Foundry’s CIO, a national publication that focuses on the use of technology in business, is recognizing a King County Metro program that is the first of its kind in North America. Software measuring the effectiveness of the infrastructure that powers our battery-electric bus fleet received the CIO 100 award from the publication.

Working together, the King County Department of Information Technology (KCIT) and Metro developed a prototype for a software to manage fleet charging based on real-world performance data and route scheduling needs. Once the software is developed and deployed, transit managers now can see how charging stations and buses perform given real-world variables, information county teams use to make strategic purchasing decisions, improve operations, and scale up to a full fleet of battery-electric vehicles.

The ZE (zero-emissions) Change Management Technology combines public transit operations data (such as routes and scheduling) with EV charging and battery-use data, as well as external variables that can impact performance. King County will be able to show where errors originate, how well our fleet is performing, and validate modeling with real-world performance in near real-time.

“The CIO 100 Award recognizes the collaborative approach Metro and KCIT has in place as we continue our transition to a zero-emission future,” said Metro General Manager Michelle Allison. “Metro knew what we needed to develop the infrastructure to support our battery-electric bus fleet and KCIT worked with us in adapting the technology. The result is a prototype system that we envision becoming an industry-leading example for technology supporting battery-electric buses.”

The annual CIO 100 Awards celebrate 100 organizations and the teams within them that are using IT in innovative ways to deliver business value—whether by creating competitive advantage, optimizing business processes, enabling growth or improving relationships with customers. The award is an acknowledged mark of enterprise excellence.

“This year’s class of award winners have distinguished themselves with many groundbreaking projects using AI, quantum computing, facial recognition, analytics, and more,” said Anne McCrory, Group Vice President, Customer Experience and Operations, Events, at Foundry and the chair of the 2023 CIO awards programs. “Their innovations improve customer experiences, track sustainability and reduce risk, and have novel applications across industries, from pharma and health care to manufacturing, retail, software, and more.”

“This innovative data dashboard demonstrates how King County is leveraging technology to lead the way and become the nation’s best-run government,” said Megan Clarke, King County CIO and Director of Information Technology.

Last spring, the first of 40 next-generation battery-electric buses went into service, supported by a new charging base located in Tukwila. Initially, there was no software available to provide an “apples to apples” comparison of how the different systems supported the charging needs of the buses. Additionally, errors with chargers and coaches were difficult to track. This information is vital to Metro in the transition of our bus fleet and the construction of related charging facilities.

CIO will present the CIO 100 award to Metro at its CIO 100 Symposium & Awards event in August.