Meth transit: Washington state buses, trains show 100% detectible meth, up to 46% surface traces of fentanyl



Western Washington transit agencies promised to take steps to improve safety following a University of Washington report that found small traces of fentanyl and methamphetamine in the air and on surfaces of transit vehicles.

According to the report, out of 78 air samples collected by UW researchers, 25% had detectable fentanyl and 100% had detectable methamphetamine.

Out of 102 surface samples, 46% had detectable fentanyl and 98% had detectable methamphetamine.

Researchers collaborated with five transit agencies, which also provided funding: King County Metro, Sound Transit, Everett Transit and Community Transit in Snohomish County, and Tri-Met in the Portland metro area. 

Sound Transit said it is taking several steps to enhance safety and security, including enforcement of transit code of conduct, more frequent and enhanced cleaning protocols, and improved filtration on light rail vehicles.

In a statement, King County Metro said that the report’s findings reaffirmed its strategies are the right ones. Metro’s strategies include discouraging or preventing drug use on transit as the first step in reducing drug levels in the air and on surfaces. The department has 120 transit security officers, and is budgeted to grow to 140.

King County Metro recently upgraded ventilation on its transit vehicles, and its buses are outfitted with MERV-11 and MERV-13 filters, which are considered the best possible filtration available for transit vehicles and capable of filtering airborne viruses and drug smoke particulates. 

The agency said it is in the process of converting the remaining 448 buses from MERV-11 to MERV-13 filters in the coming weeks. Daily wipe-downs of high-touch areas and the driver’s area also will continue.

Community Transit, the public transit authority of Snohomish County, said it is⁠⁠ expanding the agency’s Transit Security Officer program. Officers work closely with others, including the Transit Police Unit, social workers, service ambassadors and field supervisors. 

The agency intends to upgrade air filters on its buses from MERV-7 to MERV-13 filters. Community Transit is working to complete installation of the new filters by the end of September. 

Everett Transit said it is prioritizing developing an early and coordinated response to discouraging the impacts of illegal substance use on its public transit. 


  1. Old news. Washington has it under control.


    In a bid to stop the scourge of illegal drugs the Washington State Legislature has authorized a 3.2% sales tax increase. The tax is will generate 1.4 billion dollars and will be used to provide zip lock bags to all bus passengers. Of the 1.4 billion, $293 will be used to purchase bags at a local Walmart and residual funds will be used to create a new state agency to increase proper drug storage on public transit awareness.

  2. I remember a time when Seattle was beautiful, reasonably safe, and a fun getaway from Juneau.

    That day is long, long, long gone.

    A few years ago I went to Seattle for medical care unavailable in Juneau. I was stunned at how much Seattle looked like a set from a zombie apocalypse movie.

  3. This the consequence when Humanists are our leaders. I doubt it’ll improve. They putting a lot of responsibility upon the workers who should been doing a thorough cleaning of the buses they drove along with regular wipe downs. People who work for their self without understanding they also serve God are’nt going to show anymore pride in their work than doing the minimal which is hard enough for them.

    • They now have an express lane at the border for the mules packin the goods as well as holes cut in the fence panels to make sure Hunter doesnt run low and get cranky again.
      Secret Service is having to double shift just to keep him from giving another laptop away.

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