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducted a one-year comparative study between conventional diesel and hybrid-powered buses operating on a typical King County drive cycle. Results showed that the hybrid powered buses lowered fuel consumption by 23%; NOx by 18%; carbon monoxide (CO) by 60%; and total hydrocarbon (THC) by 56% when compared to conventional diesel buses. Those results have led Metro to purchase hybrid buses exclusively since 2005 (with the exception of the all-electric trolley buses.) [72][73] Metro now has over 700 hybrid buses in the fleet, with more on order.

Hush mode[edit]

Buses equipped with the GM-Allison EP50 and the Allison H 50 EP parallel hybrid systems have a special "hush mode" that allows the buses to operate solely on electric power, reducing tailpipe emissions and noise while operating in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel.[71] Before entering the tunnel, the operator pushes a button that puts the coach into hush mode. While buses are inside stations, the coaches operate solely on electric propulsion (although, while the doors are closed, the engine still rotates in order to operate auxiliary loads). In between the tunnel's stations, the bus uses electric traction to get to 15 mph (24 km/h); after 15 mph a combination of the electric and diesel motors are used. The operation of the diesel engine allows the batteries to charge. Hush mode is normally deactivated by the operator as they exit the tunnel, but the mode will be automatically deactivated after the coach has traveled a certain distance.

Series hybrids[edit]

Orion VII diesel-electric series hybrid bus operated by King County Metro

Metro's newest 40-foot buses (and some 35-foot buses on order) are equipped with the BAE Systems HybriDrive, a series hybrid system.[74] In these buses a diesel engine drives a generator, which provides power to an electric motor that turns the wheels. This electric drive system makes these buses better at climbing hills than diesel or diesel-electric parallel hybrid powered buses. Because of their hill-climbing power, these series hybrid powered buses are often used as replacements on the trolleybuses routes (most of which travel on steep hills) during periods where the overhead lines are turned off due to scheduled maintenance or construction.

Metro Employees Historic Vehicle Association[edit]

Metro maintains a special fleet of historic motor buses and trolley buses which are occasionally operated on special excursions. These coaches are restored and operated by the Metro Employees Historic Vehicle Association (MEHVA), a non-profit organization formed in 1981.[75] MEHVA is a group of volunteers who are current or retired Metro employees and non-employees who help to restore and operate the historic coaches and pay the cost of some parts. The first excursions took place in 1984 and nowadays MEHVA normally operates six to eight per year.[75] Each excursion has a different route and a different emphasis. There are excursions for trolley buses and excursions for motor buses. The historic coaches are stored and maintained at various Metro bases (garages) in the Seattle area.

The historic fleet consists of motor buses and trolley buses ranging from ones built in the late 1930s and early 1940s through to ones retired only recently, such as a Breda dual-mode bus,[76] a type which was used for tunnel routes and replaced with hybrid electric buses. The collection of vehicles is occasionally expanded. Many retired transit vehicles which were formerly operated in Seattle were either scrapped or auctioned off and bought by private citizens. Quite often these privately owned vehicles were abandoned and left on the owner's property for many decades until found and acquired by Metro and added to their fleet of historic transit vehicles, one such example being a 1919 Birney streetcar from the original Seattle streetcar system which operated until 1941. The 1919 Birney streetcar is the only known car left from the Seattle streetcar system.[citation needed] An MAN articulated trolleybus from Metro's fleet, retired in 2007, was acquired by the Illinois Railway Museum in 2008[77] and now operates occasionally on the museum's trolley bus line.



