SDOT and our partners are celebrating our investments in Seattle’s transit system and we want to thank YOU, the riders who are using it. Whether you’re on a bus, light rail, train, ferry, vanpool, water taxi, or streetcar, enjoy the ride and know that you’re part of a great movement in Seattle!
As is probably clear from our changing skyline, Seattle is a growing city. Over the past 20 years we have gained 100,000 residents and 50,000 new jobs. Over the next 20 years, however, we expect a faster rate of change, anticipating 120,000 new residents and 115,000 jobs. In order to accommodate this growth, we are growing our transit system.
In 2014, Seattle voters approved the Seattle Transportation Benefit District (STBD) Proposition 1 to fund the purchase of increased Metro service and additional transit programs for Seattle residents. The STBD added:
- 270,000 annual service hours— the equivalent to 61 buses running 12 hrs. per day, 365 days a year
- Increased service on 85% of Seattle routes
- 37% more RapidRide hours serving 7,000 more daily riders
As of this investment, 51% of households are within walking distance to 10-minute or better service – more than 2/3 of the way to our Move Seattle 2025 goal of 72%. Additionally, STBD funds programs such as ORCA LIFT and Youth ORCA, which seek to reduce the cost burden associated with transportation and encourage more people to use transit. At the same time, our partners at King County Metro and Sound Transit have also been working to invest in growing the system, with the latter poised to expand over the next several decades via the passage of Sound Transit 3 last year.
Numbers from Commute Seattle’s Modeshare Study and our Commute Trip Reduction program show how the system is accommodating new residents and workers. From 2010-2016, downtown Seattle added approximately 45,000 jobs, but 95% of the gain in net commute trips was absorbed by non-drive alone modes. The transit mode share increased from 29% in 2000 to 47% in 2016, while the rate of those driving alone to downtown decreased from 50% to 30%. Transit is allowing the city to grow and also keep moving.So, if you’re a transit rider, thank you, and keep on riding! And check out Ride Transit Month celebrations around the city this month, including fun events and exciting prizes. Some lucky riders could win big. Stay tuned to http://www.ridetransitmonth.org/ for more information!