Just a few weeks ago we all experienced once again the terrifying reality of the climate crisis. We endured the worst wildfire season on record, and saw our communities covered in smoke, reminding us once more of the urgent need to act to reduce carbon emissions.
Here in Seattle, transportation is the number one source of carbon emissions — which means investing in transit to end reliance on single occupancy vehicles is essential to addressing the unfolding climate catastrophe.
That’s why the Sierra Club strongly supports Yes for Transit, the campaign to approve Seattle Prop. 1 and renew $39 million annually over six years for critical transit investments in bus service and affordability programs.
Thanks in part to the advocacy of Sierra Club members, the City Council expanded the investments in sustainable transportation that will be funded by Seattle Prop. 1. But we need your help to spread the word before November 3 and make sure this measure passes.
Seattleites rely on transit. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly half of our commute trips to downtown happened on transit — some of the highest rates of transit usage in the country. The buses keep us connected so we can get to and from work, keep appointments, and access services. While the current crisis has many of us at home, one in three essential workers relies on Metro.
We must ensure bus service remains open, safe, and dependable for those we count on. When this pandemic ends, we need to ensure that a strong, robust transit network is still there to allow a safe, sustainable reopening.
We also live in an expensive and unequal city. For many in our city who can’t make ends meet, the cost of getting around is a big expense that can sink a household budget. Seattle Prop. 1 supports programs to help get our low-income neighbors on transit, including free passes for all public high school students, as well as programs for essential workers, seniors, and public housing residents. Many Seattle residents are counting on these programs now more than ever.
With a growing population, rising household expenses, and the worsening reality of climate change, investing in green and reliable public transit is key to ensuring a strong economic recovery — while also reducing carbon emissions.
Seattle Prop. 1 is a renewal and modification of an existing tax that will cost the average family only $27 a year. Before the pandemic hit, Seattle Prop. 1 helped make Seattle the city with the fastest increase in transit ridership. Already, 70% of Seattle households have access to 10-minute or better transit service thanks to Seattle Prop. 1. We cannot lose that progress when the pandemic ends.
We are proud to join partners in environmental and social justice, including 350 Seattle, the Transit Riders Union, OneAmerica Votes, Climate Solutions, Puget Sound Sage, and the MLK Labor Council, in support of the Yes for Transit campaign. Time is running out: Join us in filling out your ballot all the way to the bottom to VOTE YES and approve City of Seattle, Proposition №1.