We’re proud to announce our 2023 inductees into the Transportation Choices Hall of Fame! This year’s awardees represent a diverse group of individuals, programs, and organizations that are helping to create sustainable and equitable transportation systems that serve ALL people regardless of age, ability, income, or race.
This year we are recognizing the following inspiring transportation champions from across our state:
Keep scrolling to read more about our inductees!
Senator Rebecca Saldaña
Senator Saldaña has been a champion of progressive transportation issues over her ten years in the Washington State Senate, where she has spearheaded legislative efforts to increase equity for historically oppressed communities. She was key in passing Move Ahead Washington in 2022, and in ensuring that it included a people-centered approach through programs like the Tribal Mobility Grant and Connecting Communities Grant. As Vice-Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, she has championed progressive investments in vital bike and pedestrian infrastructure and fought to include climate-friendly policies in previous transportation investment packages. She is also the co-sponsor of the Free to Walk WA bill, which aims to reduce inequities in the enforcement of jaywalking. Before elected office, Saldaña was a union organizer, a community liaison for Representative Jim McDermott, and the Executive Director of Puget Sound Sage.
Downtown On the Go
Downtown On the Go offers services, resources, and programs for commuters, businesses, and residents in the greater Tacoma community, while advocating for policies that make it easier and more equitable for everyone to get around without a car. They work tirelessly to educate elected officials on local transit, bike, pedestrian, and accessibility issues. In 2019, they championed a Vision Zero resolution at the City of Tacoma and worked with Pierce County in 2020 to do the same. They are community-oriented and help with the annual Park(ing) Day locally to fill parking spaces with fun activities, and they host regular Friday Forums on critical transportation issues. Downtown on the Go was instrumental in facilitating the delivery of the Hilltop Link Extension with Sound Transit and helped organize the ballot campaigns for ST2 and ST3. Downtown on the Go was started in 2009 as a program of the Chamber of Commerce, Pierce Transit, and the City of Tacoma.
People For People
People For People has provided rural lifeline transportation services in central Washington for over 40 years, particularly supporting the region’s seniors and people with disabilities. With both door-to-door and fixed route services offered at no fare, People For People provides essential connections for their riders, whether for connecting to social and health services, to the airport, to school, or to community events. People For People is also a connector in other ways, partnering with transportation, health, and social services agencies across the region to maximize services. During COVID, People For People continued to provide lifeline services, gaining Federal Transit Administration approval to deliver food, prescriptions, and other essential needs. More than just a transit organization, People For People is an essential part of the community fabric in the central Washington region.
Sound Transit Fare Ambassadors
The Sound Transit Board approved a pilot project in 2021 with the goal of preventing the inequitable impacts of unpaid fines and contact with the court system from fare enforcement. This new Fare Ambassador program has been responsive to community feedback, has reduced punitive measures, and has placed more emphasis on connecting folks with the resources they need. Fare Ambassadors are frontline workers who not only serve as a way of ensuring compliance with fare policy but also serve to help passengers navigate the Link light rail system. They are deployed during service disruptions, help refer people to vital resources, and in some cases, have been first responders. A fully funded Fare Ambassador program is an essential investment in riders, creates good local jobs with excellent equity training opportunities, and perhaps most importantly, puts friendly agency faces on the system every day, which has positively impacted rider experience.