King County Metro makes progress returning buses with fixed steering issues to service

Jan. 13, 2023
More than 70 percent of the 208 buses pulled for steering column replacement have returned to service.

King County Metro has returned nearly two-thirds of buses to service that were pulled in December to replace their steering column.

Two of the agency’s bus operators reported loose steering on vehicles late last year. King County Metro identified 126 buses with steering issues, which resulted in those vehicles being pulled from service on Dec. 6. Later in the month, a recall was issued for certain 35-foot, 40-foot and 60-foot New Flyer of America, Inc., transit buses due to a loose steering shaft that could cause a loss of steering. King County Metro expanded its review to all New Flyer buses in its fleet and determined 208 required steering column replacements.

The agency credits guidance and replacement parts provided by New Flyer, as well as its vehicle maintenance staff’s efforts with returning 147 of the pulled buses to service as of Jan. 12. There are still 61 waiting repairs.

“While we continue to operate about 94 percent of our scheduled service, some bus routes and trips remain temporarily suspended due to limited fleet and operator availability at some of our bases,” the agency noted in a blog post. “We expect that service levels will continue to improve as we repair our fleet and safely return more coaches to the road.”

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.