Yesterday Mayor Durkan announced her 2019-2020 budget proposal, to be presented to the City Council, which will have an opportunity to weigh in. In the context of an overall effort to control spending city-wide, the SDOT budget increases by $128m over 2018 levels.
Here are some transit highlights:
- The Streetcar lives! The budget includes $9m for streetcar support, and while it goes out of the way to say the Mayor has “not reached a final decision” about the Center City Connector, it doesn’t de-fund it, either
- $1m to continue studying congestion pricing, including an equity analysis
- $4m for ORCA Opportunity, a.k.a. free ORCA for high-schoolers, which now serves 15,000 people
- $2.4m to support ST3, including Graham Street station design. Since 130th St appears to be moving forward, it’s good to see Graham Street get some love, too
- Funding for “micro transit” with a goal to “increase mobility in areas where there are service gaps.” That seems similar to the last-mile connectors SDOT proposed back in June, somewhat controversially. We’ll see if this scaled-back version of the idea survives council.
- 100k in new bus service hours, which is part of the 177,000 in new hours Metro announced this week. This should get us even closer to the 2025 goal of 72% of the city living near frequent transit
- Automated enforcement of bus lanes, currently “not permitted under state law,” will get added to the city’s legislative priorities. Read our interview with Mark Hallenbeck on the subject.