As we near the shortest days of the year, we hope you’re enjoying plenty of warmth and good cheer. Here at Transportation Choices, we’re still basking in the afterglow of our gala, Tuxes & Trains – it was wonderful to gather with so many of you to celebrate waves of change in Washington transportation. We were also thrilled to announce at the gala that Kirk Hovenkotter will be joining us in January as TCC’s new Executive Director!
This month, we’re gearing up for the legislative session, which kicks off on January 9. Please join us at our Leg Agenda Launch Mixer next Wednesday, December 13, to hear about our legislative priorities and mingle with our staff and supporters. We’d love to see you there.
Finally, we ask for your support. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, we depend on donations to fuel our work to bring safe, equitable, and sustainable transportation to all Washingtonians. The money we raise right now ensures we can protect and expand critical investments in multimodal transportation in 2024. If you haven’t yet supported us with a donation (or even if you have), please consider making a year-end gift today. Thank you!
Read on for more news, events, resources, and opportunities to get involved.
– Transportation Choices Coalition
WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO
Celebrating 30 Years of TCC and Announcing Our Next ED at Tuxes & Trains 2023
Our gala fundraiser, Tuxes & Trains: Waves of Change, was a stunning success thanks to our incredible community of supporters. More than 300 people joined us at the gorgeous Seattle Aquarium for an evening of fun and celebration, and we exceeded our fundraising goal! We were also proud to honor the newest inductees into the Transportation Choices Hall of Fame – congratulations to People for People, Downtown On the Go, Senator Rebecca Saldaña, and the Sound Transit Fare Ambassadors.
Last but not least, TCC Board President Richard de Sam Lazaro shared the exciting news that Kirk Hovenkotter will be joining our team as Executive Director this January! Many in our community already know Kirk and have worked with him in his current position as the ED at Commute Seattle, or his previous leadership roles at Move Redmond and TransitCenter. Kirk has championed TCC’s mission throughout his career and there is nobody better suited to take the organization into its next chapter.
Sharing More About Our Transit Safety Work
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. From some increases in reported incidents, to a few high-profile headlines — we take transit safety seriously. One of Transportation Choices’ top policy priorities has been continuing to improve ridership and the transit experience for riders, operators, and other frontline staff. Over the past several months, we’ve been doing extensive research to understand the current state of transit safety, as well as the landscape of solutions and interventions being explored across the state and nation. We’ve got more engagement, education, and policy work ahead, but for now, we’ve published a blog post about our current thinking and ongoing work on transit safety for all. We hope you’ll check it out!
WHAT’S COMING UP
Join Us to Hear About Our Legislative Agenda
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 next Wednesday to mingle with fellow advocates and supporters of transportation issues. Plus, you’ll get the first look at our 2024 legislative agenda and learn about our efforts this session to protect critical investments in multimodal transportation that we won with Move Ahead WA, continue our mobility justice work, and educate legislators on transit safety and workforce shortage issues. Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided.
Wednesday, December 13, 4:30 – 6 PM
Shape Future Offerings from Puget Sound Regional Council
Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) works to ensure a thriving central Puget Sound region through planning for the future. Part of that work includes bringing people across King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties together to discuss topics that affect the region, such as housing, transportation, and economic development. Following their Passport to 2044: Comprehensive Plan Workshop Series, PSRC is seeking input on their offerings in 2024. Help inform the types of sessions and topics PSRC pursues next year: complete a quick survey by December 11.
Weigh in on Everett Transit’s “Vision 2044” Plan
Everett is growing, with the city’s population expected to increase by up to 60% in the next 20 years. To plan for this future, Everett Transit is updating its long-range plan: Vision 2044. They want to hear from you – riders, neighbors, and community members – so that your feedback can help shape their plans and priorities for years to come. Share your input by December 15.
Comment on WSDOT’s Draft Highway System Plan
Public comment is open for WSDOT’s draft Highway System plan, which outlines investment recommendations for preserving, maintaining, improving, and operating state highways over the next 20 years. You can read about the plan and submit your comments by December 18.
