OLYMPIA – The Washington State Legislature gave final approval to a nearly $17 billion transportation package today.
Move Ahead Washington, sponsored by Sen. Marko Liias (D – Everett) and Rep. Jake Fey (D – Tacoma), the respective chairs of the Senate and House transportation committees, invests $16.9 billion over 16 years in major projects throughout the state.
“We said when this package was announced that it was a first draft, and now we’ve passed a package that incorporates the feedback we’ve received over the last month,” Liias said. “We’re investing in projects from rural to urban areas across our state, letting kids ride free on our buses, ferries and trains, and so much more — and all without punting the cost to working families.”
The revenue package adopted a shift in funding sources after an export fuel tax projected to provide $2 billion in funding was removed on the House floor. To make up most of that shortfall, $57 million a year from the operating budget and $57 million a year from the Public Works Assistance Account will be transferred to transportation to provide an additional $1.7 billion over 16 years.
“From the beginning, this package has been about listening to people’s needs and making sustainable investments in our future,” said Fey. “We received critical feedback throughout the legislative process and incorporated that input into the final package. I am glad that we stuck with our priorities like preservation and maintenance, finishing critical projects, expanding accessible transportation options, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing past harms caused by our transportation system.
“Move Ahead Washington is an important win for people in every corner of the state, especially those who have wanted to see stronger progress in our transportation system.”
The package presents a turning point in transportation policy for Washington, with historic investments in climate mitigation, preservation and maintenance, public transportation and pedestrian safety.
“I’m eager for residents across the state to have more efficient and safer commutes – no matter how they’re travelling,” Liias said.
Notable investments include:
- $5.4 billion toward carbon reduction and multimodal expansion.
- $3 billion for maintenance and preservation.
- $3 billion for public transportation.
- Free fares for passengers 18 and younger on all public transportation.
- $2.4 billion to fund fish passage barrier removals.
- $1.3 billion in active transportation, including Safe Routes to School and school-based bike programs.
- $1 billion to fund Washington’s portion of an I-5 replacement bridge across the Columbia River.
- $836 million to build four new hybrid-electric ferries.
- $150 million towards ultra-high-speed rail.
- $50 million for walking and biking infrastructure in underinvested communities, and more.
Full revenue and project lists can be found here. Passage of Move Ahead Washington marks the first time since 2015 that a transportation package has passed the Legislature.
Having been passed by both chambers of the Legislature, the bills now go to the governor to be signed into law.