Happy fall! We were excited to release a new “Youth Perspectives on Transit” report last week—the culmination of a months-long effort to hear directly from youth about what they want to see in our shared transit future. We hope you’ll give it a look if you haven’t already.
This week, the annual Week Without Driving has gone national, led by our friends at the Disability Mobility Initiative and America Walks. It’s designed for policymakers, transportation professionals, advocates, and others to learn about the barriers and challenges faced by nearly one third of Americans who are nondrivers. It’s not too late to join in, and you’ll find more info below on a webinar and transit trek you can take part in.
Finally, we’re getting amped for Tuxes & Trains: Waves of Change on November 17 at the Seattle Aquarium, where we’ll celebrate our 30th (pearl) anniversary and a sea change taking place in our state’s transportation priorities. Be sure to get your tickets before prices go up at the end of the month!
Read on for more news, events, resources and opportunities to get involved.
– Transportation Choices Coalition
WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO
Celebrating the Opening of the Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension!
Our team had a fantastic time at the opening of the Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension on September 16. Seven new stations now connect the Tacoma Dome and Downtown to the Stadium and Hilltop neighborhoods. Speakers at the opening day ribbon-cutting ceremony highlighted the fact that 27% of households in this area don’t own cars, so this new connection will be life-changing. Learn more about the T Line.
Releasing Our New Report: Youth Perspectives on Transit
In response to Youth Ride Free policies that have been implemented across Washington, we wanted to learn more about how youth experience transit. We spoke with 103 people aged 18 and younger from across the state to gain insight into how they currently use transit, their thoughts on public transit, and where they want to see improvements in their communities.
Our Youth Perspectives on Transit report details the results of this project, including some of the strengths of and challenges to youth riding transit, as well as recommendations to transit agencies, local government bodies, and the state legislature on how transit can better serve young people.
Honoring Jemae Hoffman
Last month we were stunned and devastated to learn about the passing of Jemae Hoffman, a TCC Hall-of-Famer and a pillar in the transportation community.
Thirty years ago, Jemae was one of the visionaries who helped found Transportation Choices Coalition (née AltTrans), and she didn’t stop relentlessly pursuing safe, sustainable, and equitable transportation in the 30 years since.
After not only founding, but growing and strengthening TCC, Jemae went on to serve in critical positions at the City of Seattle prioritizing active transportation and livable cities, working at VIA architecture designing TOD, and finally landing at Sound Transit, where she co-led development of the Federal Way and East Link Extensions. She also served as Board President for CoolMom.org, uniting women to take action on climate change.
Jemae was focused, dedicated, values-driven, and kind. She was much more than her professional self, but those of us who knew her in a professional setting know what a critical role she played in advancing an intersectional transportation agenda. She will absolutely be missed.
WHAT’S COMING UP
Week Without Driving Webinar: Shifting the Transportation Paradigm
This week, people across the nation are participating in the national #WeekWithoutDriving, and you can register for a webinar hosted by our friends at America Walks and the Disability Mobility Initiative. Anna Zivarts, Director of the Disability Mobility Initiative, and a panel of leaders will explore how the Week Without Driving can shift our transportation paradigm, and how we can start organizing locally and nationally to close the transportation gaps across our communities.
Thursday, October 5, 11:30 AM PT
Online via Zoom
Attend a Webinar on Inclusive Transportation
Transportation planning has often had destructive consequences for underserved communities. Veronica Davis wants to shed light on those inequalities. In her new book, Inclusive Transportation: A Manifesto for Repairing Divided Communities, Veronica lays out her vision to bring about a new era of transportation planning. Tune in to a webinar hosted by America Walks to learn why centering people in transportation decisions requires a great shift in how transit planners and engineers are trained, how they communicate, the types of data they collect, and how they work as professional teams.
Wednesday, October 25, 6:00-7:00 PM PT
Online via Zoom
Get Your Tickets for Tuxes & Trains 2023!
Don’t miss out on the party of the year! Take advantage of our early bird pricing for Tuxes & Trains tickets through November 1. We’re hosting this year’s reception-style fundraiser at the gorgeous Seattle Aquarium on November 17, and we couldn’t be more excited.
This year, our gala theme celebrates the Waves of Change across Washington’s transportation system and within our own organization. Join colleagues, friends, and other advocates from across the region in a memorable celebration of our organization’s 30th year fighting for more and better transportation choices for all. Learn about the sea change taking shape in our state’s transportation priorities—and some changes for TCC as well.
