Convenient and environmentally friendly ways to get around
Transportation is the largest single source of climate and air pollution in Seattle and presents the greatest opportunity for individuals to make an impact. The good news is that Seattleites are walking, biking, riding transit more, and driving cleaner and more efficient cars. Our challenge lies in the fact that we must continue to reduce our transportation pollution even as our population grows. If Seattle is to become a carbon neutral city we must make transit, bicycling, and walking the easiest ways for residents to meet their daily needs. 

Orca lift card graphic showing number enrolled

Transit access 

Goal: Increase transit access for people with low incomes
As of June 2018, 40,424 eligible Seattleites are now enrolled in ORCA LIFT 

gives income qualified people the opportunity to access transit services at a reduced fare. Additionally, through Mayor Durkan's ORCA Opportunity program, 2,085 middle school students and 12,295 high school students now have an ORCA card (as of February 2019). By partnering with King County Metro, Seattle Public Schools, and Seattle Colleges, the City of Seattle is now the largest city in the country to offer free, year-round, public transportation to all Seattle Public Schools high school students as well as Seattle Promise scholars and income eligible middle school students.

33% increase in transit ridership since 2010Transit Ridership

Goal: Increase transit ridership
Transit ridership has grown 33% since 2010. In 2018, Seattle passengers traveled by bus, light rail, and streetcar for nearly 97 million trips! 

In 2014, Seattle voters approved the Seattle Transportation Benefit District Proposition 1 (STBD) to fund the purchase of increased Metro service and additional transit programs for Seattle residents. This voter approved funding measure includes a $60 vehicle license fee and 0.1% sales tax increase to generate about $50 million annually to improve transit availability and access for six years (2014-2020).

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Drive Alone Rate

Goal: Reduce Drive Alone Rate in Center City*
The drive alone rate in Seattle Center City Neighborhoods has now dropped to 25%. This is a 10 point decrease since 2010.

The most recent Commute Seattle survey (2017) shows that more than 70 percent of downtown's estimated 247,000 daily commuters opt for transit, ridesharing, biking, walking and teleworking - leaving less than 30 percent of commuters to drive alone to work. Since 2010, percentage of single-occupant-vehicle trips declined by 10 points (35% --> 25%) while the share of transit trips increased steadily. 
*Map of Center City Neighborhoods

Graph showing increase in electric vehicle registration

Electric Vehicles

Goal: 30% of all vehicles in Seattle are electric by 2030
As of Sept 2018, there were 7,683 electric vehicles registered in Seattle representing 1.1% of total Seattle vehicles.

Seattle is working to become an EV friendly city by partnering with the community and the private sector to increase adoption of electric vehicles by facilitating access to charging in the following ways:

• Requiring all new buildings in Seattle to be ready for electric vehicle charging        
Piloting a program to allow electric vehicle charging in the right of way
Installing 20 publicly accessible fast charging stations throughout the city

Although the total market share is still relatively low, monthly EV registrations are climbing. Greater than ten percent of all new vehicle registrations were electric at the end of 2018.

Graphic with biker and walker increases

Bicycle & Pedestrian Volumes

Goal: Increase bicycle & pedestrian volumes
Between 2011 and 2018, Seattle saw a 62% increase in cycling volumes and a 64% increase in pedestrians. 

SDOT conducts a systematic counts program that uses National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation (NBPD) methodology to count bicycles and pedestrians at 50 locations citywide multiple times a year. These counts are conducted in January, May, and September. Each month counts are collected for PM peak (5-7pm), off peak (10am-noon), and Saturday (noon-2pm) time periods at each location. 

Sustainability and Environment

Jessyn Farrell, Director
Address: 700 5th Avenue, #1868, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94729, Seattle, WA, 98124-4729
Phone: (206) 256-5158

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We collaborate with City agencies, business groups, nonprofit organizations, and other partners to protect and enhance Seattle's distinctive environmental quality and livability.