A note from our Executive Director
In 2022 Transportation Choices won historic and transformational investments for transit and multimodal transportation across Washington. The Move Ahead Washington transportation package was the culmination of years of work by transit advocates, elected officials, and riders. The historic investment represents a fresh vision for a multimodal Washington and includes the resources needed to make it happen!
As part of Move Ahead Washington, we helped make transit free for the 1.4 million Washingtonians 18 and under with Youth Ride Free — a first-in-the-nation policy that alleviates household transportation costs and builds a new generation of transit riders.
We showed up in Cowlitz County and the Tri-Cities to support on-the-ground efforts to protect, defend, and enhance transit service, and we did it all with a focus on what really matters — relationships and results.
And we kept striving toward being “a great place to do great work” by building a culture of care and prioritizing our anti-racism commitments within our work and workplace.
We’re thrilled to share our accomplishments with you in this annual report. All of this is possible because of your support. Together we are building a world that is more just, healthy, prosperous, and resilient.
Here’s to continuing this game-changing work in 2023.
Thank you. Ride on!
Alex Hudson, TCC Executive Director
Work and Wins
2022 was an exciting year for Transportation Choices’ policy and advocacy work with huge wins for transportation funding at the state level. We also kicked off new youth programming, increased our statewide reach and engagement, and built out our mobility justice work. Read more below.
Move Ahead Washington
In 2022, Transportation Choices Coalition and our partners were instrumental in winning a paradigm-shifting transformation of transportation spending in Washington — $5.2 billion in investments toward the emission-reducing solutions of transit, walking, and biking through the Move Ahead Washington package. It took a vast coalition of organizations, advocates, and legislators working over multiple sessions to pass this package with everyone from youth transit riders to the legislators playing a role. And it was worth it.
For the first time, multimodal investments surpassed new highway capacity spending. Transportation Choices is ecstatic about the unprecedented investment in transit and mobility and the benefits they will bring to our communities.
Not only that, but Move Ahead Washington provides resources for every transit system in the state to go fare-free for riders 18 and under across all modes: buses, light rail, paratransit, ferries, and even Amtrak. The only program like this in the country, Youth Ride Free creates an immediate benefit to the 1.4 million Washingtonians 18 and under — creating a passport of access to opportunity for a new generation of transit riders and decreasing transportation costs for families.
During the It Takes Transportation campaign, which provided the final push we needed to bring MAWA across the finish line, we brought in new allies from across a broad range of the progressive movement, including housing, healthcare, human services, and labor. Together we:
- Held two rallies and authored a letter signed by more than 125 local elected officials calling for a transformational transportation package.
- Sent action alerts that generated thousands of letters to legislators.
- Organized panels of young people from across the state to show up and ask their legislative leaders to take definitive action and pass a package.
All of this shifted the possibility for policy action and won billions of dollars of investment in climate and mobility justice for the long haul.
What Transit Agencies Are Saying About Move Ahead Washington
“Among other critical projects across the state, Move Ahead Washington has committed $50M in state funding for implementing Division Street Bus Rapid Transit in Spokane. This project addresses critical community needs and supports infrastructure development to accomplish Spokane Transit Authority’s goal of strengthening our capacity to meet the demands of the region.”
Spokane Transit Chief Planning and Development Officer
“Thanks to Move Ahead Washington, we’re addressing missing links in our transit network, in both rural and urban areas. We’re expanding our primary transit hub to meet our community’s needs. And we’re helping to train the next generation of transit riders, by inviting youth to ride free.”
Whatcom Transportation Authority General Manager
Generation Transit – Engaging Our Youth
Nearly 1.4 million Washingtonians 18 and under are getting free transit thanks to Move Ahead Washington and its $1.45 billion Transit Support Grant program for agencies that adopt a zero-fare policy for youth. Once fully implemented, the “Youth Ride Free” program will support Washington’s transit agencies, Washington State Ferries, and Amtrak in providing zero-cost transit service to young Washingtonians. Youth Ride Free decreases transportation costs for families, helps provide reliable and safe transportation to and from school and after-school activities for youth, and accelerates an overall shift away from car culture.
Increasing Our Statewide Impact
Transportation Choices increased our statewide impact this year by engaging with more partners than ever across Washington. We showed up and organized in the Tri-Cities to defend Ben Franklin Transit’s funding and the riders who depend on its services. We convened advocates, policy staff, agency representatives, and elected officials during our weekly “Washington Transportation Advocates” call. And we traveled the state (virtually and physically) talking with transit advocates, workers, and riders about mobility justice, Youth Ride Free, and supporting the transit workforce.
