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King County Metro to pause bus service Nov. 23 in remembrance of transit operator Mark McLaughlin

Summary

King County Metro will briefly pause all bus service at 3:20 p.m., Friday, Nov. 23, for a moment of reflection and remembrance to honor the memory of transit operator Mark McLaughlin.

Story

Mark-McLaughlin 

Hundreds of Metro and Sound Transit buses will be in service at that time, and the majority will pull over and stop for a brief moment of reflection in honor of Mr. McLaughlin, who was killed in the line of duty Nov. 27, 1998, while driving Route 359. He was shot and his bus plunged from the Aurora Bridge at 3:20 p.m. One other passenger died, the shooter took his own life and 32 passengers were injured.


“We will always remember Mark McLaughlin’s commitment to public service and the tragedy of how he was taken from us in the line of duty,” said King County Metro General Manager Rob Gannon. “We’re honoring his memory and reflecting on his life and the challenging work our operators engage in each and every day to carry the public safely to their destinations. Together, the Metro family of 5,000 employees invite everyone to join us as we briefly pull our buses to the curb for a solemn moment of remembrance.”

 

McLaughlin was 44 when he was killed. He joined Metro in 1979 and was a transit operator for 19 years. Coworkers called him a simple, humble man, a gentle giant who was known for handing out bubblegum to his passengers.

 

“I was a recent part-time driver when Mark McLaughlin lost his life in a senseless tragedy 20 years ago,” said Ken Price, President of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587. “He was known as a kind, teddy bear type of guy, who loved giving bubble gum to his passengers and driving a bus. His portrait now hangs in my office as a daily reminder that we can never back away from our efforts in keeping our Bus Operators safe. The loss of our Brother Mark is still hard to accept, even 20 years later. So, I hope that we all stop and remember our Brother and how he lost his life by just going to work and doing his job.”

 

Buses participating in the moment of remembrance will stop only where and when it is safe to do so. Buses will not pause service if they are traveling on highways, in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel or on roadways where there is no place to safely pull over.

 

Metro will notify riders via transit alerts and on-board announcements in the days leading up to the moment of remembrance. In publicizing in advance our intent to pause service, Metro also extends its appreciation to riders for respecting and supporting these efforts and give our assurance that transit service will quickly restart at the conclusion of the moment of remembrance.

 

Reduced weekday schedules

Metro will operate holiday service Thursday, Nov. 22, and reduced weekday service on Friday, Nov. 23, and some commuter and school-oriented trips will not operate – including reduced service to the University of Washington due to canceled classes. See details online and in printed timetables. Metro offices, including the Customer Information phone line at 206-553-3000 and Lost and Found and Pass Sales counters, will be closed Nov. 22 and 23 and will reopen Monday, Nov. 26.

 

Many routes will have no changes on these dates. With funding provided by the Seattle Transportation Benefit District, regular bus service is provided on about three dozen routes within the City of Seattle that were previously reduced during holiday periods. If the route is not listed below, it has no changes when reduced weekday service is in effect.

 

  • Routes with all weekday trips cancelled due to “Reduced Weekday” schedule: 201, 237, 304, 308, 316, 330, 355, 661, 930
  • Routes with fewer trips during reduced weekday schedule operation (Identified in customer timetables with an "H"): 101, 102, 111, 114, 120, 121, 122, 123, 125, 143, 157, 168, 169, 177, 179, 180, 186, 187, 192, 212, 214, 216, 218, 219, 232, 243, 244, 249, 252, 255, 257, 269, 303, 311, 312, 342, 907, 931
  • Routes with designated trips canceled when the UW is not in session (Identified in timetables): 31, 32, 73, 75, 167, 197, 271, 277, 331, 372, 373

 

QUOTES

“We will always remember Mark McLaughlin’s commitment to public service and the tragedy of how he was taken from us in the line of duty. We’re honoring his memory and reflecting on his life and the challenging work our operators engage in each and every day to carry the public safely to their destinations. Together, the Metro family of 5,000 employees invite everyone to join us as we briefly pull our buses to the curb for a solemn moment of remembrance.”

– King County Metro General Manager Rob Gannon

 

“I was a recent part-time driver when Mark McLaughlin lost his life in a senseless tragedy 20 years ago. He was known as a kind, teddy bear type of guy, who loved giving bubble gum to his passengers and driving a bus. His portrait now hangs in my office as a daily reminder that we can never back away from our efforts in keeping our Bus Operators safe. The loss of our Brother Mark is still hard to accept, even 20 years later. So, I hope that we all stop and remember our Brother and how he lost his life by just going to work and doing his job.”

  • Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587 President Ken Price