Comment on WSDOT’s Proposed Multimodal Transportation Projects
More than 1,200 statewide transportation improvement projects using $3.8 billion in federal funds are included in the 2024-2027 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, or STIP for short. The draft 2024-2027 STIP is a four-year program of multimodal transportation projects identified through state, metropolitan, regional, tribal, and local agency planning processes. The Washington State Department of Transportation is accepting comments through December 19.
Weigh in on Future Light Rail Stations in West Seattle and SODO
The West Seattle Link Extension will provide fast, reliable light rail connections to dense residential and job centers in the SODO, Delridge, and West Seattle neighborhoods and improve connectivity throughout the region. To inform station design, Sound Transit wants your input on how you envision these important community spaces. Share your ideas by December 20.
Help Make Fares Equitable and Easy: Serve on King County Metro’s Fares Cabinet
King County Metro is seeking community members to apply to participate on the Fares Cabinet. The Fares Cabinet will support the Fares Forward Initiative, a multi-part initiative in 2023-2024 to make Metro’s fare program more equitable and easier to use. This is a paid opportunity and applications are due December 31.
Join an Online Dialogue on the Future of Public Transportation
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) seeks your input on the agency’s transit research and demonstration program. How can technology and innovation be used to make public transit safer, cleaner, greener, more resilient, and more equitable?
Lend your ideas to the Future of Public Transportation online dialogue. Register and share your insights, experiences, and suggestions.
FTA seeks comments from stakeholders including:
- Representatives within the industry
- Community organizations representing the transportation needs and interests of people with disabilities
- Organizations and groups with an interest in mobility, sustainability, and transit
- People with ideas or interest in this topic
The online dialogue is open through January 5, 2024.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Built to Win: Inside Move Ahead Washington’s Victory — Transit Center
“Long-term relationship building was a cornerstone of the Move Ahead WA campaign’s success. Transportation Choices Coalition (TCC), the driving force behind the campaign, cultivated a web of partnerships that extended far and wide.”
Metro outreach teams at Burien Transit Center aid passengers in need — The Seattle Times
“When people find themselves cold and adrift at the end of the line, they can grab a supply kit from King County’s transit center outreach team, along with a smile, and if they’re lucky, directions for somewhere to stay the night.”
Amtrak Cascades Launching Two More Daily Seattle-Portland Trips on December 11 — The Urbanist
“The two extra daily trips will bring the total number of Cascades roundtrips on the Seattle-Portland segment to six, a 50% increase of service.”
Service Alert: Pack your patience for 1 Line disruptions from Jan. 13–Feb. 4 — Sound Transit
“On weekdays, 1 Line trains will run only every 26 minutes between Northgate and Angle Lake. Additional weekday trains will run between Northgate–University of Washington, and between Stadium–Angle Lake, for combined service every 13 minutes in these areas.”
Washington State Ferries receives $4.8 million in federal funding for passenger area upgrades — King 5
“The federal grant will pay for upgrades on WSF’s Issaquah Class Vessels, originally constructed between 1979 and 1982. The vessels currently serve travelers on the Fauntleroy-Southworth-Vashon, Mukilteo-Clinton, and Anacortes-San Juan Islands routes.”
Misconduct on Public Transit: An Exploratory Analysis Using the Comments Formerly Known as Tweets — Mineta Transportation Institute
“Transit agencies and researchers can use the results of these analyses to strategically improve safety measures for the benefit of passengers and transit operators.”
Green Light for Climate Action: Unveiling the impact of the GHG Emissions Measure rule — Transportation for America
“On November 22, 2023, the Department of Transportation released the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Measure rule, requiring state DOTs and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to measure and report their transportation-associated emissions, as well as set targets to lower these emissions.”
A Transit Tour of Tacoma
My colleague Hester Serebrin and I spent the day in the City of Destiny on Tuesday. We were able to go to and from Tacoma via the Sounder, and the trip really highlighted how important the train is for regional connectivity! I used to live in Tacoma, and much prefer a seamless train trip to the bumper-to-bumper traffic I often experienced on the road. It was amazing to see our friends from Downtown On the Go, recent Transportation Choices Hall of Fame inductees, and grab lunch in the historic Hilltop neighborhood. We hopped on the Link downtown, and with its extension down MLK Way, we were able to avoid walking up some of the giant hills! For a fun adventure, I highly recommend checking out Tacoma and its transit sometime.
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