Seattle's Transportation Equity Framework

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A history of racist policies and disinvestment has created inequities in our transportation system, including longer commutes for communities of color than their white counterparts due to displacement, and often less access to high-quality transit service. While communities of color contribute less to pollution, they disproportionately experience the long-term impacts of this racism, including limited access to opportunities and wealth. Incorporating this new Transportation Equity Framework (TEF) into department policies and operations is a step toward addressing these issues.

Development

A Transportation Equity Workgroup (TEW) was established in early 2019 to seek input from a broad and diverse set of community members representing Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and vulnerable communities. Each member of the TEW is connected to local organizations in the Seattle-King County region and applies their experiences and professional knowledge to identifying actions that help resolve transportation related challenges. Their input was used to define a set of values and strategies for the TEF, which will guide the actions of Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) employees for years to come.

Based on the shared goals of the Transportation Equity Program (TEP): 

  • The TEF is a roadmap for SDOT decision-makers, employees, stakeholders, partners, and the greater community to collaboratively create an equitable transportation system. 
  • Building from the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI), the TEF addresses the disparities that exist in our transportation systems due to institutional racism.  

In 2021, SDOT continued to collaborate with members of the TEW to co-design the Implementation Plan. From January through August 2021, SDOT staff and TEW members collaborated in a series of meetings that enabled participants to build deeper relationships, actively listen, and creatively brainstorm to create an implementation plan together.

Equity Framework Materials

TEF Implementation Plan

The implementation plan includes tactics that advance the values and strategies defined in Part One of the TEF:

  • These tactics range in different categories from advocacy, policy, program, project to tactics that are more cultural changes for our department such as our internal processes and best practices.
  • The plan spans from 2022 to 2028, with the understanding it is a dynamic document that will be adjusted, monitored, and updated regularly. 

The interactive implementation plan dashboard below includes over 200 tactics organized by the TEF values. Explore it to learn more!