OLYMPIA – On Tuesday, Senate and House Transportation Committee Chairs Sen. Marko Liias, D – Everett, and Rep. Jake Fey, D – Tacoma, unveiled Senate Bills 5974 and 5975 and House Bills 2118 and 2119 — Move Ahead Washington — a 16-year transportation proposal for Washington state.
The $16 billion package provides historic funding for preserving our infrastructure, combating climate change by reducing emissions, expanding safe, affordable transit options, and addressing harm caused in communities of color from our existing transportation system.
“Washington is a nationwide leader on so many issues, and we can continue to show our progressive values in the transportation sector,” said Liias. “From letting kids ride free on transit and ferries, to increasing public transit options and investing in pedestrian and road safety projects, this is a win for our entire state.”
Move Ahead Washington also includes significant funding to address the negative environmental, health, and economic impacts of past transportation policies. The package includes tribal and special needs transit grants, workforce development, and walking and biking projects in underinvested neighborhoods.
Environmental investments include fulfilling Washington’s obligation to replace fish passage barriers, increase access to public transportation, significant electrification, stormwater treatment, and more. Public transportation investments will allow for four new hybrid electric ferries to be added to the current fleet, two additional conversions of Jumbo Mark II ferries to hybrid electric, high-speed rail funding, and the expansion of transit routes.
Ground-breaking investments in multimodal options will ensure transportation options are safe, accessible, and affordable for all Washingtonians. The package also incorporates feedback from two years of community engagement to meet our current needs.
Allocating unprecedented funding for highway maintenance and preservation, coupled with Complete Streets projects, will support safe streets and safe roadways for people all over Washington. Ongoing project highlights include funding Washington’s portion of the I-5 bridge over the Columbia River, improving the US 2 Trestle, and more projects large and small across the state.
“This package is key for an accessible, sustainable future in Washington’s transportation sector,” said Fey. “We’ve worked hard over the last two years to listen to communities all across Washington, and they told us that their top priorities included preserving our infrastructure, finishing projects we’ve started, taking action against climate change, expanding multimodal options, and addressing the harm of past transportation policies. I’m proud that this package reflects all those things to invest in every Washington community.”
Funding for the package comes from a variety of sources, including a one-time transfer from the state operating budget and an export fuel tax that puts a price on the cost of carbon without impacting everyday Washingtonians. Additional funding is available from the passage of the Climate Commitment Act in 2021 and the passage of the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.