City Light & King County Announce Opening of New Electric Bus Charging Base

On Wednesday, March 30, Seattle City Light joined King County Metro and the City of Tukwila to celebrate the opening of the Metro Transit South Base charging facility for Metro’s new fleet of all-electric buses. The facility supports efforts to provide accessible electrified public transit for south King County communities and reduce air and noise pollution throughout the region.

City of Seattle, King County & Tukwila Officials at South Base facility

King County Metro has committed to transitioning its entire fleet to zero-emission vehicles by 2035. To support this deployment, Metro and City Light partnered on a project to build out a new charging facility at the South Base campus. In addition to providing power for the new site, City Light collaborated with King County on the design, testing, and commissioning to support South Base’s operations as it moves to an all-electric fleet.

King County Metro Battery Electric Bus
King County Metro’s new battery-electric bus being charged at the South Base campus

The South Base site is approximately 52,000 square feet and includes chargers that can charge up to nine buses simultaneously. The chargers generate enough electricity to power up to 192 homes. This year, King County Metro expects to launch 40 battery-electric buses that will serve routes in the diverse,  communities of south King County that rely on transit. These low-income communities and communities of color are priority focus areas for City Light in its Transportation Electrification Strategic Investment Plan (TESIP).

“Transportation electrification is an integral part of City Light’s modernization plan,” said Debra Smith, General Manager/CEO of Seattle City Light. “This strategic partnership with King County Metro helps prioritize public transportation electrification to deliver a triple win for our communities, the environment and the utility.”

City Light's Emeka Anyanwu at King County Metro Bus Event
City Light’s Emeka Anyanwu gives remarks at the opening of new South Base charging facility

The new charging facility, and partnership with Metro, is one of many investments City Light has prioritized in the TESIP. The utility continues to partner with regional agencies, local communities, and private companies to implement innovative electrification projects and offerings in environmental justice communities.

The transportation sector is changing as buses, ferries, freight trucks, fleets and personal vehicles and bikes continue to shift to electricity for fuel rather than gasoline and diesel. City Light is committed to supporting those efforts to meet the demands of our customers today and tomorrow. 

To learn more about City Light’s Transportation Electrification Strategy, please visit seattle.gov/city-light/energy-and-environment/future-of-energy/transportation-electrification.

Information about King County Metro’s charging facility is available at kingcounty.gov/elected/executive/constantine/news/release/2022/March/30-Battery-Electric-Bus-Base.aspx.