Dept. of Transportation
Metro Transit Division

King Street Center
201 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
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Milestones 2000s

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  • In January, Jim ORourke is named as the new manager of operations for King County Metro Transit.
  • February 9 proclaimed Rick Walsh Day.
  • After 31 years in the 'driver's seat,' King County Metro Transit General Manager Rick Walsh retires in March. Read more about his tenure at Metro.
  • May 19, Kevin Desmond selected to head King County Metro Transit, replacing Rick Walsh.

    Kevin Desmond 2004

  • May 27, Metro began taking delivery of 235 hybrid diesel-electric buses to replace the 236 Breda buses built in 1990-91 operating on routes using the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel.
  • July, Metro Transits new Hybrid electric buses are in service and more are on the way.
  • October 25, George Benson, one of public transit's biggest boosters and the "father" of the Waterfront Streetcar passes away. Read more.
  • October, Metro Transits nationally recognized fleet of clean buses become even cleaner, and helped bring to Washington the first in-state commercial-scale production of biodiesel fuel made from seed crops. The pilot program serves as an investment in Washingtons sustainable future. Venture produces largest biodiesel-powered fleet in the state.
  • December, Metro Online honored as one of top four transit web sites in nation. Read more.
  • December, Metro Online celebrates a decade on the web. Read more.



  • January 24: Last run for the Breda. The last of 236 Breda 5000 series dual mode buses made its last run through the downtown tunnel. The dual mode Bredas were replaced on the tunnel runs by the newer hybrid electric-diesel buses. The Bredas went into service in September 1990 and have put a lot of miles on the road. Metro mechanics hope to refurbish and convert a portion of the buses to electric trolley power only, giving them another decade or so of life on the road.
  • June 4: The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel closed on Saturdays so Sound Transit could begin working to retrofit the tunnel to include Link light rail.
  • September, The first WiFi equipped Metro bus is operating in King County. The wireless internet connection will be available, free to riders, on Metro routes 48 and 197, as part of a five month pilot project to see if WiFi is feasible though out the Metro system.
  • September 24: Work began on Sound Transit's project to build Link light rail between SeaTac and downtown Seattle. The project includes upgrading and retrofitting the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel so that both buses and light rail can use it. The tunnel to be closed for up to two years to complete this work. During the two-year tunnel closure, all buses that did operate in the tunnel will instead use surface streets in downtown Seattle.
  • November 19: Construction of the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park resulted in the loss of Metro's Waterfront Streetcar maintenance facility near Pier 70, and the closure of the Streetcar for about two years while a new maintenance facility is built. Metro provided replacement service with special Route 99 Waterfront Streetcar Line buses.

    Waterfront Streetcar bus

  • December 4: Metro Transit honored Rosa Parks with interior bus cards, as well as a sign affixed to a single front seat in every one of Metro's buses.



  • January: Metro Transit's hybrid buses have been on the road for one year. The report card for these 214 buses shows they are delivering on their promise of lowering greenhouse emissions, improving gas mileage and reliability.
  • February 11: Metro now offers customer services around the clock. After statewide transportation funding was cut in 1999, Metro had to reduce the hours of operation for Rider Information but the goal was to get back to the 24/7 service as soon as it was possible. A flexible staffing plan was approved that allows some specialists to telecommute so that all shifts can be covered without the need for additional employees.
  • April 5: Metro Transit earns national Clean Air Excellence Award. EPA recognizes Hybrid Buses for delivering reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • May 15: King County joins Chicago Climate Exchange to become first county and the first major bus transit agency in the United States to join innovative market for reducing global warming pollution.


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Updated: Jun. 21, 2006