OLYMPIA—How will our highways, ferries, trains and buses handle the skyrocketing population and economic growth of Washington state? That’s the issue facing Rep. Jake Fey (D-Tacoma), the newly elected chair of the House Transportation Committee.
“Every family and business in our state needs a reliable transportation system,” said Fey, who’ll take the gavel when the legislative session begins Jan. 14, 2019.
Tacoma is a microcosm of what’s happening statewide, Fey said, as more than half of the residents of Pierce County now commute to work outside the county and many travel north to Seattle and King County.
“Businesses can hire people a lot faster than we can build highways, train stations and ferry terminals,” Fey said. “Keeping up with that population growth is a massive challenge that requires not just more highways, but investments in trains, buses and other ways to get cars off the road. And in the end, long-term solutions on transportation will require creativity and cooperation. I look forward to listening to all stakeholders and lawmakers from both parties so we can move Washington forward and utilize all of our transportation alternatives, including mass transit.”
His fellow lawmakers elected him chair after he served for years as vice-chair of the committee under retiring Rep. Judy Clibborn.
“I’m proud of how lawmakers from both parties and every corner of the great state of Washington have always worked together on transportation,” Fey said. “I plan on continuing that tradition of practical, bipartisan solutions.”