Working Together for a Better Future
Transportation Vision for 2035
Seattle’s aging infrastructure and systems are not keeping pace with demand, and our tools to manage traffic are increasingly outdated. We must act now to support our growing population and maintain our quality of life. By working together, exploring new technology and setting metrics for accountability, Challenge Seattle is ready to be a good partner, and to lead on this issue.
We are committed to acting in areas where we can provide expertise, insight and resources. We are committed to thinking creatively about solving our transportation challenges. We are committed to driving real results.
Mobility Innovation Center
We will create a cross-sector Innovation Center dedicated to finding transportation solutions. Housed at the University of Washington, the Center will bring together mobility experts to tackle specific challenges and bring new innovations to our regional transportation system, through applied research and experimentation. We will measure success by the number of solutions generated and put into prototype or practice.
35% by 2035
We are setting a goal of no more than 35% of Challenge Seattle employees commuting via single-occupancy vehicles by 2035. This means 2 out of 3 people will travel to work via public transit, bike, carpool, walk and means other than driving alone. We will work toward this goal by deploying programs within our companies to support multiple modes of transportation and facilitate employee commutes.
Create an I-5 Corridor for the 21st Century
Most of I-5 looks the same as it did when it opened in 1967, and it shows its age. We must develop solutions to improve this north-south corridor: deploying new technologies to help reduce traffic on I-5; developing multi-modal options for commuters; addressing known choke-points with targeted improvements; and improving incident response. We can turn I-5 into an intelligent highway, to move people and freight more efficiently and prepare us for the autonomous vehicles and emerging technologies of the future.
SanDAG in San Diego operates as an integrated corridor management system that includes highways, toll roads, arterials, and public transit to maximize capacity and throughput in the area.
Getting where you’re going quickly and reliably is the best indicator of a modernized I-5 corridor. A primary performance metric will be WSDOT average and reliable travel times along key routes during peak hours.
Alaska Airlines was the first airline to offer boarding passes on mobile devices and flight status alerts. They navigated international security protocols, complex air traffic control schedules and the TSA to offer something that makes life easier for fliers. What if we applied a similar approach to Seattle area transportation?
Coordinated Operations and Planning
Bringing data, information, and transportation decision-makers together is the first step toward a unified system that allows users to travel reliably and predictably. Sharing data and analytics will optimize performance of the system, prioritize limited resources, and support effective last-mile planning. An operations center for ongoing integration between all transportation agencies would allow the system owners to work together on traffic incident responses to minimize system user impact.
The Los Angeles Metro system operates a regional integrated intelligent transportation system that allows real-time information exchange and coordination between Metro, Caltrans, the L.A. Department of Transportation, California Highway Patrol, and surrounding transit agencies.
We will track the percentage of regional agencies and organizations with shared operations and service planning based on common data and metrics, shared system operations, collaborative incidence response, and shared route and service planning.
Expedia can aggregate and sort through myriad flight schedules to offer the best travel options for customers. What if we had a technology that would give customized recommendations on travel route, based on location and real-time information?
Manage the System With All Users in Mind
To plan transit in and around Seattle, all users — from commuters to delivery truck drivers to service providers — need a single source for real-time data. Payment systems should be coordinated so that users can pay and access their accounts easily, with a single card or mobile device. Today, the ORCA card brings together multiple transit options in one system. It’s time to take that approach further, with a forward-looking model designed to adapt to the systems, modes, and technologies of the future without requiring a major overhaul.
London’s Oyster Card provides users with a smart card for travel on buses, the tube, trams, light rail, the London Overground rail system, and even most National Rail services. The Bay Area’s Clipper Card is an all-in-one payment system for bus, metro, ferry, train, and even some urban parking garages.
We will measure the number of integrated payment method and track the prevalence of mobile applications with real-time traveler information.
Starbucks re-invented the coffee break with a whole new business concept and is now re-inventing mobile payment. What if we created a unified mobile pay technology for multiple modes of transportation?
Proactively Maintain Assets
Maintaining our transportation assets requires periodic investments to maintain safety and structural soundness. Planning ahead for timely and proactive maintenance ensures that important updates can be made to extend the life of existing assets, with minimal disruption. Regular upgrades can also offer opportunities for integrating new technologies, improved user experiences or smarter services.
We will track our region’s performance using existing metrics on the percentage of infrastructure that is in satisfactory or good condition.
By harnessing the minds at Amazon that brought us one-hour delivery of anything, at Zillow that lets us shop for a house online and at Nordstrom who brought us the idea of “smart” fitting rooms, we will work to improve the transportation infrastructure of our region.
Establish a Sustainable Funding Model
Funding frequency and availability varies considerably across the Seattle area’s different transportation needs. We should evaluate how we fund transportation, taking lessons from other sectors, such as public utilities. With a sustainable funding model in place, the region can undertake appropriate planning and investments to maximize safety, efficiency, user convenience, and the long-term health of the system.
Funding stability is critical to maintaining an innovative transportation system. We will measure stability by year-over-year volatility in total funding and the proportion of funding coming from predictable sources.
JPMorgan Chase allows customers to access their accounts via their phones. If they can manage personal privacy, multiple mobile platforms and the swirling complexities of banking regulations, how can they help their employees have a more predictable commute to and from downtown Seattle?
Integrate Land Use and Transportation Planning
Historically, transportation planning has reacted to development patterns, struggling to respond where growth occurs. As housing costs drive more working families to consider affordable options outside the urban core, commuting to work becomes a greater burden. Land use and transportation agencies must coordinate planning and policy development more closely to ensure workers at all income levels can reach employment centers affordably and efficiently.
Integrated land use and transportation planning is about accessibility. We will measure success by evaluating the walk, bike, and transit scores of neighborhoods reported by walkscore.com.
How will we measure success?
- Reliability – average travel time and variability on key commuting routes
- Safety – number of fatalities and serious accidents
- Equity – proportion of income of residents/families spending on their transportation needs
- Environmental – CO2 reductions based on vehicles
- Business – percent of single-occupancy vehicle transit by employees of major employers