King County Metro marks major milestone in bus electrification project
King County Metro has awarded the contract for the design and build of the electrification infrastructure needed for battery-electric buses.
Credit: King County Metro
King County Metro (Metro) has marked a major milestone toward making its bus fleet cleaner and greener, after announcing that it has awarded a $40 million contract for the design and build of the electrification infrastructure needed to charge and operate up to 120 battery-electric buses.
The Interim Base Electrification Project is estimated to cost a total of $67 million and is located just south of Metro’s current South Base facility in Tukwila. Metro recently built prefabricated buildings on its 543,900ft2 site with the intent of operating up to 120 battery-electric buses to serve riders in South King County.
“We look forward to working with the contractor team to deliver this important project and make progress on our region’s climate goals,” said King County Metro’s Capital Division Director, Diane Carlson.
Walsh-Stantec Progressive Design-Build Team was selected based on its combined score for its bid and proposal to achieve project goals. Design work is scheduled from December 2021 through to May 2023, and construction is scheduled to start in 2022 and be completed in 2025.
The contractor is required to meet a minimum Small Business Enterprise (SBE) goal of 13 per cent; however, the contractor team already has committed to a 30 per cent goal and has engaged several SBE firms.
King County Metro has targeted 2035 to have battery-electric buses operating from all of its bases, and it continues to move forward with planning and budgeting to accomplish that goal. The mid-biennial budget proposal includes $65.8 million in additional appropriation this biennium to accelerate electrification – including investments in charging infrastructure at bus bases, an Access paratransit vehicle electrification pilot and preliminary planning for the electrification of Water Taxi vessels.
Metro already has received the first three of 40 New Flyer battery-electric buses and is in the process of building its initial charging project in its South Base yard, capable of charging up to 40 buses. Additionally, 11 Proterra battery-electric buses operate in Bellevue and are charged at Eastgate Park and Ride and at Metro’s East Base. Future rounds of battery-electric bus purchases are planned in coming years.