Best of the Month | Distributing free ORCA cards, announcing the expected West Seattle Bridge reopening schedule, celebrating Ride Transit Month, and more! 

A Ride with Pride King County Metro bus in Belltown. In addition to celebrating Pride throughout June, we continued working to improve public transit access and support riders in Seattle. Photo: SDOT

In case you missed it, we’re sharing highlights from the SDOT Blog each month. Here are some of our top blog posts from June. 


SDOT Blog Monthly Highlights – June 2022 

  1. Seattle Transit Measure | We are giving free, unlimited ORCA Recovery cards to people working in food service and grocery industries in Rainier Beach and Othello 
  1. Pending successful completion of remaining construction tasks, West Seattle Bridge will reopen in September 2022 
  1. We’ve been preparing for a potential major earthquake in the region. Here’s how YOU can get ready too. 
  1. Seattle by Bike: We’ve updated our bike guide with the latest information on bicycling around the city! 
  1. LEVY DOLLARS AT WORK | Celebrating more accessible, reliable transit, thanks to you and our many partners 

Please note: You can click on the headlines to go directly to any specific blog post (#1-5) – or just read on for a shorter recap of each post and a photo. 

1) Seattle Transit Measure | We are giving free, unlimited ORCA Recovery cards to people working in food service and grocery industries in Rainier Beach and Othello 

We announced we’re distributing free, unlimited ORCA Recovery Cards to up to 900 people working in the food service and grocery industries in the Rainier Beach and Othello neighborhoods. This is an expansion of the program we began last June, when we provided more than 1,600 cards to people working in these industries in Chinatown, Japantown, Little Saigon, and Pioneer Square. 

A person walks near a bus stop in Rainier Beach.

A person walks near a bus stop in Rainier Beach. Photo: SDOT 

The ORCA Recovery Card program focuses specifically on providing transit benefits to people who were disproportionately affected by COVID-19. We’re expanding the program because it’s been working so well. Last year, we found that the ORCA Recovery Cards both helped people save money on transportation and helped them take transit more. We’re excited to be able to keep supporting important community businesses with a program that also aligns with our equity and climate goals. 

The ORCA Recovery Card program is possible thanks to the 80 percent of Seattle voters who passed the Seattle Transit Measure in 2020. The Seattle Transit Measure provides better transit service and access in Seattle through a 0.15% sales tax (the equivalent of 15 cents on a $100 purchase). Thank you, Seattle, for directly supporting transit access and COVID recovery in your community!  

Equity is one of SDOT's core values and goals, and a top priority.

Equity is one of SDOT’s core values and goals, and a top priority. Graphic: SDOT. 

2) Pending successful completion of remaining construction tasks, West Seattle Bridge will reopen in September 2022 

We made another big announcement last month: the West Seattle Bridge is scheduled to reopen as soon as the week of September 12, 2022. 

The West Seattle Bridge, seen with downtown Seattle in the background, is expected to reopen this September.

The West Seattle Bridge, seen with downtown Seattle in the background, is expected to reopen this September. Photo credit: SDOT 

The West Seattle Bridge, a 40-year-old structure linking West Seattle to the rest of the city across the Duwamish Waterway, closed in March 2020 when bridge inspectors found cracks growing rapidly in the concrete. We immediately completed emergency repairs to prevent further cracking and keep the public safe. In 2021, we designed and began implementing final repairs to strengthen the bridge to safely withstand the weight and stress of daily traffic. On May 26 of this year, crews finished pouring structural concrete for the rebuilt bridge. 

Though remaining repairs for completion of this project require challenging and complex work, we’re excited to have announced an anticipated reopening date last month. We will continue to provide ongoing construction updates and notify the public if the schedule changes. 

3) We’ve been preparing for a potential major earthquake in the region. Here’s how YOU can get ready too. 

On Tuesday, June 14, we participated in a full day of emergency training as part of the region-wide Cascadia Rising exercise. The exercise was an opportunity to simulate how our region, including our team at SDOT and the City of Seattle, would respond in the event of a major earthquake. 

An SDOT staff member monitors live traffic conditions on Seattle streets.

An SDOT staff member monitors live traffic conditions on Seattle streets. Photo credit: Ching Chan

 The exercises included the activation of our Department Operations Center, where our team of transportation subject matter experts (aka our Incident Management Team) put to practice the City’s emergency response scenario. Teams throughout SDOT, along with other City departments, trained through exercises to ensure clear roles and responsibilities and practice how we would coordinate in a real earthquake disaster situation. Our communications team also conducted trainings on publishing real-time public information via the media, our SDOT Blog, our Twitter account, and other channels. 

The City of Seattle offers many resources on how to prepare yourself, your family, your home, and your local neighborhood for a range of potential natural disasters and emergencies, including a large-scale earthquake. Please visit the Seattle Office of Emergency Management’s website for helpful information. 

4) Seattle by Bike: We’ve updated our bike guide with the latest information on bicycling around the city! 

We released our updated, refreshed 2022 bike guide to help new and experienced cyclists prepare themselves to travel safely and efficiently through the city.   

Two people bike in the protected bike lane on 4th Avenue in downtown Seattle.

Two people bike in the protected bike lane on 4th Avenue in downtown Seattle. Photo credit: SDOT 

In 2014, we published a bike guide detailing how to get around Seattle by bike. Our new bike guide reflects the major bicycle infrastructure investments we’ve made since that time to help strengthen Seattle’s bicycle network. The guide also includes safety information, repair instructions, lists of local biking resources, up-to-date bike maps, and much more! 

We also shared a comprehensive roundup of Seattle biking resources last month in this blog

5) LEVY DOLLARS AT WORK | Celebrating more accessible, reliable transit, thanks to you and our many partners 

Finally, June was Ride Transit Month! We celebrated all the transit improvements we’ve been able to make thanks to the Levy to Move Seattle and the Seattle Transit Measure

New yellow tuff posts serve as a barrier between the First Hill Streetcar and vehicle traffic on the First Hill Streetcar line.

New yellow tuff posts serve as a barrier between the First Hill Streetcar and vehicle traffic on the First Hill Streetcar line. Photo Credit: SDOT. 

This blog post highlighted some of the recent transit improvements we’ve completed, including: 

We have more improvements in store for the future, too. Expanding mobility by enhancing transit is one of our top priorities. As we continue to make Seattle transit safer and more accessible, reliable, and affordable, every month can be Ride Transit Month! 

Mobility is one of SDOT’s six key values and goals.

Mobility is one of SDOT’s six key values and goals. Graphic: SDOT 

The Seattle Transportation Plan.

Help us imagine the future of transportation in Seattle – visit our Seattle Transportation Plan online hub today! Graphic Credit: SDOT