OLYMPIA—How can Washington state lead the way when it comes to new technology and ideas for a cleaner, more sustainable transportation system?
That vision is the focus of House Bill 2042 by Rep. Jake Fey (D-Tacoma), chair of the House Transportation Committee.
“We’re proposing major reforms to help transition our transportation network to the sustainable technology of the future,” Fey said, “and away from the costs and pollution of fossil fuels.”
Here are highlights from the legislation:
- New incentives for people to buy electric vehicles, including a pilot program to promote electric vehicle use by low-income residents;
- Help to build the network to charge electric cars in Washington state, with a permanent infrastructure bank;
- Authorizing electric utilities to make cost-effective investments in electric technologies and infrastructure;
- Incentives for alternative fuels, including a Business & Occupation Tax exemption that’s extended to 2029 and expanded to include alternative fuel infrastructure projects;
- Green Transportation capital grants to help transit agencies to electrify their vehicle fleets, upgrade their electrical transmission and distribution systems or construct charging and fueling stations;
- Reforms to aid the development of electric car-sharing services and businesses;
- Solving the last-mile problem in mass transit, to get you from a ferry terminal, bus stop or train station to your final destination; and
- Enhancing efforts to get cars off the road through increased carpooling, vanpooling, telecommuting, walking, biking or taking mass transit to work instead of driving alone to work every day.
“This bipartisan legislation is the result of creativity and collaboration, and what we’re proposing on the transportation side works hand-in-glove with the clean energy legislation being considered in the Environment & Energy Committee,” Fey said. “Clean power and clean transportation are forever linked. It would be counter-productive to switch to electric vehicles powered mostly by coal plants. The best solutions for energy and transportation are clean and sustainable and renewable: wind, solar, hydro and bio-fuels.”
House Bill 2042 will have a public hearing soon in the Transportation Committee, though the exact date has not been set
“Here in Washington state, we can see the damage done by climate change, extreme weather and pollution,” Fey said. “But we can also see the good that is possible through new technology and new ideas. Let’s work together to lead the way and leave our children with a cleaner, more sustainable world.”