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Metro Connects

Fleet, Infrastructure, and Workforce

Location. Locating bases near the start and end points of service provides operational benefits by limiting the distance vehicles travel without passengers. Metro considers land availability and use, along with potential impact to adjacent properties and area traffic, when siting a new base.

Partnerships. Metro has agreements with Sound Transit to share bus base capacity, helping both agencies operate efficiently.

Operational success. Bases should be located and designed for efficient and effective operations and maintenance to occur. They should provide working space for employees.

Employee access. Bases must provide adequate space for employees to park on site, or include mobility solutions in their siting, to ensure all employees can reliably and conveniently access their work site.

Resilience. Facilities should be sited in locations not expected to be impacted by sea-level rise, with further attention to the effect of sea-level rise on the routes those bases support. With deployment of electric buses, proximity to key utility infrastructure adds to the resilience of the site in a catastrophic event as those services are restored first.

Metro continuously explores ways to maximize the use of facilities and reduce costs, such as parking some North Base buses near downtown Seattle during the day rather than driving empty buses back to the base.

Marine vessel maintenance facilities The existing infrastructure to support marine operations is a moorage and maintenance barge on the north side of Pier 48 in Seattle. The proximity to the Pier 50 passenger ferry terminal supports efficient servicing of vessels for preventative maintenance and emergency repairs. The facility provides moorage for all three existing vessels. As new routes are added, daily maintenance and moorage of new vessels will have to be sited at a terminal or a nearby location. Building a small satellite maintenance facility to provide reliable vessel operations will be a priority—especially for lake routes that will be far from the current maintenance barge.

Support facilities Metro will also have to expand and accommodate facilities and functions to support non-bus fleets and deliver the Metro Connects service networks. For example, Metro’s paratransit fleet resides at one Metro owned base and a variety of contractor leased bases strategically located across the service area to provide efficient and timely service. To support efficient paratransit operations, Metro Connects calls for strategic planning for long term KCM facilities to include state of good repair ongoing improvement maintenance practices, technological upgrades, and the latest fleet maintenance techniques. Metro Connects support for expanding to new facilities and upgrading current facilities to meet SCAP standards would align with the county’s safety, equity, and sustainability goals. King County Metro Long Range Plan