Victory in the Tri-Cities Protecting Ben Franklin Transit’s Funding
When the Ben Franklin Transit Board of Directors tried to slash critical service, operations, and infrastructure funding, several organizations on the ground in the Tri-Cities banded together to protect riders and the agency. Over 15 months, the grassroots Ben Franklin Transit Coalition, with the support of Transportation Choices, effectively organized the community and stopped the Board’s multiple efforts to cut up to 20% of transit service.
These efforts also ensured the agency remained eligible for up to $75 million in additional funding from the state’s new Move Ahead Washington Transit Support Grants. Thanks to the Coalition, people in the Tri-Cities area can continue to depend on the vital transit services to get them where they need to go.
Convening Transportation Advocates and Workers Across the State
Transportation Choices connects advocates and workers from across the state in a weekly convening called Washington Transportation Advocates, or “WATA.” This call has grown from a pandemic response tool during the COVID pandemic into a critical component of our advocacy efforts and statewide engagement. We host dozens of informed and energized advocates, policy staff, agency representatives, and even elected officials from around the state who bring updates, questions, and meaningful opportunities to the group.
For all their pitfalls, online meeting spaces have provided an easy way for us to connect regardless of geographic location. We regularly have attendees from Yakima, Redmond, Pierce County, Spokane, Ellensburg, Snohomish County, Whatcom, Tri-Cities, and Port Angeles, as well as numerous organizations and agencies representing the Puget Sound or Washington state. Our email updates go out to hundreds of individuals, many of whom keep the conversation going between meetings on our WATA Slack channel.
Mobility Justice Work
In 2022 we grew our mobility justice work significantly. After important progress in reforming fare enforcement policies at both Sound Transit and King County Metro, Transportation Choices used our statewide reach, relationships, and familiarity with transportation policy to help further reduce the harm from policing and enforcement in transportation. In Washington, we convened advocates from across the state interested in advancing equity issues and offered stipends to partner organizations doing the work. On a national level, we were given the opportunity to sit on the Transportation Equity Caucus steering committee where we co-developed recommendations on equitable safety strategies for organizations across the country. These partnerships led to a mobility justice agenda at the 2023 state legislature, including two bills that promote statewide changes moving away from punitive measures and focusing limited public resources on true safety efforts. To support these efforts, we launched our “Free to Walk Washington” campaign, which aims to repeal Washington’s harmful jaywalking laws.
In the Media
Transportation Choices Executive Director Alex Hudson interviewed on King 5’s New Day Northwest about Light Rail delays, August 23, 2022.
Transportation Choices successfully elevated the transportation needs of Washingtonians and celebrated our movement wins in local and national media. In total, we were mentioned in the news 34 times — more than double the mentions in 2021. While much of the coverage centered around the historic Move Ahead Washington package, we also talked with the media about threats to transit — like efforts in the Tri-Cities to cut funding to Ben Franklin Transit — fare enforcement, and future Light Rail stations.
Events & Engagement
In 2022, we hosted more than a dozen events advancing our advocacy and education work and took time to celebrate with our community. We were excited to host our first in-person event in the Tri-Cities in more than a decade as we kicked off Ride Transit Month with fellow transit advocates and enthusiasts. Throughout the year, we loved seeing people join us from across the state (15 different counties!) and across the country.
We hosted Groove Ahead, a victory party to celebrate Move Ahead Washington — the historic package passed by the Washington State Legislature investing more than $16 billion in transportation over the next 16 years. Legislative and advocacy champions, transit enthusiasts, and supporters came together at Olmstead restaurant in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood to toast this monumental policy.
Ride Transit Month
Ride Transit Month 2022 was one for the books! This celebratory month kicked off with an in-person event in the Tri-Cities. The following week, we hosted our first hybrid Transit Talk, “Beyond the 9-to-5 Commute,” in partnership with Commute Seattle and Expedia Group. We also brought back Transit Trivia and had a packed house at Taco City in Columbia City! The month wrapped up with Ride Transit Night at the Ballpark, where we rooted for the Mariner’s as they secured an 8-6 victory over the Oakland A’s.
We also saw the support of over 350 people taking our pledge to ride transit at least five times in June. Pledges came in from across Washington, the United States, and even other countries!
We are so grateful to the 42 organizations who sponsored, supported, and partnered with us during Ride Transit Month!
Our team was busy building momentum for transportation change! We traveled the state (virtually and physically) talking with transit advocates, workers, and riders about mobility justice, public transit, and our work at Transportation Choices.
Our speaking engagements included:
- Washington Nonprofit Association Conference and Webinar, Creating A Culture of Care, presented by Kelsey Mesher, Deputy Director.
- Washington State Ridesharing Organization Keynote Address, presented by Alex Hudson, Executive Director.
