King County Executive Dow Constantine will nominate Michelle Allison to be the next General Manager of King County Metro. General Manager Terry White will retire at the end of this year after more than 35 years at Metro.


King County Executive Dow Constantine today announced the retirement of King County Metro General Manager Terry White, and the nomination of Metro Deputy General Manager Michelle Allison to lead the agency after White’s retirement at the end of the year. White joined Metro in 1987 as a customer service specialist and held 13 positions prior to becoming General Manager.

“On behalf of the people of King County, I want to thank Terry White for over 35 years of exemplary service, and especially for leading Metro through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” said Executive Constantine. “When Terry was Deputy General Manager, Metro was awarded Best Large Transit Agency in North America. Then, as General Manager, he pushed the agency to lead the world in safety, equity, and sustainability.”

In 2022, Metro was recognized by the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) as the country’s most equitable transit agency in tackling climate change. The agency also hosted the flagship conference of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and introduced transportation leaders from across North America to its brand-new bus-to-rail connections, innovative on-demand services, and next-generation battery-electric buses.

“A lifelong Seattleite, Terry often shared stories from his childhood of how he and his disabled mother counted on Metro to get them everywhere. He dedicated his entire career to helping build the world-class transit agency that millions can count on, with particular attention to the needs of transit dependent communities.”

“It has been an honor to serve our region and to lead our incredibly committed and skilled Metro employees,” said White. “In recent years, I am most proud of our work alongside community members to embed equity and sustainability into Metro’s long-term, strategic planning. The successes of my life and my career are testament to the life-changing potential of transit. Metro has an even brighter future ahead of it and I look forward to seeing it continue to unfold.”

Allison’s appointment is subject to the approval of the King County Council. Allison joined King County 12 years ago and Metro six years ago. As the agency’s second-in-command, she currently oversees Bus Operations, Facilities, Vehicle Maintenance, Marine, and Rail Divisions.

“I’m excited to announce that Michelle Allison has agreed to take the wheel as the new General Manager of King County Metro, continuing Terry’s work of expanding opportunity through our innovative, integrated transit network,” said Constantine. “Currently serving as Metro’s Deputy General Manager and previously as its Chief of Staff, Michelle combines deep knowledge of our agency, tremendous care for our employees, and a demonstrated commitment to working with community members to co-create a brighter future.”

“It’s a great honor to be chosen to lead an agency that is the beneficiary of a supportive region, talented employees, and a true community of riders,” said Allison. “I’m looking forward to further strengthening those relationships as together we ensure transit is everyone’s first choice for getting where they need to go. Meeting our vision of safe, equitable, and sustainable transit demands that we build a workforce that fully represents the communities we serve, and that we work hand-in-hand with riders and neighborhoods to meet their needs.”

Ernest Kandilige will serve as Interim Deputy General Manager while a national recruitment is conducted. As Metro’s Assistant General Manager of Finance and Administration, Ernest has helped secure Metro’s financial stability during the pandemic and led continuous improvement efforts and the department-wide budget process. Before joining Metro, Ernest served as Senior Continuous Improvement Manager for King County’s Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget and has many years of experience in the private sector.

About King County Metro

King County Metro is the country’s eighth-largest transit agency and delivers more than 230,000 daily rides. The agency provides bus, on-demand, paratransit, vanpool, and water taxi services, and operates Seattle Streetcar, Sound Transit Link light rail, and Sound Transit Express bus service.

This media release was originally posted to King County Executive’s News.