King County voters approve creation of Metro Transit on September 19, 1972.

  • By Walt Crowley
  • Posted 1/01/2000
  • Essay 1998
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On September 19, 1972, King County voters approve a 0.3 percent sales tax to fund a county-wide bus system operated by Metro (the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle). Seattle voters simultaneously reject the second COMET (Committee for Modernization of Electric Transit) initiative to convert all city buses to electric trolleys operated by City Light.

King County voters had rejected Metro transit plans in 1958, 1962, 1968, and 1970. The new all-bus plan was precipitated by the impending bankruptcy of the Seattle Transit System and several private suburban bus systems. The new Metro Transit system entered operation on January 1, 1973.

In 1993, the Metro system was absorbed by King County.

Previously, in 1964, Seattle voters had rejected the first COMET initiative to fully electrify the city transit system.


Walt Crowley, Routes: An Interpretive History of Public Transportation in Metropolitan King County (Seattle: Metro Transit, 1993).

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