Friday, November 17, at 7:00 PM
Seattle Aquarium, 1483 Alaskan Way, along the waterfront
Find more details at transportationchoices.org/tuxestrains2023.
Join a Transit Trek and Trip Audit on Bainbridge Island
Up for an adventure? This Saturday, October 7, Transit Trekker is hosting a car-free trek to Bainbridge Island’s Grand Forest and Battle Point Parks as part of the National Week Without Driving. Armed with a notebook, you can help document the experience of getting around without driving, which will be compiled and shared with relevant agencies.
Give Your Input on Lakewood Station Improvements
Sound Transit is seeking input on planned street and sidewalk improvements near the Lakewood Station. Share which improvements you’d like to see built by taking a quick survey by October 12.
Take a Survey on the Future of the Sounder Train
The Sounder South Strategic Plan, created in early 2020, prioritized longer trains to provide more capacity during peak commute periods. Since then, travel patterns have changed with the increase of hybrid and remote work. In a new survey from Sound Transit, the public is being asked whether they prefer new trips, such as on weekends, evenings or midday, rather than longer trains. Take the survey by October 29 for the chance to win Seahawks tickets and some other fun prizes.
Weigh in on Walking Paths in the Lower Yakima Valley
The Heritage Connectivity Trails (HCT) project plans to create over 150 miles of walking paths throughout the lower Yakima Valley on the Yakama Reservation. This project is important because US 97 has the highest pedestrian fatality rate in the state of Washington disproportionately impacting Native Americans and Alaskan Natives. WSDOT, working with the Yakama Nation, was awarded a $1 million Federal RAISE grant for the HCT Phase 1 project. Grant money will be used to complete a feasibility study, preliminary design, and environmental review in the most needed areas covering 23 miles of walking paths between Union Gap and Toppenish. If you live or work in the area, please take a short survey by October 31 to help design paths where they are needed most.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Why you should ditch your car for a week in October — The Seattle Times
“To get where she needs to go, Tanisha Sepúlveda must always calculate risk. As a power wheelchair user, navigating the sidewalks near her home in West Seattle’s Highland Park can be a Catch-22.”
Outdated Marijuana Rules Complicate Transit Hiring — Governing
“Nearly half of all Americans now live in a jurisdiction where it’s legal to smoke weed. But for some workers, including bus drivers and train operators, drug-testing protocols make legalization irrelevant.”
Finding Child Care Is Hard. Finding Transit-Accessible Child Care Can Be Near-Impossible — Next City
“America’s cities depend on both child care and public transportation to be livable places. Unfortunately, little attention is paid to how these systems intersect.”
The Agony of the School Car Line — The Atlantic
“Car lines are a classic tragedy-of-the-commons problem: Every parent acting in their perceived self-interest—Oh I’ll just drop him off again; it’ll only take a minute—makes us collectively worse off in the form of dirtier air, increased traffic, less human connection, and more frustration.”
Island Transit introducing on-demand service on Camano — Stanwood Camano News
“Riding Island Transit on Camano Island is about to get easier. On Oct. 1, the system is introducing an on-demand service that will provide rides to islanders throughout the day, rather than only at pre-scheduled route stops.”
Community Transit approves transit development plan — Mukilteo Beacon
“The opening of Lynnwood Link light rail in 2024 will change how people travel in Snohomish County and the entire region. In response to these once-in-a-generation changes, Community Transit is reimagining bus service by making changes to the bus network.”
Opinion: How to Decide Between Light Rail and Bus Rapid Transit — StreetsBlog USA
“So many things can be achieved with a great BRT system when properly designed. In addition, BRT allows for more transit riders and a more green, sustainable community.”
Amtrak’s path to world-class service — Transportation for America
“It’s high time to look to and emulate our international peers in developing passenger rail: iterate, innovate, and don’t fall for the immediacy trap.”
Interim Executive Director
I was thrilled to see “Riding the Number 7” unveiled in my neighborhood! It is always special to see the intersection of transportation and art, and this mural reminds us that transit not only connects us to our daily needs, but connects us to our history and our community. I love that artist Tina Albro has honored this essential route and so many dedicated Rainier Valley residents who have shaped South Seattle. Next time you’re on the 7, hop off in Columbia City and check it out!
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