Photo of 6 people standing in front of a bus. the bus says "Route 50 Lummi Nation" and the people are representatives from Whatcom Transportation Authority and Lummi Nation leadership

Two years into Move Ahead Washington, communities from Palouse to the Peninsula are benefiting from unprecedented investments in transit and active transportation. Our Move Ahead story series highlights the successes and positive impacts we have heard from agencies and riders across the state.

Better Transit Access in Whatcom County

Our first story comes from Whatcom County. After Move Ahead’s passage, Whatcom Transportation Authority established a brand-new, $500,000 Transit Access Fund to support access to transit through the development of active transportation infrastructure near bus stops. In its first cycle, the Transit Access Fund is funding two significant projects.

One is the Route 50 Lummi Nation project. Though the Lummi Nation Tribal Administrative Building is the heart of that community and is accessible via Route 50, the amenities for transit riders were sparse. Riders had no shelter, access for wheelchair users was challenging, and there were no opportunities to safely park a bike for riders making multi-modal trips.

The agency immediately put Transit Access Fund dollars to work by partnering with Lummi Nation leaders to identify areas for improvement. The agency built a bus shelter and accessible boarding, new bike parking, and enhanced bus stops along the route. We are thrilled that these improvements are nearly completed: Lummi Transit, WTA, and other partners will come together for a ribbon cutting on Friday, May 24. 

WTA is committed to working with communities like the Lummi Nation to make true local investments that benefit local people using transit and active transportation to get around the county. “By working with community partners, we benefit from their ideas and efforts, and we increase the reach and value of existing public transportation throughout Whatcom County. Everyone wins.” said Bellingham City Council Member and  WTA Board Chair Michael Lilliquist. 

Across Whatcom County, Transit Access Fund dollars are supporting riders by funding new sidewalks, intersection improvements, mid-block crossings, curb cuts, sidewalk ramps, shared-use paths, pedestrian crossing signals, bicycle parking, and pedestrian lighting within a quarter mile of a WTA bus stop. Whatcom Transportation Authority’s Transit Access Fund is a testament to what is possible thanks to the transformative Move Ahead Washington legislation, and funds raised through the Climate Commitment Act.

Move Ahead Washington and the Climate Commitment Act

Move Ahead Washington is a transportation funding package that provides historic levels of investment in transit and active transportation across the state. The legislation dedicated more than $4 billion to support mobility across the state. Move Ahead Washington is largely funded by the Climate Commitment Act (CCA). The CCA is a cap-and-trade program that targets the state’s largest emitters and then invests that revenue into critical climate projects, including clean transportation projects. It’s also under threat of repeal by Initiative 2117.

Map of Washington state. Small icons dot the image of the state to indicate where Climate Commitment Act projects are across the state.

The Climate Commitment Act funds many projects across the state. Check out what is happening in your area!

Take Action to Protect These Investments

We must continue to invest in transit access. The funding for Move Ahead Washington is under attack from Initiative 2117, which would cut billions of dollars from our state’s transportation budget. We urge you to show your support for projects like the Transit Access Fund by pledging to vote NO on I-2117.

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