On September 24, 2018—in the first budget of her administration—Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan proposed a $609 million investment to improve the city’s public transit and transportation infrastructure. This is $128.3 million over appropriated 2018 levels.
The Mayor’s proposed transit and transportation investments focus on three key priorities:
- Investments in transit, walking, biking, and managing congestion in the downtown core;
- Maintaining our existing streets, sidewalks, bridges, and other key infrastructure; and
- More effectively managing the public right-of-way to help keep buses, cars, and trucks moving.
“To meet the demands of our growing city and create a city of the future, we must invest aggressively in our transit and transportation system: buses, light rail, biking, and walking. We also must invest to maintain our existing infrastructure and smartly manage the right-of-way, so people can keep moving,” said Mayor Durkan. “As we get ready for public and private megaprojects, we are facing a new era of tough traffic and need to be as ready as possible for this unprecedented period. That make these investments even more important.”
As proposed, Mayor Durkan’s budget includes investments to:
- Increase Metro bus service by 30 percent over the next two years. Currently, the City of Seattle funds over 270,000 hours of Metro service each year. Mayor Durkan’s proposed budget invests in an additional 100,000 hours of service through 2020, a 30 percent increase in bus service over the next two years. King County announced today that they are committed to an additional 130,000 service hours. To support these additional service hours, the Mayor’s budget also invests $9 million in capital improvements that will advance the speed and reliability of Metro buses in Seattle. These new investments are supported by completed transit improvements to 3rd Avenue and 20,000 hours of City-funded increased Metro service effective September 22.
- Sustain and extend her ORCA Opportunity program through 2020. In addition, Mayor Durkan’s proposed budget sustains and extends the ORCA Opportunity program through 2020, which is providing 15,000 Seattle Public Schools high school students and Seattle Promise scholars free ORCA passes this school year. Signed into law in July after a unanimous vote by the City Council, ORCA Opportunity made Seattle the largest city in the country to provide high school students with unlimited, year-round free transit passes.
- Provide $15.3 million in new investments to support Move Seattle deliverables. The Mayor’s budget invests $15.3 million to add 20 new full-time employees to support Move Seattle deliverables including:
- $5 million for additional curb ramp construction;
- $4.1 million for sidewalk repairs;
- $1.4 million for greenways; and
- $1.1 million for the Northgate Bridge and Protected Bike Lane to enhance access to the planned Northgate Sound Transit Station; and $550,000 for pedestrian lighting.
- $101.6 million to provide maintenance and replacement of key roads, trails, bike paths, and bridges, including:
- $5.6 million for sidewalk maintenance, an increase of over $2 million from 2018 levels;
- $50.4 million for roads;
- $42.4 million for bridges and other key structures; and
- $1.1 million for trails and bike paths.