- Cascadia Innovation Corridor, Ultra High Speed Rail, presented by Alex Hudson, Executive Director.
- Washington State Transit Association Conference, Youth Ride Free and Generation Transit, presented by Alex Hudson, Executive Director.
- Snohomish County Transportation Coalition, Special Fares & Enforcement Panel, presented by Hester Serebrin, Policy Director.
- Puget Sound Sage, Community Leadership Institute Transit Justice Panel, presented by Hester Serebrin, Policy Director.
Tuxes & Trains: Generation Transit
Our 2022 gala fundraiser and silent auction, Tuxes & Trains: Generation Transit, was a huge success thanks to our amazing supporters, volunteers, in-kind donors, and event partners. Close to 350 people lit up the iconic MoPOP venue for an evening of celebration and community, while more than 100 bidders vied for dozens of donated trips, experiences, and other goodies. Thanks to everyone who showed up and supported us, we hit our goal of raising $200,000 for more and better transportation choices for ALL Washingtonians!
The highlight of the evening was hearing from our 2022 Transportation Choices Hall of Fame awardees, Senator Marko Liias, Representative Jake Fey, Ed Frost, Helmet Law Working Group; and the Ben Franklin Transit Coalition. Read more about our Hall of Fame awardees.
We can’t wait to celebrate with you at Tuxes & Trains 2023!
Jurisdictions Across WA Declare June 2022 ‘Ride Transit Month’!
June was officially declared Ride Transit Month in Washington this year! In total, we welcomed more than 17 official Ride Transit Month proclamations from local governments and Governor Inslee, including:
- Washington State
- Clallam County
- Jefferson County
- King County
- Pierce County
- City of Arlington
- City of Lacey
- City of Lakewood
- City of Kirkland
- City of Olympia
- City of Port Angeles
- City of Redmond
- City of Seattle
- City of Shoreline
- City of Tacoma
- City of Vancouver
- Kitsap Transit
Transportation Choices hosted five Transit Talks this year with hundreds of attendees from across Washington state and beyond. Topics included the 2022 legislative session wrap-up, fare enforcement reform, looking beyond the 9-5 commute, the future of youth mobility, and diving into our 2023 legislative agenda.
Founded in 1993, Transportation Choices Coalition is a policy and advocacy nonprofit dedicated to making transportation accessible to all in Washington State. We pass policies that support more transit, bike, and pedestrian improvements at the state, regional, and local levels.
We are leading the way to build a transportation system that connects people to jobs, education, housing, health care, communities, and each other. We bring together a variety of partners from across the state to work toward a common goal — more transportation choices that get you where you need to go.
We are making Washington State a national leader on transportation.
Alex Hudson, Executive Director
Kelsey Mesher, Deputy Director
Hester Serebrin, Policy Director
Matthew Sutherland, Advocacy Director
McKenna Lux, Engagement & Events Manager
Susan Gleason, Development Manager
Raven Cruz, Operations Manager
Jessica Schreindl, Communications Manager
Richard de Sam Lazaro, President
Dan Kully, Vice President
Sam Zimbabwe, Treasurer
Kristina Walker, Secretary
Brynn Brady, Board Member
Caleb Weaver, Board Member
Charla Skaggs, Board Member
Emily Mannetti, Board Member
Jacob Gonzalez, Board Member
Jeremy Une, Board Member
Katie Garrow, Board Member
Kylie Rolf, Board Member
Patience Malaba, Board Member
Toby Crittenden, Board Member
New FacesTransportation Choices knows that our power comes from our incredible people. In 2022, we welcomed new staff members, committed new board members, and celebrated a change in board leadership.
Raven Cruz changed careers this year, from leading a team of medical assistants to spearheading Transportation Choices’ daily needs as our Operations Manager. From troubleshooting tech challenges to planning staff hangs, Raven quickly became an integral part of our team. She also fearlessly stepped into advocacy by testifying before the Washington State Legislature and creating viral pro-transit TikTok campaigns!
Jessica Schreindl jumped on board in June of 2022. From producing a moving “Generation Transit” video to developing new strategic initiatives like our 2023 “Free to Walk Washington” campaign to repeal Washington’s jaywalking laws, Jessica has made an impressive impact in just six months at Transportation Choices. Her dedication to social justice and true passion for communications have made her central to the team.
New Board Members
Kylie Rolf knows that robust public transit is at the heart of thriving cities through her rich experience in urban policy issues including transportation, housing, homelessness, and worker protections. Kylie currently serves as the Downtown Seattle Association’s Vice President of Advocacy & Economic Development. Prior to joining DSA, Kylie served in Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office as Director of Legislative Affairs and Major Initiatives.
