It’s been a big year for Seattle. In November, votes passed Sound Transit 3, which expands the regionwide rail network while also funding two new lines within the city. City voters previously passed measures to increase bus service and fun street and sidewalk improvements that are important to transit riders.
Seattle wasn’t a transit city for a long time. The regional rapid transit system’s first line didn’t open until 2009. (Nearby Portland had a regionwide network by then.) Seattle’s densest inner city neighborhoods have long had good bus service to downtown, but a lot of work was needed to do a citywide network, and it wasn’t remotely ready for the massive growth in density that the already-dense city has experienced in the last decade.
The most important thing about Seattle is its municipal transit leadership, starting with the Seattle Transit Plan of 2007 on which I was privileged to work. Note that throughout this video, you see City of Seattle leaders talking about their transit system. They don’t run it — it’s run by bigger regional agencies — but they’ve chosen to treat it as theirs, and that has made all the difference.
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