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King County starts construction on $115M electric bus charging station

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(The Center Square) – King County has begun construction on a $115 million project that will create a 100% electric bus base for King County Metro.

The charging base is the next step for the county in reaching its goal of having the King County Metro Department’s entire bus fleet produce zero emissions by 2035.

The base will be 544,000-square-feet and include maintenance facilities and charging infrastructure for 120 battery-electric buses that are scheduled to begin service in 2026.

The base will be located south of the Tukwila test charging facility that is used to charge the 40 long-range battery-electric buses that have been in service since 2022.

The 2023-2024 King County budget dedicates $180.5 million for the purchase of 120 more battery-electric buses in 2024. The county funded $26.5 million for the test charging station.

“The future of transit is electric, and today we’re building Metro’s infrastructure to deliver the bus network of tomorrow,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a news release. “A new 100% electric base for 120 new zero-emission buses will help us combat carbon emissions, push back against our changing climate, and support this new fleet for decades to come.”

Constantine, along with representatives from Tukwila, the Federal Transit Administration, and Seattle City Light broke ground on the charging base on Wednesday.

The buses that will operate out of the Tukwila charging base will serve South King County communities near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport that the county says “have disproportionately borne the brunt of the pollution generated by fossil fuels.”

“Electric buses mean better air quality for all King County residents, specifically those that live near the Metro bus facility in Tukwila,” said Tukwila Mayor Tom McLeod.