Katie Garrow is the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of MLK Labor Council. In guiding Transportation Choices, she brings years of political, union, and community organizing experience. She has also led the Labor Council’s work around anti-racism, climate change, and young worker organizing.
Sam Zimbabwe is an established transportation leader, with more than twenty years of experience in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors designing, building, and operating transit and communities where transit is the first and best transportation option. He joins Transportation Choices’ leadership following service as the Seattle Department of Transportation Director. Currently, he is a Practice Builder at Kimley-Horn where he advances and supports local transportation planning and strategic investment across the United States. Sam is a daily King County Metro rider and he and his wife “force” their children on various transit adventures every time they take a vacation.
New Board Leadership
Transportation Choices celebrated a change in board leadership in 2022. We thanked Charla Skaggs for her steadfast support and guidance over the last two years and welcomed Richard de Sam Lazaro as our new Board Chair. Richard is a fierce transit advocate who leverages his role as Senior Director of Government and Corporate Affairs for Expedia Group. Prior to joining Expedia Group in 2017, Richard served for several years on the staff of Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). In his free time, he enjoys traveling and also serves on the boards of Child Care Resources and YouthCare.
Transformative Change Takes Time and Support
“Triumphs on the scale of Move Ahead Washington don’t happen overnight. It took years of organizing, coalition-building, and advocacy to achieve this game-changing outcome, with everyone from youth transit riders to legislators playing a role. This victory simply could not have come about without financial support from our member organizations, foundation partners, and transit advocates like you from across Washington state. We are deeply grateful for the support you’ve provided and the investments you continue to make in our advocacy work. Transforming transportation systems is long-haul work — and we’re in it to win it. At the same time, we believe strongly in sustainability for ourselves, for each other, and for our community. Let’s continue to support each other through the work ahead as we continue to fight, together, for the transportation future Washingtonians demand and deserve.”
Transportation Choices Coalition
What Our Supporters Say
“Transportation Choices has been able to achieve powerful results, transforming our transportation systems to meet the everyday needs of people across Washington state. As a housing advocate, I know that people need affordable, healthy, equitable transportation options the minute they step out their door. Mobility justice goes hand in hand with housing justice, and I’m so inspired by the way Transportation Choices has been able to move mountains and historic levels of investment to create real opportunities to ride transit, walk, bike, and roll for all Washingtonians. That’s why I’m proud to support Transportation Choices financially and with my participation on the board.”
Housing Development Consortium
“I support Transportation Choices Coalition because of their work ensuring accessible transportation options are available for every resident in Washington. The efforts by Transportation Choices go beyond large cities as they have helped support and advocate for public transportation in communities across the state, including the Tri-Cities. The accomplishments by Transportation Choices in 2022 will, without a doubt, be felt by community members for many years to come.”
City of Pasco
“I support Transportation Choices with a monthly financial gift and serve on the Transportation Choices board. I do this because King County’s public transportation system is both a product of the hands and minds of union workers and the way that so many of us get to our jobs, children’s schools, doctor appointments, and cultural events. Protecting and improving this system is unequivocally in King County’s union members’ interest. I am proud to represent workers’ interests on the Transportation Choices board and to do my part as a labor leader to invest in our community assets and infrastructure.
“Transportation Choices, at their core, believes that wherever public transportation thrives, so do healthy, connected communities. Last session, Transportation Choices’ partnership made it possible to develop and pass Move Ahead Washington. Their advocacy will ensure public transportation is more accessible, equitable, and sustainable across the state.”
“Downtown On the Go appreciates the work Transportation Choices does bringing advocates together, sharing information, and supporting local issues. We’re all working towards the same cause, and Transportation Choices helps bridge the gap between different parts of the state.”
“TCC is an amazing organization that lives its values and has a laser-focus on achieving positive outcomes that make our communities safer and more equitable for everyone. They are not afraid to take on difficult cross-systems issues and strive to ensure that impacted communities have a leading voice in their work.”
2022 Income: $1,039,579.60
- Grants: $470,501
- Individuals: $108,771
- Corporate: $255,534
- Members/Agencies: $186,000
- Other: $18,774
2022 Expenses: $1,084,152
- Programs: $837,038
- Operations: $247,114
News & Updates
Join us at our leg agenda launch mixer, read about our transit safety work, explore Tacoma by transit, and get involved.
We know that transit is one of the safest modes people can use to get around — but there’s still a significant conversation about safety on transit right now. One of Transportation Choices’ top policy priorities is continuing to improve ridership and the transit experience for riders, operators, and other frontline staff.
Legislative session is right around the corner and our team at Transportation Choices Coalition is hosting a Leg Agenda Launch Mixer to kick off this special time of year. Join us on Wednesday,...
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