01/03/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/03/2018 18:16
Transit riders loading the 45 bus in Greenwood.
What's our secret?
Since there's no room to build more roads, we've tried something else: prioritize our near and long-term efforts to move more people, more efficiently. Together with our partners, King County Metro, we're making changes, big and small, prioritizing transit to help improve the system, adding up to some big results.
Transit riders on 3rd Ave.
270,000 annual service hours added - equivalent to 61 buses running 12 hours per day, 365 days a year.
3rd Avenue: Permanent downtown transit spine since 2005.
Seattle Transportation Benefit District (STBD) : Voter approved in 2014, invests close to $50 million a year to increase bus reliability and add more trips throughout the city:
Red bus-only lane on Spring St.
Since 2008, we improved the safety and efficiency of city transit thru street and sidewalk improvements, funded by the voter approved Levy to Move Seattle and the Bridging the Gap Levy before it, and King County Metro.
Improvements include (just a sample):
The result = more people taking transit.
From 2000 to 2016, we saw big changes in travel to downtown Seattle - modes like transit, walking, biking, and rideshare jumped from 50% to 70% of trips. Most of this growth is thanks to transit, which increased from 29% to 47% of trips. But that's not all. During this same time, drive-alone trips decreased from 50% to 30%. Now that's success!
How transit is rolling now.
From June 2015 to June 2017:
Improvements to all-day bus service:
Access to frequent transit:
Our Youth ORCA Program distributes ORCA cards to high school and middle school students enrolled in Seattle Public Schools whose households are income-eligible. For the 2016-17 school year, the Youth ORCA Program distributed cards to 2,538 high school students and 142 middle school students, for a total of 2,680 cards.
The ORCA LIFT Program provides up to a 50% discount on fares for income-qualified riders.
While the we don't run the buses or light rail trains, we do invest directly in transit service and work closely with King County Metro, Sound Transit, and other transit providers on major service and infrastructure changes within the city limits. We also enhance transit by updating the Transit Master Plan, owning the Seattle Streetcar lines and making transit corridor improvements funded by the Levy to Move Seattle. We may not be a traditional transit agency, but we embrace the transit system as if we were, and the results are clear.