As chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, I know and see just how crucial Washington’s transportation sector is to everyday life for residents across the state. 2023 marked the first year of the historic 16-year transportation package, Move Ahead Washington, which invests in transit, pedestrian and bicycle routes, emission reduction, key highways, and other projects across Washington.
Move Ahead Washington is the culmination of years of work and community input and invests in every corner of the state without punting the cost to working families. It signals a turning point in transportation investments in Washington.
You can read more about Move Ahead Washington here, but some highlights include:
- Folks 18 and under ride free on all public transportation.
- $5.4 billion towards carbon reduction and multimodal expansion.
- $2.4 billion to fund fish passage barrier removals.
- $3 billion for maintenance and preservation.
- $3 billion for public transportation.
- $150 million towards ultra-high-speed rail.
During the 2023 session, we built on the work we did with Move Ahead to keep our roads safe and reduce traffic fatalities. With traffic fatalities at a 30-year high, my goal was to renew an emphasis on safety. The most recent transportation budget included investments to increase safe routes to school, map sidewalk gaps, improve busy intersections, and introduce grade separations on rural roads. We also passed legislation to increase young driver training, add speed cameras in highway work zones, and improve training on sharing the road with large vehicles.
We also invested heavily in Washington’s marine highway system:
- Millions in funding from the 2023-25 transportation budget is allocated for employment initiatives and hiring more ferry workers.