Tag Archives: king county metro

King County Metro Unveils New BLM Bus Featuring the Work of Local Artist and Metro Employee

by Chamidae Ford


Last week King County Metro unveiled its new wrapped bus, coaches, and worksite posters that all feature artwork inspired by Black Lives Matter.

The contest began back in the summer of 2020, when Metro asked their employees what Black Lives Matter meant to them.

Robert L. Horton, an artist and transit operator, created one of the winning pieces. Horton has been a professional artist for over 20 years whose work has been displayed in numerous solo gallery exhibits. He is also a member of the ONYX Fine Arts Collective

Continue reading King County Metro Unveils New BLM Bus Featuring the Work of Local Artist and Metro Employee

Legislation Eliminates One Objection to Sound Transit Fare Enforcement Reform

by Erica C. Barnett


(This article was originally published by PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.) 

Legislation that would make it easier for Sound Transit to adopt a fare enforcement system that does not involve the court or criminal justice system is coasting through the state Senate after passing the House on a near-unanimous bipartisan vote.

House Bill 1301, originally sponsored by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-34, Seattle), gives Sound Transit the authority to create an “alternative fare enforcement system” that could include resolutions other than fines for people who fail to pay their fare. The State Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to move the bill to the Rules Committee, the final step before a floor vote.

Continue reading Legislation Eliminates One Objection to Sound Transit Fare Enforcement Reform

NEWS GLEAMS: Vaccines, Metro Seeks Community Feedback, Wing Luke Reopens, More!

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle! 


Image courtesy of ICHS.

Get a COVID Vaccine Through ICHS

International Community Health Services (ICHS) continues to receive COVID vaccine supplies and to vaccinate both patients and non-patients alike. ICHS was recently named by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration as one of the first community health centers to receive COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government, and they are receiving regular shipments from this and other sources.

Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS: Vaccines, Metro Seeks Community Feedback, Wing Luke Reopens, More!

King County Metro to Pause Work on RapidRide R Line Expansion Indefinitely Due to COVID-19-Related Budget Shortfalls

by Jack Russillo


Work on the long-awaited RapidRide R Line that will one day replace the Route 7 bus will be paused indefinitely, King County Metro has decided over the past several months. The halt comes after the King County Council’s vote on the 2021-2022 proposed budget last month. An online public town hall tomorrow, Dec. 4, will provide more updates and allow community members to ask questions about the project’s suspension.

Continue reading King County Metro to Pause Work on RapidRide R Line Expansion Indefinitely Due to COVID-19-Related Budget Shortfalls

King County Council Rejects Redundant Bus Line Funding in North End, Citing Equity Needs

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article was originally published by PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.) 


On Thursday, the King County Council shelved a proposal by North Seattle Councilmember Rod Dembowski that would have kept 47,000 hours of bus service inside Dembowski’s district after the Northgate light rail station opens next year. The proposal came in the form of a budget proviso, or restriction on spending, that would have withheld $5.4 million in funding for King County Metro unless the bus service went to North King County.

The hours will become available because King County Metro is shutting down its Route 41 bus line, which duplicates the light rail route. Instead of being redistributed throughout North Seattle to feed commuters to the new light rail line, as Dembowski proposed, those hours are likely to go to South King County, where King County Metro’s preliminary report on equity shows the need is greatest.

Continue reading King County Council Rejects Redundant Bus Line Funding in North End, Citing Equity Needs

TRU to Hold Day of Action to Bolster Support for Crucial Public Transit Ballot Measure

by Carolyn Bick


King County Metro bus operator Sam Smith is worried about job security. Already, he said, Metro had to cut 200 part-time driver jobs in August, as a cost-saving measure, due to the economic fallout of the current novel coronavirus pandemic. In September, Metro reduced bus service by 15%. If Proposition 1 — which would continue a portion of public transit funding for the next five years — doesn’t pass, Smith thinks his job is likely on the chopping block. He also worries about the effect a lack of funding will have on the wider public.

“Cuts in transit right now are counter-productive. Routes that run in heavily populated areas such as the A Line, E Line, and the 7 which serves South Seattle are packed at capacity,” Smith said in an emailed statement to the Emerald.

In an effort to prevent these cuts, the Transit Riders Union (TRU) will be holding a Day of Action on Oct. 6, which is meant to frame public transportation as a mutual aid effort and make the case for voters to pass Proposition 1 in November. The TRU will also join national transit riders unions across the country that day in calling for the United States Congress to pass the HEROES Act, which includes $32 billion in emergency transit funds.

Continue reading TRU to Hold Day of Action to Bolster Support for Crucial Public Transit Ballot Measure

King County Metro to Resume Collecting Fares Without Enforcement on October 1

by Jack Russillo


After suspending fares in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, King County Metro will resume collecting fares on Thursday, October 1.

All county transit services — including buses, Access paratransit, Vanpool, and Via to Transit — will be requiring full fares. Fare collection is already taking place on Sound Transit Express buses and Link light rail. Like all Metro employees, Metro requires all riders to wear a face covering, as does Sound Transit. Per state public health guidelines, all trips should be for essential reasons only.

Metro has also suspended fare enforcement at least through the end of 2020. Fare enforcement officers will still be a presence around transit stops, but they will be providing a broader range of customer services, like answering transit or safety questions. 

Continue reading King County Metro to Resume Collecting Fares Without Enforcement on October 1

“Ready When You Are” Campaign Unveils Automated Plexiglass Partitions and Mask Dispensers on King County Metro Transit

by Mark Van Streefkerk 


On September 2, King County Metro announced the “Ready When You Are” campaign, which features innovations for transit, including automated plexiglass partitions and mask dispensers to keep operators and riders safer during COVID-19. County leaders, including Executive Dow Constantine and representatives from Metro and the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) local 587, presented the improvements at the Metro Component Supply Center in Tukwila. The transit additions coincide with new and improved bus routes coming September 19, and are in preparation for restoring fares on October 1, although that date is not set in stone.

“I am here to announce that King County Metro is ready to serve,” Constantine said. “Ready to get you where you need to be. Ready when you are, which happens to be the name of our new campaign as we turn the corner and fully adapt to the new normal.”

Continue reading “Ready When You Are” Campaign Unveils Automated Plexiglass Partitions and Mask Dispensers on King County Metro Transit

New and Improved Metro Bus Routes Are Coming to South King County

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Changes are coming to South King County’s Metro bus routes on September 19 that will grant greater connectivity between Renton, Auburn, and Kent. The increased integration will provide more transit options for workers in the area, new Sunday service for some routes, and a flexible on-demand service for the Algona-Pacific area. An important addition is Route 160, which will connect Renton, Kent and Auburn, a corridor slated to become the Rapid Ride I-Line in 2023. 

Continue reading New and Improved Metro Bus Routes Are Coming to South King County

“Positive Energy Has an Interesting Way of Building on Itself,” Says Nathan Vass, Artist, Writer, and Route 7 Metro Bus Driver

by Roxanne Ray

(This article originally appeared in the International Examiner and has been republished with permission) 


When you hop on a Metro bus, do you ever wonder about the life of your bus driver? Well, Metro driver Nathan Vass has thought about his passengers — and what’s more, he has written about many of them. 

Vass is a man of many skills: a filmmaker, photographer, and writer, in addition to being a bus driver with a mastery of de-escalation. Most recently, in 2018, he curated a selection of his own blog writings about his Metro adventures and published a book collection titled The Lines That Make Us: Stories from Nathan’s Bus.  

Continue reading “Positive Energy Has an Interesting Way of Building on Itself,” Says Nathan Vass, Artist, Writer, and Route 7 Metro Bus Driver