Our Climate Response

SDOT is proud to release our first-ever Climate Change Response Framework (CCRF), our vision for reducing transportation emissions and making it easier for Seattleites to choose more efficient, shared, and sustainable travel options.

Transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions in Seattle, so our travel choices have a direct impact on air quality and our climate future. As we all shift to more sustainable transportation options, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will design and build our system to make those choices safer, more reliable, and more frequent.  

SDOT is accelerating this important work, and our Climate Change Response Framework (CCRF) captures our approach. Responding to the climate crisis requires empathetic, innovative, and practical solutions that we are ready to deliver. Everyone who travels in Seattle can be climate champions for our families, our friends, and our community by making low- or zero-emission travel choices! 

Potential Outcomes of the Climate Change Response Framework

Graphic of different modes of transportation and their impact on the climate. The chart goes from 2019 through 2030 and each mode type has a percentage in 2019 and where the outcome could be in 2030.  Biking/Micromobility goes from 3% to 7%. Walk goes from 20% to 24% Transit goes from 11% to 24%. Electric vehicles go from 1% to 10%.  And gas vehicles go from 65% to 35%.  In 2019 there are 4.4 million trips and 5.0 milion trips expected in 2030.

Where we are focusing our climate response efforts

Graphic of people walking and rollingWe are already working on solutions and have many of the tools needed to reduce our climate impact. Now is the time to build and accelerate our climate work, serving historically underserved communities who will face disproportionate climate impacts. A response centered on climate justice requires us to co-create solutions with community, including our community-based organizations and the Transportation Equity Workgroup.  

Strategies:

  • Accelerate the climate work we are already doing
  • Co-create climate solutions with community 

A graphic of people on bikes and a scooter, with traffic passing byMost emissions in Seattle come from short trips under 3 miles. We are working with communities to design our streets and provide programs to make it easy and safe to take transit, bike, roll or walk these short distance trips much more often.   

Strategies:

  • Improve more streets for walking, biking, and e-mobility to serve all ages and abilities
  • Expand and reduce the cost of the bike and electric scooter share programs
  • Expand parking for bikes, scooters, and other transportation devices
  • Co-create low pollution neighborhoods with community input
  • Develop community and mobility hubs that provide transportation connections, information, and community amenities to improve your travel experience
  • Explore launching an e-bike rebate program to supplement future rebates offered by the State 

Graphic of a bus and people at a bus stopCreating safe, sustainable, reliable, and convenient connections to buses, light rail, and the streetcar is a primary focus of our climate response. Transit offers the best sustainable option for longer trips and will become even more convenient as new light rail services launch and bus services are redeployed to better get you where you want to go.   

Strategies: 

  • Improve transit time and reliability through bus-only lanes, transit stop enhancements, and signal timing that supports transit operations
  • Support our partners at Sound Transit as they expand the Link Light Rail network
  • Continue to fund bus service increases through the Seattle Transit Measure 
  • Encourage development that supports use of transit nearby 

Graphic of people sitting outside at tablesWe will continue to expand programs that support people using shared and zero-emission travel options including walking, biking, rolling, and taking transit. These options improve health outcomes, make streets safer, activate local neighborhood economies, save you money, and reduce climate pollution. 

Strategies: 

  • Expand opportunities to connect more people with our travel options programs
  • Look for opportunities to evolve off-street and on-street parking policies and pricing 
  • Increase the reach of reduced transit fare programs, and innovate on new payment options that cover all sustainable transportation options 

Graphic of truck and other delivery vehiclesMoving goods and delivering services more effectively and in climate-friendly ways not only helps the environment, it’s also good for businesses by improving how they serve their customers. We want to create solutions alongside our business and freight partners to create the best options for everyone. 

Strategies:

  • Right-size delivery vehicle fleets  
  • Make zero-emissions delivery options more affordable and practical
  • Increase number of loading zones for business deliveries 

Graphic of an electric bus and electric car Some trips need to be taken by car or truck. Our goal is to encourage the use of electric vehicles for as many of those trips as possible. We are leading by example with our own fleet electrification, and by partnering with other city departments, organizations, and communities to install charging infrastructure and offer innovative and equitable incentives. 

Strategies: 

  • Support transition to electric personal vehicles
  • Support transition to electric commercial vehicles
  • Support transition to zero-emissions transit
  • Make the city fleet electric 

How can you be a part of Seattle’s climate solution? 

  • Think about the trips you take throughout your day. Could you walk, bike, roll or take transit instead of driving for any of them? How can you Flip Your Trip to be a part of the climate response with us?  
  • Tell your family, friends and neighbors about all the sustainable travel options available to them! And then, take them along for the ride!  
  • Join us in the conversation of how transportation impacts climate for you and your community.
  • Bookmark this page to learn about the latest news on SDOT’s climate response.  
  • Most importantly, don’t despair! Climate change can’t be solved by just one person, it will take all of us doing our part to make a difference. Each decision matters and you can be a part of the solution – one trip at a time.   

Let’s take the next step together! 

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