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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


King County Metro named the best large transit system in North America

Summary

The nation’s foremost transit association named King County Metro the best large transit system in North America, citing achievements in ridership, safety, innovation, equity, and sustainability over the past three years.

Story

King County Metro was named the best large transit system in North America by the nation’s leading public transit advocacy organization, citing achievements in ridership, safety, access, customer service, financial management, commitment to equity, and sustainability.

The American Public Transportation Association judged King County Metro’s performance over the past three years, when the agency significantly increased ridership, launched the nation’s leading reduced-fare program for passengers who earn a lower income, improved passenger and operator safety, and accelerated the industry’s transition to zero-emission bus fleets.

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Metro General Manager Rob Gannon will receive the Outstanding Public Transportation System of the Year award at the association’s national conference in Nashville on Sept. 25. Executive Constantine will host a local celebration in early September to thank Metro employees, partners, and passengers.

“To our talented Metro employees, our steadfast partners, and our loyal customers: Thank you for helping us bring this prestigious award to King County,” said Executive Constantine. “This is an honor we share with the community we serve and an outstanding example of the progress we are making to create the nation’s best-run government for the people of King County.”

“Being named best in North America is a truly humbling and gratifying moment,” said King County Metro General Manager Rob Gannon. “This award goes to each one of the 4,700 employees at King County Metro, in honor of the hard work and amazing customer service they provide every day. Thanks to them, we keep our region growing, economy thriving, and connect people with opportunity. Thanks to continued public support, ridership is stronger than ever and leading the nation.”

The Washington, D.C.-based American Public Transportation Association, or APTA, represents more than 300 transit agencies in the United States and Canada.

“It is my honor to congratulate King County Metro for winning the 2018 Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award,” said APTA President & CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “King County Metro has contributed greatly to advancing public transportation in the Greater Seattle area. As a recognized leader in public transit excellence, the employees of King County Metro and the community it serves should be very proud.”

The judges considered 12 qualitative measurements that covered the previous three years:

  • Safety: Enhanced safety measures
  • Operations: Efficiencies in operating procedures
  • Maintenance: Basic reporting of maintenance measurements, new maintenance initiative, preventative programs, and improved performance on efficiencies of existing maintenance procedures
  • Access: Travel training; customer information; demonstrated outreach to community beyond the American with Disabilities Act prescribed areas; and specific partnership with other municipalities and other community organizations
  • Customer Service: Methods of providing additional value and service to riders, including the utilization of customer complaints
  • Financial Management: Effective financial controls and successful audits
  • Sustainability: Initiatives to increase sustainability of your organization and your community
  • Workforce Development: Well-trained workforce to meet the needs of the future
  • Attendance and Employee Costs: Containing costs and improving absentee rates
  • Minority and Women Advancement: Encouraging and promoting diversity
  • Marketing: Developing effective marking tools to retain and attract riders
  • Community Relations: Promoting positive community relations and contributing to a more livable communities

The association previously named King County Metro the best large transit agency in North America in 1983 and 1992.

The award comes weeks after authors of a comprehensive study on the health, economic, and environmental benefits of electric buses encouraged other metropolitan regions to follow King County’s lead to accelerate the transition to all-electric bus fleets nationwide.

Other metropolitan regions are studying King County Metro’s successful reduced-fare program for passengers who earn a lower income, ORCA LIFT, which Executive Constantine launched in 2015. King County Metro also was featured in a recent report, “Inclusive Transit: Advancing Equity Through Improved Access and Opportunity,” as a model for inclusive transit policies and employment practices.

King County Metro provided an all-time high 122 million trips in 2017 on more than 200 bus routes. It also provided nearly 1 million trips on its Access paratransit service for people who have limited mobility options.

The greater Seattle area continues to lead the nation in transit ridership growth. At the direction of Executive Constantine – who is also a member of the Sound Transit Board of Directors – planners at King County Metro and Sound Transit have better aligned services to meet the growing demand.


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Quotes

To our talented Metro employees, our steadfast partners, and our loyal customers: Thank you for helping us bring this prestigious award to King County. This is an honor we share with the community we serve, and an outstanding example of the progress we are making to create the nation’s best-run government for the people of King County.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

Being named best in North America is a truly humbling and gratifying moment. This award goes to each one of the 4,700 employees at King County Metro, in honor of the hard work and amazing customer service they provide every day. Thanks to them, we keep our region growing, economy thriving, and connect people with opportunity. Thanks to continued public support, ridership is stronger than ever and leading the nation.

Rob Gannon, General Manager of King County Metro

It is my honor to congratulate King County Metro for winning the 2018 Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award. King County Metro has contributed greatly to advancing public transportation in the Greater Seattle area. As a recognized leader in public transit excellence, the employees of King County Metro and the community it serves should be very proud.

Paul Skoutelas, President and CEO of the American Public Transportation Association

For more information, contact:

Chad Lewis, Executive Office, 206-263-1250


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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