OLYMPIA –Today, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the Move Ahead WA transportation package, investing in a sustainable and inclusive transportation system for Washington residents.
Years of community engagement led to approval of the 16-year, nearly $17 billion package to meet the needs of all Washingtonians. Over the last two years, Democrats hosted more than 90 listening sessions across the state to hear what transportation projects and investments Washington residents need for a safe and accessible transportation future. Legislators used these conversations to inform Move Ahead WA and develop key priorities including:
- Preserving and maintaining existing infrastructure.
- Finishing critical projects already under construction.
- Expanding reliable, accessible, and affordable transportation options.
- Building a new I-5 bridge over the Columbia River.
- Replacing aging ferry vessels.
“If the pandemic has shown us anything, it has shown that safety and time spent with family are incredibly valuable,” said Rep. Jake Fey, D-Tacoma, chair of the House Transportation Committee. “Our transportation infrastructure makes our commutes longer and more dangerous. Hours spent in traffic are hours we don’t get to spend with our loved ones.”
Funding sources range from a transfer from the state operating budget to revenue generated from the Climate Commitment Act passed in 2021. Critically, the package does not include a gas tax increase.
“Our transportation sector is a crucial resource for folks across Washington,” said Sen. Marko Liias, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “Move Ahead Washington invests in the services and resources that will help folks from Spokane to Anacortes get where they need to go faster and more efficiently.”
Move Ahead WA includes historic levels of funding for climate mitigation, road preservation and maintenance, public transportation, and bicycle and pedestrian safety. Major investments include:
- $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.
“Move Ahead WA will help us make our commutes shorter and safer. It also focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the harm inflicted by past transportation decisions on marginalized communities,” continued Fey. “Move Ahead WA prioritizes our families, our communities, and our planet. I am proud to see the Governor sign this transformational transportation plan.”
“From allowing kids to ride free on public transportation to significant investments in high-speed rail and electric vehicles, Move Ahead WA represents a new day for the future of transportation in our state,” Liias said. “Today, we are committing to a climate and people focused transportation sector that prioritizes the next generations and the projects that will make in impact on people’s lives. I am grateful to the many voices who have helped make this a reality, and I thank Gov. Inslee for his support!”
The full list of revenue sources and investments can be found at the Legislative Evaluation & Accountability Program (LEAP) website. More information about projects included in the supplemental transportation budget can be found on the same website.
Move Ahead WA is the first transportation package to be approved since the implementation of Connecting Washington in 2015.