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  41. ^ "New Eastgate Park-and-Ride garage opens June 5". King County Metro. 2006-05-24. Retrieved 2009-07-16. [dead link]
  42. ^ "Park & Ride Lots - East Side". King County Metro. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  43. ^ Sound Transit. Federal Way Transit Center/S. 317th
  44. ^ "Metro Schedule and Route Revisions, May 2008". King County Metro. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  45. ^ a b Sound Transit. Kirkland Transit Center
  46. ^ "Kirkland Transit Center temporary closure". King County Metro. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  47. ^ "Mount Baker Transit Center Opens Sept 19". King County Metro. 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  48. ^ Lane, Bob (May 27, 1992). "Not Quite Your Average Bus Stop -- Design And Usefulness Meet At Metro's New Northgate Transfer Center". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  49. ^ Sound Transit. Overlake Transit Center/NE 40th
  50. ^ "New Renton Transit Center & Parking Garage Options". King County Metro. 2001. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  51. ^ "Totem Lake Transit Center/Evergreen Medical Center". Sound Transit. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  52. ^ King County Ordinance 15582
  53. ^ Lindblom, Mike (November 4, 2014). "Metro bus service to get boost with passage of Prop. 1". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  54. ^ "Transit Signal Priority tests a success,more signal synchronization planned countywide". King County Department of Transportation. 2001-02-15. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  55. ^ City never responded to Metro's request to plow routes, bus chief says. Emily Heffter. Seattle Times. 2009-01-07. Accessed 2009-05-06.
  56. ^ Page 3. In Transit Newsletter, July/August 2008 issue. King County Department of Transportation.
  57. ^ "Pilot Project for Real-time Bus Information System on Aurora Avenue North". King County Department of Transportation. 2005-07-12. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  58. ^ ORCA smart card limited rollout gets underway
  59. ^ "ORCA: FAQ". Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  60. ^ "King County Metro Transit ITS" (ppt). King County Department of Transportation. 2008-12-12. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  61. ^ "King County Metro Transit ITS" (ppt). Region 43 Regional Review Committees - State of Washington. 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  62. ^ Oldham, Kit. "Metro: Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle". HistoryLink. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  63. ^ Vorris, Michael. "The evolution of Metro buses - video transcript". Metro Online. King County Metro. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  64. ^ Crowley, Walt (1993). Routes: an interpretive history of public transportation in metropolitan Seattle. Seattle: Crowley Associates. pp. 2, 3. 
  65. ^ Metro, King County (2009-03-16). "Trolley Motorization Status". Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  66. ^ "APTA Ridership Report: First Quarter 2009 - Trolleybus Agencies" (PDF). Public Transportation Ridership Statistics. American Public Transportation Association. 2009-06-08. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  67. ^ Webb, Mary (Ed.) (2009). Jane's Urban Transport Systems 2009-2010. Coulsdon, Surrey (UK): Jane's Information Group. ISBN 978-0-7106-2903-6.
  68. ^ Metro Vehicles King County Metro.
  69. ^ "Trolley buses". King County Metro. 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  70. ^ Trolleybus Magazine No. 311 (September–October 2013), pp. 136–138. National Trolleybus Association (UK). ISSN 0266-7452.
  71. ^ a b Chandler, K; K. Walkowicz (December 2006). "King County Metro Transit Hybrid Articulated Buses: Final Evaluation Results" (PDF). National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  72. ^ "New Flyer Receives Order for Up To 715 Buses From King County Metro Totaling Up To US $514 Million"
  73. ^ "Federal stimulus grant delivers more buses for Metro". Auburn Reporter. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  74. ^ Piellisch, Rich (12 February 2013). "New Flyer Hybrids for Seattle". Fleets and Fuels. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  75. ^ a b Tan, Vinh (15 October 2009). "Take a ride down memory lane — or to see fall foliage — aboard a vintage transit bus". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2010-06-16. 
  76. ^ Our Fleet. Metro Employees Historic Vehicle Association. Retrieved 2010-06-16.
  77. ^ Trolleybus Magazine (UK) No. 280 (July–August 2008), p. 83. ISSN 0266-7452.
  78. ^ The Poetry on Buses program has, since 1992, "inspired residents of King, Pierce, Kitsap and Snohomish Counties to participate in this program that serves as a national model." Selected poems are displayed on interior bus placards, and selected poets receive an honorarium for the poems' use.

External links[edit]

Media related to Metro Transit (King County) at Wikimedia Commons