With guidance and replacement parts supplied by bus manufacturer New Flyer, King County Metro has repaired and restored dozens of buses that were sidelined in December when a steering issue was identified. We appreciate the patience and support of riders as we focus on addressing this safety issue.
On the recommendation of New Flyer, which issued a recall notice of affected coaches, Metro expanded review of the steering column inspections to all New Flyer coaches and identified additional buses to repair. Building on initial guidance from the manufacturer, Metro has implemented a new enhanced inspection process to identify any additional buses in need of total steering column replacement moving forward. Based on current estimates and access to available parts, work on the initial set of coaches requiring a steering column replacement is expected to continue through the end of February unless New Flyer experiences a supply chain delay.
Our vehicle maintenance staff are leading the repairs after two bus operators identified loose steering late last year. Crews also are repairing buses damaged during recent winter storms.
While we continue to operate about 94% of our scheduled service, some bus routes and trips remain temporarily suspended due to limited fleet and operator availability at some of our bases. We provide online updates and real-time text message and trip planning tools to help you continue to ride with confidence, and alternatives for temporarily suspended bus routes.
We expect that service levels will continue to improve as we repair our fleet and safely return more coaches to the road.
By the numbers (as of Jan. 12)
- 126: Metro initially identified 126 buses with steering issues and pulled them from service Dec. 6.
- 1,082: Metro expanded its review to all of our 1,082 New Flyer buses to identify any other potential repairs.
- 208: After review, Metro updated its list to 208 total buses needing steering column replacement. (A new inspection process will regularly assess over time which buses will need a steering column replacement, and this number will fluctuate over the life of our fleet).
- 147: Coaches returned to service as of Jan. 10.
- 61: Metro currently has 61 buses awaiting steering column repairs as of Jan. 10.