The pause, which is scheduled for 4:04 p.m. and is to last up to 50 seconds, will serve as a moment of reflection and remembrance to honor the birthday of civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

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For about one minute Monday afternoon, nearly 1,000 King County Metro and Sound Transit buses will pull over and come to a halt.

The pause, which is scheduled for 4:04 p.m., and is to last up to 50 seconds, will serve as a moment of reflection and remembrance to honor the birthday of civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

This year marks 50 years since his assassination on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn. King’s birthday, Jan. 15, 1929, has been recognized as a federal holiday since 1986.

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Drivers of the approximately 975 Metro and Metro-operated Sound Transit buses in service Monday afternoon will determine where and when to safely stop. Bus drivers will not pause if they are traveling on highways, in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel or on roadways without a safe place to pull over.

Metro will alert passengers of the pause through transit notifications and on-board announcements.

Riders are invited to participate in any fashion they choose, but Metro encourages individuals to use the moment to reflect on their own role in how to improve the community, Metro spokesman Jeff Switzer said.

In 2005, then-Gov. Christine Gregoire signed a bill to formally rename King County in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., after two decades of advocates pushing the change. A logo replacement followed in 2007. The county was originally named after William Rufus DeVane King, a former U.S. vice president who died in 1853. William King also owned a plantation, King’s Bend, in Alabama.

During his life, Martin Luther King Jr. urged President John F. Kennedy to take up civil rights issues, delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech and won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Seattle Times created a web page in tribute to his life and legacy.

Several organizations in Seattle will host activities to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee will host the largest event at Garfield High School Monday.

Metro services will be conducted at a reduced rate Monday, and some routes – including service to the University of Washington – will not operate.