Access electric vehicles
Transitioning to a zero-emissions paratransit fleet
At Metro, sustainability means innovating our transit system for healthier communities while meeting the mobility needs of our region. As outlined in King County Council’s Strategic Climate Action Plan (SCAP), Metro has proudly committed to electrifying at least two-thirds of our Access paratransit fleet—that’s over 250 vehicles—no later than 2030.
The conversion of 250 Access paratransit vehicles from gas-powered to electric will assist King County in reaching its Strategic Climate Action Plan goals to reduce green-house gas emissions. An electric fleet benefits the community, riders, and employees through improved air quality. Furthermore, the program aligns with broader King County equity and social justice goals by reducing the negative environmental impacts in communities where our services operate.
A pilot fleet of Access electric vehicles will debut in fall 2022. Through a series of community engagement opportunities—including two surveys—we will ask for rider feedback on vehicle design and pilot experiences. This feedback will inform the purchase of future Access electric vehicles as we build up to a paratransit fleet totaling over 250.
What is the current mileage range for battery-electric Access vehicles?
The current range for commercial vehicles suitable for Access paratransit is around 80 miles. We anticipate this figure to rise in the coming years as more battery-electric commercial vehicles become available and technology advances.
How is Metro building the necessary infrastructure for electric Access vehicles?
Metro is building our electric vehicle capacity in steps. With the launch of this pilot, we aim to convert all our operations on Vashon Island to electric by 2023. We’ll continue to slowly expand the pilot and test different vehicle types as we introduce a select number of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) to the rest of our operation. Meanwhile, Metro’s Mobility Division will be engaging community partners and stakeholders to help us plan for the redevelopment of our South Park operations base. Once completed, this will become the Mobility Divisions first all-electric operations base.
Will community have input on the new electric vehicle designs?
Starting in spring 2022, Access riders will have the opportunity to provide feedback on vehicle features for our new electric fleet. Through two surveys, we be seeking input on which features to prioritize and consider as a final electric paratransit vehicle type and manufacturer are identified.
King County Council passes county's Strategic Climate Action Plan
Goal: Make two-thirds of Access fleet zero-emission by 2030
Gather customer input
Initial planning for South Park operations base renovation
Metro launches 4 vehicle pilot of first battery-electric Access paratransit vehicle
Add more vehicles to pilot
Gather more customer input
Planning/Funding for South Park operations base
Make battery-electric vehicle selection for 1st order
Add more vehicles to pilot
Execute 1st battery-electric vehicle order
Contract issued–renovation of South Park operations base begins
Purchase 2nd base property
Renovation of South Park operations base complete–Electric Vehicle base opens
Execute 2nd battery-electric vehicle order
Metro receives first order of 40+ battery-electric vehicles
Continue to execute and receive battery-electric vehicle orders
Renovate 2nd base property
We need community feedback
Help us design Access’ new zero-emissions fleet! Complete our two rider surveys during the feedback windows and your vision could come to life on the road as future Access vehicles.
This pilot program will begin in 2022. A trial group of Access electric vehicles will be selected by Metro, informed by rider survey results from spring 2022.
Towards the conclusion of our pilot in 2023, Metro will request survey feedback once again from Access riders, reviewing their experiences with our pilot vehicles. All survey results will be compiled and used— along with other community engagement feedback—to help determine Access’ final electric fleet.
- Access Newsletter (PDF)
- Learn more about Metro's accessible services
- Environmental sustainability at Metro
- King County’s Strategic Climate Action Plan (SCAP)
- Battery-Electric Bus Implementation Report (PDF)
- Metro is transitioning to a zero-emissions bus fleet (PDF)
- Metro’s report on Feasibility of Achieving a Carbon-Neutral or Zero-Emissions Fleet (PDF)
- Operational Capacity Growth Report (PDF)
- South King County base
- With some all-electric buses, Metro Transit rides into the future
(Seattle Times op-ed by Rob Gannon, Metro's General Manager)