Mike McGinn, Mayor
4/16/2012 3:05:00 PM
Aaron Pickus (206) 684-4000
Seattle takes important step on high capacity transit planning
Expanding transit key to supporting growing local economy, better connecting Seattle neighborhoods
The City Council today voted unanimously to adopt an updated Transit Master Plan for Seattle. The work to update the Transit Master Plan was first announced by Mayor Mike McGinn in May 2010. The 2010 announcement was part of a broad transportation initiative to launch an equitable transportation system that will provide affordable travel choices, focus on growing the local economy through transit investments, protect the environment and better support public health.
Seattle's local economy relies on transit. 42 percent of Center City commuters starting work between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. commute using transit - today, the Center City and directly adjacent neighborhoods have 230,000 jobs, expected to grow to 360,000 by 2030. The updated Transit Master Plan provides a data-driven path to support this projected job growth through transportation investments. And while an important finding of the updated Transit Master Plan is that regional transit connections are improving, Seattle lacks critical neighborhood to neighborhood transit connections.
"Today we took a critical step toward a transit network that better connects Seattle's neighborhoods," said Mayor Mike McGinn. "And there is momentum to improve all kinds of transit in our city. I thank the Council for taking this step toward better transit in our city."
Council's adoption of the updated Transit Master Plan is just the latest in a series of recent signs of building momentum for building a transit network that connects Seattle neighborhoods with reliable service. Late last year, Seattle won a $900,000 federal grant to design and plan a streetcar to run through Downtown, connecting the Seattle Streetcar to the First Hill Streetcar. Soon after, Mayor McGinn, Councilmember Richard Conlin and others announced that the First Hill Streetcar vehicles will be built in Seattle, highlighting that investments in high capacity transit will bring living-wage manufacturing jobs to Seattle. The City is now working to finalize a Memorandum of Agreement with Sound Transit to significantly accelerate work to plan rail to Ballard, spending $2 million from the Sound Transit 2 package approved by voters in 2008 several years ahead of schedule. And next week will see the groundbreaking of the First Hill Streetcar, a line that the Mayor's Office, working with the City Council, Sound Transit and other stakeholders, has extended beyond its original scope to better connect Pioneer Square to North Capitol Hill through First Hill and International District/Chinatown.
You can read more about the Seattle Department of Transportation's 2012 Transportation Action Agenda online, a plan focusing on road safety, basic road maintenance, building healthy communities, supporting a thriving economy and providing great service.
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