King County Metro Transit is counting down the days – and the passengers – until next Tuesday (3/31). That is the day Metro expects to welcome rider number 3 billion.
With an average of about 400,000 boardings each weekday, it would actually be impossible for Metro to pinpoint exactly which bus rider pushes the numbers over 3 billion. So they are inviting all Metro customers to participate in the celebration.
“We really want to thank our passengers,” said Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond. “Without them and their support over the years, Metro would not currently be one of the ten largest bus agencies in the United States and among the leaders nationally in ridership growth.”
To celebrate, Metro customers are invited to snap a photograph of themselves riding their favorite bus route to be included in a public photo gallery. People can also visit the Metro website to add their personalized electronic “footprint” illustrating how riding the bus can reduce carbon footprints. On 3/31 Metro staff will be greeting morning bus riders at select locations handing out “3 billion served” buttons.
Metro is estimating the timing of the 3 billionth boarding by counting all passenger trips since Jan. 1, 1973, when Metro Transit started. It includes data from buses, streetcars, electric trolleys, and special event service.